8 in 8: NFC North

By Jon

Pretty predictable division, if I say so myself.

1. Chicago Bears

No surprise here, or at least there shouldn’t be. Last year’s NFC champs return nearly everyone, with the major exceptions being Thomas Jones (trade to NYJ) and Tank Johnson (criminal). While there may be a slight drop-off statistically at RB and DT, respectively, Cedric Benson and Darwin Walker (yes, that guy) should pick up the majority of the slack. The big question mark, as it was last year, is the quarterback. I don’t think I’m in the minority when I say that Brian Griese is a better QB than Rex Grossman. Expect to see Griese at some point this season.

2. Green Bay Packers

The rest of the division is downright mediocre, in my estimation. Some people think the Pack will surprise some people. Count me out. Brett Favre returns, sparing the Green Bay faithful from the Aaron Rodgers era. Gone is Ahman Green (not that he was all that exceptional the last few years anyways), replaced by the combo of Vernand Morency and rookie Brandon Jackson. I’m sure that opposing d-linemen everywhere are terrified. The defense, especially the front four and corners, should be excellent, but I can’t see this team winning many games having to rely on Brett Favre’s aging arm for nearly all of its offense.

3. Detroit Lions

You heard (read?) me. I don’t expect the Lions to finish at the bottom of the division. They’ve gotten slightly better on offense with the addition via draft of Calvin Johnson, and adding Tatum Bell (who I’m very high on) to their RB carousel. John Kitna certainly isn’t going to win them many games at QB, but he won’t lose many either. And he’s a hell of a lot better than Tavaris Jackson, that’s for sure. Speaking of which….

4. Minnesota Vikings

Sorry Minny fans, this ain’t your year. Never a good sign when you’re QB depth chart reads like this: Tavaris Jackson, Brooks Bollinger, Drew Henson. The running game should be solid, as the line is solid. The defense should be good as well, but you will never be able to convince me that a team who’s quarterback goes into every game thinking, “Just don’t screw that up” will have any sort of success.