After the many comments and questions for this division on my predictions for the entire NFL, I figured this should be the one I post next. I will admit that the NFC is not my strong point...I see, know, and like to talk about the AFC a lot more than the NFC. But to find AFC records, I had to do records for all teams...and if I was going to go to all that trouble, I saw no reason not to post it.
Anyways, enough drabble....here's what you came for
NFC North Projections
Chicago Bears: (14-2)
Let the screaming begin...no super bowl loser has ever had a great following season. If anyone is going to break the myth, it will be the Bears this year. Rex Grossman is not as bad as everyone thinks. I don't understand the Thomas Jones Trade, but I think its time that Cedric started running, so I'm ok with it. Should have gotten more in the trade, though.
A lot of the reason I think the Bears will do well, though, lays not with the Bears themselves, but the opponents that they play. They play in a weak division, where I have them wining 5 of 6 NFC North Games. They also play Oakland, the Giants, Denver, and the Redskins, which I am pretty confident will be wins. Seattle and KC will be closer, but should still be wins. I do have them winning against NO, SD, and Dallas, and I can definitely see one of those being a loss, maybe two if Grossman stops focusing like last year. May be a little high, but easily the division winner. If they win less than 12, I will be shocked.
The bears didn't particularly improve themselves that much over the off-season. But They didn't really hurts themselves that much easier. Their apparent improvement is caused purely by an easier set of opponents. Don't see them making much noise in the playoffs when they have to start playing good teams in back to back weeks.
Detroit Lions: (2-14)
I'm really tempted to say I won't even discuss this team until they draft someone other than a WR with their first pick every year. Calvin Johnson should be a good/great player. Yes, he was probably the best person on the board when the Lions had their pick. I still think that they need more than a good group of WRs to win. Kitna is a decent QB. Very good at mentoring. Should have drafted Brady Quinn and have Kitna teach him, and then give him a bunch of WRs. They need a better running back that Kevin Jones...he's gone downhill every year. If the offense would ever live up to expectations, the fact that they allow so many points wouldn't be quite so noticeable. Turnover ratio is all wrong for a team to compete. Moving On.
Green Bay Packers: (6-10)
If you think this record is bad, go back to '05 when they were 4-10. I'm putting a lot of this on Brett Farve. Don't get me wrong. I like the guy. Like him a lot. Probably my favorite player when I first got interested in football. I just think that he needs to go ahead and retire. I understand he's close to breaking records and what not, but for the betterment of the team, the team needs to move on and they can't do that until Farve leaves. Or finds some way to work out a Roger Clemens type deal...but I can't see that happening in football.
Anyways enough about Farve...don't feel like getting hate mail. I find it hard to believe that last years rookie class can keep the pace they set at the end of the last season. I felt like a lot of that was momentum building, trying to make the playoffs. Had they made the playoffs, even if they were eliminated in the first round, I'd feel a lot better about that momentum carrying over. But as it is, I think they will struggle early, trying to find the same rhythm they had back then. Losing Amahn Green hurts...makes it easier for defenses to sit back and pick off Farve's passes. Perhaps 2nd rounder Brandon Jackson will give the Packers enough of a running attack to remain dangerous. Might grab them a couple of extra wins.
Final Reason I feel the pack won't do well this year. I have them 2-4 going into the bye week. (Week 7) Brett Farve has shown his displeasure with the direction the packers are taking more so this off season than I remember in the past. I can't help but feel that being 2-4 when Chicago is 5-2 will sit well. I have locker room problems causing the pack to go 1-3 the four games after the bye. I have them sorting it out (Farve relents, sits, something) and going 3-3 down the stretch, but I just see this being a rough year for the fans in Wisconsin.
Also, I expect Farve to retire at the end of the season. Then again...I've been thinking that for the last 2 seasons...
Minnesota Vikings: (5-11)
Still don't like em. Not sure on their QB situation. RB Situation improved remarkably over last year with the drafting of Adrian Peterson. May be the saving grace of this team. They have some WRs that can catch the ball, and the offensive line is not too bad, so on the offensive side of the ball they are pretty good if they can get a QB going early. Defensively, they need a better D-line. One DE with no sacks and one returning from an ACL injury does not impress me much. The secondary looks better...if they can make 20-25 INTs this year it will go a long way in proving me wrong. I think the inexperience at QB will hurt them though, resulting in several games given away late on INTs. Getting the ground game going and going quickly will be the key. I want them to do well....I like young teams doing well...I just think they need another year, and another good draft.
Up next....another group of teams from the AFC. Probably the west...although don't expecct it until after the weekend.