Finally we have made it to the only division that we really care about. It took a while, but here we are. I could go on about how the Packers have been the leader of this division for a good part of the last decade, how the Vikings and Lions have had flashes of success but generally have been bottom-dwellers, and how the Bears have been hovering around average with a couple years of excellence, but I won't. I could say that this will be one of the hardest-fought division races in the NFL with the Bears and Packers battling for the title till the end of the season, but I won't. No, instead I'll just get right to the good stuff. Here are my predictions for the black and blue division, the NFC North. Hit the comments with your thoughts and your own predictions.
Chicago Bears: Marc Trestman will receive the Coach of the Year Award. I expect the Bears to be vastly improved this year. The defense is getting younger with Wootton, McClellin, Paea, Bostic, Melton, and Frey all coming into their own or in Bostic's case, learning quickly in his rookie year. The offense finally has the offensive mind in Trestman that they needed to be as successful as they should be. Trestman will lead this team to the playoffs and a division crown with his excellent game-management and in-game adjustments. Add that to the fact that mostly everyone was surprised that he even got a HC job above some other candidates, and he's poised to bring home the award for Coach of the Year in his rookie season.
Green Bay Packers: Randall Cobb will break the 100/1000/10 barrier. This guy is dynamic. He's quickly become one of He Who Must Not Be Named's favorite targets. Gennings and Driver are gone. Nelson and Finley are often injured. All these things add up to Cobb having a fantastic season. He's never gotten more than 100 receptions, 1000 yards, or 10 touchdowns in either of his previous two seasons, but this will be the year. The signs are there, the writing is on the wall, the stars have aligned, and other cliche phrases that indicate that this will come to pass.
Detroit Lions: Reggie Bush will have his best year as a pro. He was made for the Lions' passing offense. His strength is clearly receiving passes out of the backfield, and Detroit is just the place to do it. While defenders are focusing their attention on Megatron, Bush will have plenty of space to both catch and run in the middle of the field. His change of direction and speed is still quite good even though he's getting up there in age (for a running back, that is). I expect him to have his best year yet with about 80 receptions and over 1000 yards rushing.
Minnesota Vikings: Greg Jennings won't be as big of a boost as everyone seems to think. Perhaps his talent and previous accomplishments should warrant the excitement that Vikings fans everywhere felt when Jennings chose to leave those brain-washing Packers in favor of the purple and yellow. However, those accomplishments were achieved with one of the best quarterbacks in the league today. Now he's got a guy that I could probably beat on a good day. Ponder is just plain not good, and giving him a decent WR isn't going to change that. If you don't believe me, just look at the Cardinals last year. Fitz is arguably the best WR in the league and even he couldn't overcome the deficiencies at quarterback. Sorry Robert Rence, but Jennings isn't what your team needs.
So this concludes my series of predictions for each team around the league. Hope you all enjoyed them and thanks for reading. Oh, and of course, BEAR DOWN!