With the NFL season just around the corner, it’s time to throw out some wild predictions about how the teams will shape up and which players will thrive in 2014.
I don’t know that any fan bases in any other division in the NFL dislike each other like they do in the NFC North. Detroit Lions’ fans have been subjected to years of disappointment, while Green Bay Packers’ fans are the kings of the frozen universe (not the universe the movie takes place in). Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears fans hate each other, and the other teams as well, I mean, let’s just say an “NFC North” bar would not last very long.
Here are my predictions for the NFC North this season:
1. Detroit Lions (10-6)
2. Green Bay Packers (10-6)
3. Chicago Bears (8-8)
4. Minnesota Vikings (5-11)
I am drinking the powder-blue cool-aid! This is the season that the Lions put it all together on both sides of the football. Matthew Stafford and the rest of that offense have proven they can hang with the best of them, and the defense may be ready to take that next step this year. They have the front-seven that scares offensive lives, and quietly they shored up the defensive backfield through the draft and some veteran signings. The Packers are the favorites, as they should be, and they will make it the playoffs with the Lions, but something tells me the Lions roll over the Bears and Vikings while splitting with Green Bay. As for the Bears, I still don’t trust Jay Cutler and they did lose some key players on defense, and the Vikings QB situation is still a mess, unless Teddy Bridgewater proves me wrong.
Here are some individual awards for the NFC North:
NFC North Offensive Player of the Year: Matthew Stafford, DET (Big assist to Calvin Johnson)
NFC North Defensive Player of the Year: Charles Tillman, CHI
NFC North Rookie of the Year: Eric Ebron, DET
NFC North X-Factor: Cordarrelle Patterson, MIN
NFC Coach of the Year: Jim Caldwell, DET