A Look at the NFC North for the 2010 Season
Arguably the very worst conference in all of football is the talk of the league, right now. There are so many hot stories to follow, it's hard to keep up.
From three rather new starting quarterbacks to two of the best drafts of the year, and yes, even the trade that shocked a city a mile high, this conference is the place to have your eyes on.
This conference is almost guaranteed to be the biggest race all year long. This may be the only division where the worst team ever has a chance the following year. If you think any of these teams with be in the double digits for wins, you may be the only one.
The Green Bay Packers
The Packers had one of the best drafts in recent memory, taking five potential starters for next year (According to Mel Kiper Jr.) They also took two defensive rookie of the year candidates.
Clay Matthews will be the best of the U.S.C linebackers, and B.J. Raji will be a pillar for a defence that now looks to be the best in the division. They might as well start calling the Packers the NFC's Steelers, because with Clay Matthews, A.J. Hawk, Nick Burnett, and Aaron Kampman as the team's linebackers, no one will want to go there, either.
The problem with the Packers this season will be an old offensive line, an overrated running back, and the reliability of Aaron Rodgers.
They will have the same offence as last season, which doesn't bode well for them. If their line can hold up, look for them to win the conference title, and maybe even record 10 or more wins. The only problem is, their line will not hold up.
Projected Record: 9 Wins/7 Losses
The Minnesota Vikings
The Vikings had one of the worst drafts in 2009. Percy Harvin really offers their team nothing. How can Percy Harvin add to Adrian Peterson and Chester Taylor's running game? How can he do anything for a receiving unit that has a much more talented version of Percy Harvin already on the field in Bernard Berrian.
The true story with the Minnesota Vikings is Sage Rossenfels. Will he play up to par? I bet he will, but will that really be the difference in a conference title? I doubt highly Sage Rossenfels play will be the decisive factor in anything all season.
The real factor for the Vikings playoff aspirations lies in the hands of its defence. Will the Vikings be able to count on that defence? I doubt it.
Projected Record: 9 Wins/7 Losses
The Chicago Bears
Chicago shocked the football world when Jay Cutler was finally dealt out of Denver, and his destination wasn't Washington. Chicago is really counting on Jay Cutler leading that city back to the promised land, a place it once frequented.
With Devin Hester being the No. 1 option, how could he? Jesus turned water into wine, but Jay Cutler can't turn Devin Hester into a No. 1 receiver.
The media has been hell-bent on casting Jay Cutler as some kind miracle worker, even when his stint in Denver was average.
In Denver he had Brandon Marshall, a 6' 4" monster with speed comparable to any No. 1 in the league, Tony Scheffler, one of the best receiving tight-ends in the league, and Eddie Royal, who gives a new definition to "speed demon."
Chicago offers him no weapons, other than running back Matt Forte, who is doomed for what is called the "sophomore slump."
With an aging defence that showed signs of weakness even last season, I doubt the Bears will contend for anything. Hopefully for them, Dez Bryant will enter the draft a season early.
Projected Record 6 Wins/10 Losses
The Detroit Lions
The Lions drafted three people who can come in and be impact players for their entire career, and none of them are even who I'm watching on the Lions roster.
Daunte Culpepper is down 30 pounds, and is "in the best shape since his days in Minnesota." The Detroit Lions don't have Randy Moss, though, so how can Culpepper be even nearly as effective? Well they have a younger, equally talented, version of Moss in Calvin Johnson, and the two form a very scary threat.
With tight end Brandon Pettigrew, Ronald Curry, and Bryant Johnson to spread the field, Cullpepper is the early favorite for comeback of the year.
The problem with Detroit is the same thing as last season—a very bad offensive line. Will Jeff Backus be able to play left tackle for another year? Backus has a determination un-matched, but that won't help him if he is injured. I think the offensive line will ultimately be their downfall.
It's unfortunate that this is the year they will improve because the 2010 draft class might be the best ever. I will have an article out about that draft class soon, so please tune back in.
Projected Record: 7 Wins/9 Losses
In closing, expect the Packers to win the conference. That defence will be scary.
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