2015 NFL Season Predictions: NFC North



1st Place- Green Bay Packers (12-4)

The Green Bay Packers will once again take home the NFC North crown. Some Packers fans may be disappointed to see no positive change in the Packers’ record. Rest assured, this is not because the Packers haven’t become a better football team. The reason is, most other teams in the NFC have also gotten better.

The Packers will see stiff competition from not only the Lions, but the Vikings in division this year. They will also have to face the Arizona Cardinals, Seattle Seahawks and St. Louis Rams from the NFC West.

Fans also must remember that 12-4 is a good record. Eddie Lacy is poised to have the best season of his career while Green Bay’s trio of Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb and Davante Adams all wreak havoc upon opposing pass defenses.

This Aaron Rodgers led squad will be a force to be reckoned with all season long.

2nd Place- Detroit Lions (11-5)

The Detroit Lions are also going to end up with the same record that they ended last season with. Besides the losses of Nick Fairley and Ndamukong Suh, the Lions team remains fairly intact. Yeah I know, it sounds kind of ridiculous to brush aside the loss of Suh as I just did. However, Haloti Ngata figures to be a good enough replacement to keep the Lions defense close to what it was last season. Matthew Stafford and the Lions offense will be more or less the same.

They did lose Reggie Bush this offseason, but they replaced him in the NFL Draft with Ameer Abdullah out of Nebraska. Abdullah has more potential than Bush ever had on the Lions last season and he may even be causing Joique Bell to lose a bit of sleep.

Calvin Johnson remains a top five, if not top three receiver in the NFL if he can stay healthy for a reasonable amount of games as well. Stafford figures to be his usual gunslinging self.

All in all, not much has changed for Detroit. Fans can expect a solid 11-5 season, as well as a wildcard playoff berth.

3rd Place- Minnesota Vikings (9-7)

Let me start by saying, I really expected to see Minnesota with 10 or 11 wins after I had finished these predictions. Unfortunately, their schedule just didn’t allow that to happen. However, 9-7 is still an improvement over their 7-9 campaign last season. Despite missing the playoffs, Vikings fans will still have plenty to be excited about this season.

Adrian Peterson is back, and he will surely bring at least 1,300 yards rushing along with him. Teddy Bridgewater is in for a breakout sophomore campaign thanks to many different factors. Having Peterson in the backfield automatically opens up a multitude of passing opportunities due to defenses packing the box in an effort to stop AP.

This will also allow new addition Mike Wallace to get into more one-on-one coverages downfield. The Vikings also have two other potential star receivers in Charles Johnson and Cordarrelle Patterson. The Vikings not only have a potentially elite offense, but an underrated defense as well.

Led by free safety Harrison Smith, the Minnesota Vikings defense ranked 14th in total yards per game and 11th in points allowed per game.

This is a team that has only been troubled by youth, and with another year of experience under their belts, they should take another leap forward this season.

4th Place- Chicago Bears (5-11)

The Bears were once a promising team, but those days are gone. The Bears, a team riddled by mediocrity. If you have watched the team over the past couple of years then you have surely seen just that. Quarterback Jay Cutler just can’t seem to get it together, and their defense has been slowly deteriorating.

Besides adding rookie wide receiver Kevin White in the offseason, the Bears haven’t made any big strides. White is a good player but he is now tasked with filling Alshon Jeffery’s old role now that Jeffery is replacing Brandon Marshall in the offense. Therefore, there’s not even been a real upgrade at receiver.

Until the Bears start making some moves on the defensive side of the ball, they will remain mediocre. Cutler can’t support a team, that much is clear. The defense is horrible, ranking 30th in total yards per game, 30th in pass yards per game and 17th in rushing yards per game.

The Bears need to make some big improvements before they can begin climbing the NFC North standings again. Especially since the rest of the NFC seems to be getting better.