Tuesday, August 23, 2016

NFC North Preview: 2016

            There are plenty of storylines heading into the season for the NFC North. Calvin Johnson retiring, Aaron Rodgers and Olivia Munn doing some wacky activity together, the Vikings getting a new stadium, Jay Cutler getting picked off. There are plenty of reasons to keep an eye on the NFC North this year. Who'll win the division, though?

  1. Green Bay Packers: In order for Green Bay to make it back to the Super Bowl, they'll need Eddie Lacy to be in top shape. Lacy underwhelmed last season with 758 yards on 187 carries and three touchdowns. Green will also need players like Justin Perillo and Jeff Janis to step up in the offense. Defensively, the Packers should be set with Ha-Ha Clinton Dix (100 tackles, three sacks), Julius Peppers (10.5 sacks), and Clay Matthews (66 tackles, seven tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks). Matthews might not be around due to alleged steroid use from an Al-Jazeera documentary.
  2. *Minnesota Vikings: Adrian Peterson got some retribution as a running back, rushing for 1,485 yards and 11 touchdowns on 327 carries. He'll be an essential part of the Minnesota offense as Minnesota looks to take the next step. One thing the Vikings will need to work on is moving the chains: Minnesota was tied for 28th in the NFL with 297 first downs.
  3. Detroit Lions: With Calvin Johnson retiring and Bob Quinn taking the reins of the front office, a new era has dawned in Detroit football. Quinn brought in Marvin Jones and Anquan Boldin to fill in the holes at receiver. Granted, they won't have as big of an impact as Johnson did in his career. However, both are nice pickups that'll give Matthew Stafford options.
  4. Chicago Bears: The Bears Matt Forte to the Jets and Martellus Bennett to the Patriots, so the Bears have some holes to fill. Their pass rush is underrated, though. With a great set of linebackers in Pernell McGhee (53 combined tackles, a forced fumble, six sacks), Lamarr Houston (42 combined tackles, eight sacks), and Willie Young (30 combined tackles, one interception, 6.5 sacks), Chicago could see a revitalization of "The Monsters of the Midway".

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