The NFC North consists of the Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, and Minnesota Vikings. Last season, the Packers were the odds on favorite to repeat as the Super Bowl champs, the Vikings put their hopes in Donavan McNabb as their QB, the Bears were the reigning division champs, and the Lions were just looking for a seat at the table desperate not to be last in the division. Green Bay went 15-1, but failed to return to the Super Bowl after fielding one of the leagues worst defenses, the Bears failed to make the playoffs after a mediocre 8-8, Minnesota struggled to go 3-13, benching McNabb and promoting rookie QB Christian Ponder as the starter, and Detroit made it’s first playoff appearance since Barry Sanders was running the pill. In the upcoming season, i really don’t anticipate it being any different in the outcome. The Pack made some necessary improvements on defense, and even though the Lions have had a tumultuous off-season with many arrests and unrest in the locker room, they still will make the playoffs, barring any major injury. Chicago should improve, especially with the acquisition of Brandon Marshall,which finally gives Jay Cutler a target that he can rely on, but they still have a ways to go to get back to the playoffs. The Vikes, however, will continue to struggle. It’s hard to say if Adrian Peterson will return to elite status after a crushing ACL injury last season. There are a lot of unanswered questions about the NFC North.
Division Superstars: This division is stacked with Superstars! Superbowl winning QB Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers and Probowl RB Adrian Peterson of the Vikings have been wonders for fans and fantasy footballers. Monster LBs: Clay Matthews of the Packers, Jared Allen of the Vikings, Ndomk Suh of the Lions all wreak havoc in this divison. Let’s not forget about rockstar return man Devin Hester of the Chicago Bears. Speaking of WR, Calvin “Megatron” Johnson holds down this division in Detroit.
Bad Blood in this Divison: Ok, does everyone remember the game on Thanksgiving last season when the Packers played the Lions? Do you remember the Stomp Heard Around the League? It was brutal, just in case you forgot. The game, itself was very competitive. It was nice to see that the Lions play like actual lions instead of years of gobbling like a turkey on Thanksgiving. There is definite bad blood between the two teams, but I really don’t think it stems solely from the Stomp. The Lions are a really good team with great weapons on offense and a very good defense. They are a challenge to the Pack for the division title. There’s your bad blood right there.
Ranking Last Season: Green Bay Packers (15-1); Detroit Lions (10-6); Chicago Bears (8-8); and Minnesota Vikings (3-13)
2012 Divison Showdowns: Week Two, Bears at Packers, Week Four, Vikings at Lions, Week Seven, Monday Night, Lions at Bears, Week Ten, Lions at Vikings, Week Eleven, Packers at Lions, Week Twelve, Viking at Bears, Week Thirteen, Viking at Packers, Week Fourteen, Lions at Packers and Bears at Vikings, Week Fifteen, Packers at Bears, Week Seventeen, Packers at Vikings and Bears at Lions