NFC North Preview: Packers not unanimous pick

Discussion in 'Chicago Bears' started by Papa_Bear_7, Sep 3, 2013.

  1. Papa_Bear_7

    Papa_Bear_7 Veteran

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    NFC North Preview: Packers not unanimous pick
    • By Gregg Rosenthal
    • Around The League Editor
    • Published: Aug. 27, 2013 at 03:50 p.m.
    • Updated: Aug. 28, 2013 at 01:43 p.m.

    Around the League predicts NFC North
    Chris Wesseling
    1
    Packers (11-5)
    Bears (10-6)
    Packers (12-4)
    Packers (12-4)

    Marc Sessler
    2
    Bears (10-6)
    Packers (9-7)
    Bears (10-6)
    Lions (9-7)

    Dan Hanzus
    3
    Lions (8-8)
    Vikings (7-9)
    Lions (7-9)
    Bears (7-9)

    Gregg Rosenthal
    4
    Vikings (7-9)
    Lions (4-12)
    Vikings (6-10)
    Vikings (5-11)


    Green Bay Packers not unanimous choice but ...
    The Packers have won the division in two consecutive years and made the playoffs in four consecutive years. There's no reason to believe that streak will change while Aaron Rodgers and Clay Matthews are in their primes. Three of the four Around The League writers picked the Packers to win the division, with Marc Sessler taking the Chicago Bears. Two of us have the Packers at 12-4, which would be good enough for a playoff bye.
    Spoiler alert for our season preview: I have the Packers going to the Super Bowl. Mike McCarthy and Aaron Rodgers are the best offensive coach-QB combination in the NFL until proven otherwise. Eddie Lacy adds a new dimension to the running game. But I like them to rebound as a team this season because of defensive improvement. The secondary has enviable depth at cornerback and safety. The defensive line is deeper than it has been during McCarthy's run, with a promising first-round draft pick in Datone Jones. A healthy Matthews changes this team; he still should have one or two Defensive Player of the Year-caliber seasons left in him.
    Lot of love for Chicago Bears coach Marc Trestman
    I was the only writer to have the Bears under .500, with two of us putting Chicago at 10-6. Lovie Smith never had a top-20 offense during his long run in Chicago, and Trestman should change that. The right side of the offensive line looks improved, and Jay Cutler has his best quarterback tutor since Mike Shanahan in Denver. Along with Matt Forte, the pieces are in place to improve.
    Chicago's defense has been so good for so long that it's taken for granted. New defensive coordinator Mel Tucker has a lot of talent to play with, especially on the line. Nothing would surprise us with this team. The roster is good enough to make a playoff run, with an improvement in offense possibly countered by a decline in turnovers on defense. We like everything we hear from (and about) Trestman, but he's still an unknown.
    Detroit Lions no longer are trendy
    Detroit was a trendy team following its 2011 playoff appearance. Then a slew of arrests and a ridiculously unlucky 4-12 season cooled things. Many of the aspects that made the Lions a popular sleeper pick to begin with still are in place. Their vertical offense is very difficult to deal with. More importantly, their defensive tackle duo of Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley should be the best in the entire league. Defensive ends (and linebackers) will look better just playing with Suh/Fairley.
    There is not a lot separating a 4-12 team from a 10-6 playoff appearance. I was the only writer to put the Lions above .500, and Sessler was the only writer to put them back in the basement. The maturation of Matthew Stafford is the key. He's an average NFL starting quarterback who should be at the stage of his career where he pushes to another level.
    Minnesota Vikings set up for a fall
    The Vikings rode a historic season from Adrian Peterson and an improved defense to a 10-6 record last year. They are unlikely to repeat a 5-1 record in one-score games and need QB Christian Ponder to improve rapidly just to get to average.
    It's hard to teach pocket presence, and Ponder hasn't displayed the trait as a pro. There are plenty of solid aspects to this Vikings team, but you need to be outstanding in all facets to make up for a lackluster passing game. We just don't trust Ponder, Greg Jennings, rookie wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson and tight end Kyle Rudolph to cobble together enough production.
    Listen to our entire NFC North preview right here.
    The "Around The League Podcast" is now available on iTunes! Click here to listen and subscribe.
  2. a_miljan

    a_miljan Veteran

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    hmmm maybe i dont have a clue, but i have a feeling lions will be last in our division... i think so
  3. Jimmors

    Jimmors The Rhymenoceros Staff Member SuperFan

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    Im going to say the Vikes will be last. AP cant keep carrying the team and expect them to win consistently. Even so, i wouldnt be shocked if the last place team still finishes 8-8, thats how good the NFCN *can* be this year.
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  4. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 Coordinator SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Gregg Rosenthal has us with a losing record? Finishing behind the Detroit Lions? I just don't see that happening.
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  5. MPbears68

    MPbears68 Pro-Bowler

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    "I don't see any chance of winning the Div over GB."
    Ric

    Apparently not looking very hard....
  6. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    Bears 0-6 vs the GB packers over the last 2-3 years. Until otherwise noted they are Chicago's daddy. You wanna project the them having a down year and the Bears having a good one, you're welcome to it, but them coming down and the Bears coming up doesn't mean they necessarily passed eachother at anypoint.
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  7. Tarkus

    Tarkus Veteran

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    Rosenthal's got to quit spooning with Haugh...
  8. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 Coordinator SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Unless we'd lose our starting QB, I don't understand how anyone would predict us to have a losing season and finishing behind Detroit. Of course anything could happen (even a losing season) but it seems like a weird prediction to me. Do you think he'd put serious betting money on that one right now?
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  9. Tarkus

    Tarkus Veteran

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    Exactly...

