Whenever one looks at the NFC North the thought comes to mind “black and blue.”

Hard hitting and good defenses.

However that is not the case as this division has evolved towards offense. In 2013, offensive ranks by points per game had Chicago ranked 2nd, the Packers ranked 8th, the inconsistent Lions ranked 12th and even the dreadful Vikings ranked 14th.

Every team in the North has an elite talent on offense. In Detroit it’s Calvin Johnson, Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers, Minnesota has running back Adrian Peterson and in Chicago it’s wide receivers Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery.

The North was so bad defensively that Detroit with a suspect secondary including Louis Delmas and one legged Chris Houston was the best in the NFC North. Green Bay, Chicago and Minnesota followed the Motor City in defensive rankings.

What happened to the Bears defense?

Players like Lance Briggs and Chris “Peanut” Tillman got older, but hey they got Jared Allen. Lets face the facts the Bears defense will be troubled again this season as their secondary has a lot to be desired.

They went out and drafted defensive talent in Kyle Fuller in their secondary, but that likely won’t be enough to improve their entire secondary.

Defensive End Jared Allen is a shell of himself as they basically replaced an aging Julius Peppers with Allen. It’s Fantastic the Bears might be able to score, but teams will be able to do the same against them.

Prepare yourself scoreboard operator in Chicago, you’ll be busy.

The Packers have the best quarterback in the NFC North and it’s not even close. Even with Jay Cutler in Chicago and Matthew Stafford in Detroit, Rodgers is deemed an MVP favorite before the season even starts.

The Vikings have Mike Zimmer as their new head coach.

Can we expect change?

Yes he enjoyed success as a defensive coordinator in Cincinnati, but he also had a lot more talent than what he’s going into now. Will he be able to pull a 10 win season in year one of his tenure in Minnesota?

Highly unlikely.

I think Vikings likebacker Chad Greenway is a fantastic player, but does he even compare to Vontaze Burfict? In ways, but do the Vikings have a Geno Atkins on their defensive line? No they don’t. But Don’t worry they have young guys who can develop into elite talent. But for me to expect Zimmer to change the league’s worst defenseĀ  is like expecting Jim Caldwell (Lions new Head Coach) who spent time with Peyton Manning suddenly to turn Stafford into Peyton Manning 2.0.

Zimmer has had a top 10 defense in points allowed three times, top 20 three times, but has finished in the lower-tier of the NFL six times.

Finally we finish with the Lions. Is there a team more bi-polar than the Lions have been?

Can Nick Fairley finally put down the food and become an NFL player? Or is he going to eat his way out of the NFL? Fairley has the ability to be really effective on their defensive line, but he’s his own worst enemy.

Ndamukong Suh, labeled the dirtiest player in the NFL, is looking for money and will he be too aggressive and cost’s himself and the Lions a suspension at some point. It’s not out of the realm of possibility for Suh as he’s looking for a new contract. Will a winning team lean him towards staying in Detroit? Possibly. Does he want to be in Detroit? He’s said multiple times he wants too, but can you believe everything an athlete says?

No.

The NFC North has many question marks on defense. While the offenses look elite. The North will be drastically changed if one of these teams has got exponentially better on the defensive side of the ball.

It’s finally time to watch some real football. Enjoy everyone!

 

About The Author

Joe Chapp
Lions Beat Reporter and NFC North Beat Reporter

Broadcasting student who got his shot to cover one of his favorite childhood teams at the age of 19. Lions Beat Writer since 2013 NFL Writer and NFC North specialist

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