The following is a preview/prediction for the final NFC North 2009 standings.
I will start in the order with which the teams finished last year.
The Vikings finished last year with a 10-6 overall record, winning the division by one game over the Chicago Bears. Most of their 2008 success can be attributed to the speedy legs of running back Adrian Peterson.
The team has some quarterback issues this following year, and the Vikings think they have somewhat of a grip on it by trading for Sage Rosenfels. At the same time you could compare Rosenfels to the calibur of Rex Grossman, with his fumbling bumbling plays.
Home opponents for 2009 are: the NFC North usual, 49ers, Seahawks, Giants, Bengals, and the Ravens.
Away opponents: the same NFC North, Cardinals, Rams, Panthers, Browns, and Steelers.
I expect for the team to split it's record with Green Bay 1-1, beat the Lions twice 2-0, and split with the Bears 1-1.
They should beat the 49ers, Seahawks, Bengals, Rams, and the Browns.
Overall Record: 9-7
Now that quarterback Rex Grossman is completely out of the picture, look for Kyle Orton to be more comfortable in the leadership role. You still have to be wary of the quarterback though, he has a slight injury problem, not to say he's injury prone.
At least he can hold onto the ball.
Rookie running back Matt Forte showed promising signs last year. Helping the management forget about drafting Cedric Benson. The Bears finished second to the Vikings, and narrowly missed the playoffs in 2008. The defense is on the decline, so that has to factor in my thinking as well.
Home opponents in 2009: NFC North, Cardinals, Rams, Eagles, Browns, and Steelers.
Away opponents: NFC North, 49ers, Seahawks, Falcons, Bengals, and the Ravens.
Chicago will be swept by the Packers next year 0-2, split with the Vikings 1-1, and beat the lions 2-0.
Other victories coming against the 49ers, Seahawks, Rams, and Browns.
Overall Record: 7-9
Green Bay Packers
It's been said over and over, and I'm going to say it again: The Packers' defense struggled last year.
Very disappointing, considering the team was one drive away from the title game the previous year.
Brett Favre left, and Aaron Rodgers took over. In his first full season, Rodgers looked like a veteran quarterback. He led the Packers to countless fourth quarter drives, only to have the win slip away.
Mainly because of the defense.
The team isn't really doing anything in the off season, so they will rely on the draft, leaving me thinking that 2009 may be better, but don't be surprised if they don't make the playoffs.
Home opponents: NFC North, 49ers, Seahawks, Cowboys, Bengals, and the Ravens.
Away opponents: NFC North, Cardinals, Rams, Bucs, Browns, and Steelers.
Again the Packers will tie with Vikings 1-1, sweep the Bears 2-0, and follow up with a sweep of the Lions 2-0.
The last of their wins are attributed to the Rams, Browns, Bengals, and get ready for it, the Cowboys. I know I'm crazy.
Overall Record: 9-7
All I have to say is 0-16.
The Lions are rebuilding though, now that they got rid of Matt Millen. I'm afraid it took them too long to fire the GM, and the following years may be better, but it's going to take some time.
With the economy crunch of today's society, if not corrected soon, the Lions could have a new stadium in Los Angeles to move into. Again I know I'm crazy.
Home opponents: NFC North, Cardinals, Rams, Redskins, Browns, and Steelers.
Away: NFC North, 49ers, Seahawks, Saints, Bengals, and Ravens.
Their woes continue, losing all of their six divisional games.
Only victories are against the Rams, 49ers, and the Browns.
Overall Record: 3-13
So the final standings for the NFC North division could read like this:
1. Packers 9-7
2. Vikings 9-7
3. Bears 7-9
4. Lions 3-13
The Green Bay Packers will win the division, barely squeaking by the Vikings.
Either way you cut it, any team coming out of this division is not considered to be a Super Bowl contender.