    If anyone's gonna use the 'if JC goes down' theory, all they have to do is look at GB. Rodgers goes down & all they're left with is cheese curds.

    Losing season, my ass...
  10. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    GB has a tough first 4 games and a rookie playing LT. They've got bigger problems with their OLine that we do and their defense isn't as good, but they have something we haven't got.

    A brain......not that's not, or well maybe it is but what they do have is Aaron Rodgers and some guys who can catch the ball and put points on the board. They still won the division and a Super Bowl a couple year back with crap for a line and Rodgers running for his life.

    They're still the champs until somebody knocks them off the throne so we'll see soon enough just how well we match up now that we appear to have an offense to go with our defense. I see us losing some close games and probably doing no better than last year but as even as the NFCN is that may be enough.
  11. Akuma2000

    Akuma2000 Veteran SuperFan

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    The Bears didn't even have an offense last season just a strong defense and they still went 10-6, this season we finally have a real offense to go with our defense which hasn't lost a beat and picked up where they left off last year.....and people are predicting the bears go no better than 8-8 or 9-7 ??

    I can't wait for the home opener to see the Bears pull off the lid of a can of kick ass against the bengals .....BEAR DOWN !!!
  12. Henry Burris

    Henry Burris Head Coach

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    Green Bay is all that matters. How to beat Detroit? Triple Johnson (Unless you're Chicago, then you only need one guy) and watch for Reggie Bush coming out of the backfield. How to beat Minnesota? Put as much as 8 in the box on all but obvious passing downs. Christian Ponder hasn't been forced to beat anyone with his passing alone; every other QB in the division has.
  13. MPbears68

    MPbears68 Pro-Bowler

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    True...and this is relevant to 2013 how exactly?

    No need to play the season--pencil the Packers in for 15-1, folks. Nothing has changed in the NFCN over the last two years.
  14. MPbears68

    MPbears68 Pro-Bowler

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    No guarantee of course but realistically, yeah it kinda does.
    Difference between the Packers and Bears last year: ONE GAME
  15. Henry Burris

    Henry Burris Head Coach

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    Relevant in that our offense, and historically, the same players have been unable to defeat Green Bay.

    Except that when a team sweeps a division, a tie is equal to a one game advantage, so it's more like a 2 game difference last year.
  16. MPbears68

    MPbears68 Pro-Bowler

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    I agree. Detroit is 90% one player: Calvin Johnson. And Minnesota is 90%: Adrian Peterson.
    If you prevent those two from beating you all by themselves (which the Bears D has been pretty successful at doing), you are very likely to beat Detroit and Minny. No one is scared of Detroit's running game or other WRs and no one is scared of Christian Ponder or his passing weapons.

    The Bears are a 1-1 split with Green Bay away from being very competitive for the NFCN title. The Packers first three opponents are SanFran, Washington, and Cincy with 2 of those 3 on the road. And without their starting LT and a known sieve at RT. Yes, they are still the presumptive favorites to win the division but its far from baked in the cake.
  17. MPbears68

    MPbears68 Pro-Bowler

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    The Bears current offense is entirely different from that of 2-3 years ago. Coaches and players. The ONLY commonalities are Roberto Garza and Matt Forte and maybe Earl Bennett (if you consider him a starter). If all that counts for nothing, then I agree we have virtually no chance of making the playoffs or beating Green Bay.

    Yes, a split with the Packers is necessary to have a shot at the division. And I believe a split is very doable.
  18. Henry Burris

    Henry Burris Head Coach

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    The Packers are running the same offensive scheme since 2006, and the same defensive scheme since 2009. While we're continuing to run much of the same defensive schemes since 2004, we've been running the same offensive scheme since.....July. It's arrogant to think we really have any advantage over the Packers, until/unless the play on the field shows us otherwise.
  19. BelieveInMonsters

    BelieveInMonsters Veteran

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    I love it. Absolutely love it. Love watching the experts faun their love all over everyone but the beloved.

    You know why? Because these experts are almost always wrong. There's always a surprise. The Bears are going to be that surprise in 2013.

    The Packers are on the downswing while our stock is rising.

    The Pack has a leaky sieve for an offensive line (with key OL injuries) an unproven rookie running back (who will try to run behind the sieve). Rodgers is going to be one uncomfortable QB.

    Their defense is still average at best.

    We will beat Green Bay once this year (last game of the year at home) on our way to a playoff berth.
  20. Evernight

    Evernight Rookie

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    ßearz ßuckz:
    How exactly do you figure the Packers are on the downswing? They've had a terrible line and run game for pretty much Rodgers entire career, and the defense hasn't been much better yet they consistently make make the playoffs year in and year out. If anything, the Packers have been one of the most consistent teams in the NFL. Consistently at or near the top of the league.

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