The NFC North looks to be a pretty competitive division in 2013 and it’s hard to get any clear answers. Some teams have made offseason moves that could either pan out or blow up in their faces. Others have been standing pat, another move that could reap big dividends or spell disaster.
Green Bay Packers – The Packers did what they should have done to ensure the future of their franchise, they signed Aaron Rodgers to a long term contract. In the NFL it all starts with quarterbacking. But Green Bay didn’t make any major moves besides that and the signing of Clay Mathews, another long term insurance plan. They did lose Greg Jennings and they’ll have to find a replacement for Jeff Saturday at center. Jennings will be missed, Saturday probably not so much. The key here is whether or not the Green Bay Packers can develop lesser names into productive talent. They’ve proven fairly effective at that in the past so the nod goes Green Bay to win the NFC North based on past performance.
Chicago Bears – We agonized over whether we should take the Chicago Bears or Minnesota Vikings as the second best team in the NFC North. The Bears get the nod because they’ve got Jay Cutler, who has what we see as more potential than anyone on the Vikings roster. Plus, Cutler is in a contract season he’s got Matt Forte and a new offensive system that appears to be workable with the talent on hand. Chicago still has to make defensive adjustments but should field a good enough unit to keep them in every game.
Minnesota Vikings – The Vikings are still hoping Christian Ponder works out and he just might. Having Adrian Peterson around was almost enough to make us take Minnesota as the # 2 team in the NFC North. Almost. But this is still a quarterback NFL and Ponder hasn’t blossomed just yet.
Detroit Lions – Our big Wild Card in the NFC North, the Detroit Lions have added some flexibility in Reggie Bush and they still have Mathew Stafford, who has all the talent needed. But the Lions are also their own worst enemy inside their heads and haven’t gotten over any mental humps that we can see. We’ll believe it when we see it.