NFL Season Preview NFC North

Part 4- The Preview for the NFC North Division.

Prices- (Division Winner)

•   Green Bay Packers $1.60

•   Chicago Bears $4.50

•   Detroit Lions $6.50

•   Minnesota Vikings $7.50

Under/Over regular Season wins

•   Green Bay 10 wins Under $1.60, Over $2.35

•   Chicago Bears 8.5 wins Over $1.65, Under $2.25

•   Detroit Lions 7.5 wins Over $1.60, Under $2.35

•   Minnesota Vikings 7.5 wins Over $1.54, Under $2.50

Gargy- Green Bay are very short to win this division, actually one of the shortest favourites of all divisions within the NFL. The NFC North plays the NFC East and crosses into the AFC’s strongest division- the AFC North.  You don’t back against Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers- you just don’t- they are the best in the business. The packers finished last year 11-5 and they have a better team this year. They drafted a running back in Eddie Lacy who will provide some variety and even though Rodgers lost some wide receivers over the summer, he can still throw to Cobb, Nelson and tight end Finley. They will win this division and they will win 11 or more games at the juicy odds of $2.35. Shirt?

Shirt- I tend to agree Gargy.  Big fan of Aaron Rogers, and love what he and Coach McCarthy have done with this football team over the last few years.  They are a perennial playoff team, built in part on the relative weakness of their division.  Rogers loses one of his long term targets in Greg Jennings who has left for division rival Minnesota, and taken a bit of attitude with him – Rogers doesn’t strike me as the sort of bloke to let a few barbs from a jaded ex-team mate worry him.  What is a bit concerning is that Cobb picked up an injury in one of the preseason games, so the pressure will be on the rest of the corps to set up.  They’ve tidied up their ground game with Eddie Lacy after putting a lot of pressure on young James Stark.  They also have my favourite Nose Tackle in the game, Big BJ Raji.  They win the division and go at least 11-5 for mine.

Gargy- The Bears and Jay Cutler won 10 games last year and still missed the play offs. I think this year they will be around the 8-10 victories again and if Cutler and the bears can actually add some variety to their passing game and they actually look for someone other than Marshall, they might find they win more games. At the risk of being a p#ssy, I am going to pass and wont advise over or unders, shirt what is your take on the Bears mate?

Shirt- Jay Cutler is another one of these guys who gets under my skin.  He’s got that smug look permanently fixed to his dial and it infuriates me.  Thankfully, it will only do so for 16 games this year, because they will not be making the playoffs.  I can’t stand the Bears so I am not going to waste too much page space on them, but I will take this opportunity to plug one of my favourite tv shows, which is set in Chicago, and features a bunch of Bears fans.  It’s called The League, and if you are a true NFL fan with a sense of humour, and not just someone reading this because you are trying to avoid doing any actual work, you MUST watch this show.  Based around a fantasy football comp played amongst a bunch of friends in Chicago, it is brilliant for its combination of juvenile humour and clever football tidbits.  Watch it, preferably instead of watching Bears games.

Gargy- I don’t think there was a more disappointing team last year than the Lions, I think they will improve slightly but I don’t have them winning 8 or more games. Get on the unders at $2.35. By their standards they have had a quiet off season, normally they have half their team arrested for a number of various offences. Stafford has a fantastic target to throw to in Megatron, but they an average offensive line to keep him safe. I think their defense will play well with Suh, Fairley and new boy Ziggy Ansah, but in this tough division- they will finish 3rd at best or 4th and have a top 10 draft pick in 2014. Shirt are you with me?

Shirt- Yeah, unfortunately I am Gargy.  Suh suffered a bit of second year syndrome last year, so let’s hope the big unit with the penchant for pissing off the officials can lift his game this year, but even if he is on his game, they just don’t strike me as a team capable of winning the tight games that you need to be a consistent, successful playoff team.  I think they will improve this year, and I like them to win 8+ games, but I can’t see this being their break out year.

Gargy- Last team in the division is the Vikings and they are another hard team to line up, I think Christian Ponder is an average quarterback, he would be in the worst 5 starting QB’s in the NFL and he is lucky he can dump the ball off to Adrian Peterson 20-30 times to make him look good. They lost Percy Harvin but picked up Greg Jennings, their defensive line is a good unit, their secondary is solid in fact across the board they are better than average- I believe their biggest problem is the position which has a huge bearing on winning and losing- the QB. I just do not rate him. Again at the risk of looking weak I wouldn’t bet on them over or under. Shirt are you going to be more adventurous?

Shirty – The Vikings overachieved last year because Adrian Peterson overachieved.  It is almost literally impossible for him to have a season as good as the one he had last year, which means they go backwards in the ground game.  If they had a half decent quarterback to step up and fill the breach, then I wouldn’t be so concerned, but Ponder is not that guy.  No playoffs this year for the horn helmets.

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