NFC North – 2010 NFL Season Preview

2009 Standings at Season’s End

  1. Minnesota Vikings (12-4)
  2. Green Bay Packers (11-5)
  3. Chicago Bears (7-9)
  4. Detroit Lions (2-14)

Our journey through each of the NFL’s divisions lands us in the frozen regions of the NFC North where the Minnesota Vikings saw resurgence with Brett Favre under center and the Lions had yet another woeful season. This season kicks off with the usual hoopla surrounding Brett “I’m Unretired” Favre and some high hopes for the Packers led by one time Favre backup Aaron Rodgers. The competition in this division is about as cold as a Lambeau Field bleacher in December, and quite frankly, there isn’t a whole lot to get excited about from this division – but somebody has to win it and we will find out who.

Minnesota Vikings LogoMinnesota Vikings

Lost behind the dog and pony show put on by Brett Favre every year is Tavarus Jackson who quietly picks up his clip board and headset and dreams of greener pastures. In his case, greener pastures would be Oakland, Carolina, Buffalo, Hell – anywhere Brett Favre isn’t I guess. But let’s do what the media seemingly cannot – and that’s look at the team as opposed to Brett Favre. This team won the division last year, and while yes, Brett might have been a big piece of that, there were other players that had breakout years (Sidney Rice and Percy Harvin). Those players might not be around this year, or at least not for the entire season making this team very one dimensional. Adrian Peterson will be asked to do much more than should ever be asked of one man and even though he won’t back down, the team will ultimately suffer unless they get some help at Wide Receiver.

Minnesota Vikings 2010 Prediction

The man under center will make little difference this season as there is absolutely nobody to throw to. Bernard Berrian, is a bucket full of talent with no desire and no determination. He will be the “leader” of this WR group that might also be missing time from Harvin. Adrian Peterson is arguably the best back in the league, but with no legitimate WR threats, defenses will be able to stack the box and have at least a better shot of shutting him down. Look for the Vikings to finish on the wrong side of .500 this year posting double digit losses (6-10).

Green Bay Packers LogoGreen Bay Packers

Aaron Rodgers is officially out from under Brett Favre’s shadow and is a force to be reckoned with. He leads what could be one of the most potent offenses this season and the only thing that can slow the Packers down this season is the weather. There’s no doubt in my mind that Rodgers loves it in GB, but he has to wonder what his numbers would look like if he played in a dome his whole career like Peyton Manning. Nevertheless, he is now the new face of the Green Bay Packers and has enough weapons to get this team to the Super Bowl. They have an elite quarterback, top tier receivers and a high end back in Ryan Grant which makes them tough to defend.

Green Bay Packers 2010 Prediction

11-5 is a good season by just about any standards, but Aaron Rodgers and the Packers will put those numbers to shame this season. If they can get by Philadelphia in Week 1, they have a legitimate shot at being 7-0 before their much anticipated showdown with the New York Jets. Throw a few more gimmies under their belt and this team could easily be 14-2, but I won’t get that crazy. 13-3 will be their final record, easily topping the NFC North.

Chicago Bears LogoChicago Bears

The Bears who relied on an elite defensive squad on their way to a Super Bowl berth in 2006/07 haven’t been able to get championship caliber play from that squad in quite a while. They ranked near the bottom of the league in stopping the rush last season, and were mediocre in pass defense. Combine that with a quarterback in Jay Cutler who had a meltdown year and a running back in Matt Forte who wasn’t even able to crack 1,000 yards and you have a recipe for disaster. Chicago Bears fans shouldn’t expect 2010 to be any better, especially with a new Mike Martz offense and a pretty tough schedule. Jay Cutler has yet to prove that he can consistently throw the ball anywhere near his target and an aging defense is quickly becoming laughable.

Chicago Bears 2010 Prediction

In 2010, the Bears shouldn’t make any improvement on their sub-.500 record from last year. They will remain at 7-9, which is quite frankly a gift considering just how terrible this team really is. Lovie Smith’s time is running out in Chicago. Look for him to be on the hot seat by week 5.

Detroit Lions LogoDetroit Lions

Matthew Stafford is another year older and hopefully another year wiser, but this team still doesn’t have anything to look forward to. When winning 2 games in a season is the highlight of the past decade expectations aren’t very high. I hate to discredit a team and its players, and I rarely feel bad for professional athletes, but I am really starting to feel sorry for the Lions. They do have the benefit of a weak schedule, however, so that should translate into a couple of wins, but that brings up the old saying – “if the Lions win in Detroit, but nobody is there to see it, does it really matter?”

Detroit Lions 2010 Prediction

I am predicting a 50% improvement in the win totals for the Detroit Lions. Unfortunately, this still means they only go 3-13, but hey; baby steps right? The Lions, for the time being, need to focus on keeping some of their key players healthy. Calvin Johnson and Matt Stafford could be a deadly combo in future years, but they need to keep Matt’s Jersey clean in order to have any shot at realizing that future.

2010 NFC North Predicted Final Standings

  1. Green Bay Packers (13-3)
  2. Chicago Bears (7-9)
  3. Minnesota Vikings (6-10)
  4. Detroit Lions (3-13)

About Aaron Garcia

Aaron is an avid sports fan who passionately follows the NFL, NBA and MLB, in addition to NCAA Sports. He is an Arizona State University grad who loves the Dodgers and the Patriots.