A lot of people try to say their favorite team plays in the "toughest division in the NFL," but the only fans that have the right to say that are the those in the NFC North.
What makes the North the toughest division in the NFL? There are many reasons, so let's take a look at the powerhouses from the NFC.
The Bears wanted to get stronger and faster at the skill positions, and they made upgrades that helped the team improve.
Chicago seemed to have taken a trip to the Lone Star state to look for talent, nabbing former Cowboy Roy Williams and Marion Barber to add to their team. Both players should contribute, and will allow the offense to move forward and succeed in 2011.
Even though the Bears had a lot of young talent last year, they were missing toughness and veteran leadership that both Barber and Williams will be able to give to their new teammates.
The Packers will be adding back a lot of players who were injured last season. With players like Jermichael Finley, Ryan Grant and Nick Barnett coming back, there will be new energy and excitement surrounding the Green Bay training camp.
There were a lot of holes left by injury for the Pack last year, and they are looking forward to a season filled with a lot fewer injuries and even more success. If they can avoid these freak accidents and bad luck, look for Green Bay to build on its Super Bowl performance.
Nick Fairley and Ndamukong Suh.
Just take a moment to think about having these two players in the middle of a defensive line. There is not much more a defense could ask for.
These players will be disruptive not only in the passing game, but the running game as well. They can push the offensive line into the backfield and be a force to be reckoned with. With some weak offensive lines in Chicago and Minnesota, the effect of this two-headed monster will be even more pronounced within the division.
The Donovan McNabb experiment was doomed from day one in Washington, and I think he is out to prove he still has something left in the tank. While he is definitely not the quarterback he once was, McNabb's career is still far from over.
The Vikings are just two years removed from a last-second loss in the NFC title game, and with the addition of Donovan to the Viking squad, they can return some of the magic they had just a short time ago.
Plus, anything is better than another year of Brett Favre in purple.
The only thing that has been holding back Matthew Stafford is his health, and this season he is finally ready to play a full season.
Stafford has shown flashes of brilliance while on the field, and if he can stay healthy look for him to lead the Lions to strong regular season and help them contend for a division crown.
When you have players like Calvin Johnson and the strong defense of the Lions (at least on paper), he should be able to take a big step forward and develop into the quarterback he has the potential to be.
Jay Cutler had a lot of people criticizing him after his playoff debacle last season. This year he has worked hard in the offseason and is ready to prove all his doubters wrong.
Cutler has another season under Mike Martz, and a new drive to show the toughness and leadership he has worked to develop over the offseason.
With a strong work ethic and the new weapons in the Bears' arsenal, look for Chicago to once again thrive and attempt to defend its division title.
When everything is said and done, the Packers are still Super Bowl champions until a new winner is crowned.
With the depleted team that was able to win the title and all the additions that return from injury, it should be another great season for fans in Green Bay. Not to mention the fact that having Aaron Rodgers never hurts either.