NFL Division Prediction Series: NFC North

Most people save the best for last, but I saved the two toughest and most competitive divisions for last.  We will start this with the NFC North, a division that has three teams that could easily state a claim for division favorites this year.  Sorry Bears fans but you probably know where you are going to fall in this.

Winner of Division
Minnesota Vikings

Minnesota might have been able to turn a positive into more of a positive by upgrading their quarterback carousel last season into a true franchise quarterback in Kirk Cousins.  Add to that the return of Dalvin Cook and a seasoned receiving core of Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs (go watch the last play of the Minnesota New Orleans NFC Division game last year) and there is a lot of optimism after last years great season from a lot of nothing.

2nd Place
Green Bay Packers

All anyone in Wisconsin has talked about over the year is what if Aaron Rogers had not been injured for the entire year.  Well now is his time to prove why he is the true MVP of the league and bring the Packers back to prominence with a much tougher division than last season.  He does not have a whole lot to work with when it comes to running backs or a receiving core, or even a defense for what it is worth, but he can lead a team to a potential playoff spot all on his own.

3rd Place
Detroit Lions

The offense has had little questions since the insertion of Matthew Stafford into the quarterback role, but this might be the first year Detroit might worry about how the offense will look. Golden Tate is great when he is on, but there are games he just disappears (all of you fantasy owners know a lot about that). Marvin Jones is good, but he is not, in my opinion, a number 2 receiver.  The running back group is a lot of bigger more punishing backs, but lacking in breakaway speed.  The defense has always been a worry, but I can see this year as a year the Lions take a significant step back if all the pieces do not come together.

Last Place
Chicago Bears

I am unsure if any team in the NFL (minus the Browns) has had worse luck over the last 5 seasons than the Chicago Bears.  From bust draft picks to awful free agent signings, Chicago has just had a miserable time trying to get it right.  Mitchell Trubisky might be the saving grace of this franchise for years to come, but he is going to need a lot of talent behind him to help get this team over the hump.  Jordan Howard has been one of the exceptions as being a quality addition to the team but Taylor Gabriel and Allen Robinson are not two franchise receivers.  The defense is mainly thrown together pieces of players other teams did not want and Chicago, I hate to say, will be on the wrong side of the division again this year.

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