Packers (12-4) : After a devasting loss to the Cardinals in the Divisonal round the Packers return back with a healthy Jordy Nelson. The Packers have arguably the best QB in the NFL in Aaron Rodgers who posted 31 TDS & 8 INT (worst since his 1st year as the starting QB). HC Mike McCarthy will call plays on the Offense that will feature a multitude of weapons. The running back core features a slim & trim Eddie Lacy , Jame Starks & FB Aaron Ripkowski ( who replace fan favorite John Kuhn). The health of Jordy Nelson is the biggest question mark facing the Packers , but the WR core is fairly stacked with Randall Cobb (14 drops), Devante Adams , Ty Montgomery & TE Richard Rodgers (No Hoodies) will give Aaron Rodgers a plethora of options. Dom Capers “Base 30” front will cause havoc on opposing offenses. The front is an attack blitz that will feature stud DT Mike Daniels who had 5 sacks & 7 tackles for a loss in 2015. The line also features Letroy Guion, & Kenny Clark ( replaces BJ Raji) . Clay Mathews (8 sacks 14 Tackles for a loss) leads the LB core featuring Julius Peppers, Jake Ryan & Blake Martinez. The secondary is solid with CB’s Sam Shields , Demarious Randall & Safties Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix , Morgan Burnett. I expect the Packers to make a deep run to the playoffs with a possible run to SB51
Vikings (9-7) : The Vikings have arrived!!!!!…..Not so fast . After a 11-5 campaign in 2015 the Vikings return with a chip on their shoulder. QB Teddy Bridgewater lead the Vikings to the 29th ranked offense. RB Adrian Peterson carried the ball 327 times ( 1,485 yards 11 TDs) . At 31 years old Adrian Peterson still posses elite acceleration that amplifies his vision and patience to create holes. WR core is young and has immense potential with Rookie Laquon Treadwell, Stephon Diggs , Cordell Patterson coupled with talented Kyle Rudolph ( career high 49 receptions in 2015) . The Offensive line is lead by Matt Kahlil and Alex Boone. The Defense is the stacked as HC Mike Zimmer and D Coordinator George Edwards head a scheme that questions if linebackers will drop coverage or blitz. DE Everson Griffen posted double digits sacks once again in 2015 & looks to add to that in 2016. The linebacker core is lead by 3 down linebackers in Anthony Barr, Eric Kendricks & Chad Greenway. Xavier Rhodes &Terrence Newman leads the CB position , While Harrison Smith & newly acquired Michael Griffin leads the safeties. This team is on rise to say the least look out .
Bears(6-10) : Jay Cutler actually had a good season last year 0nly threw 11 ints under former Offensive coordinator Adam Gase ( current Dolphins HC) . Losing Matt Forte (2nd all time leading rusher in Bears history) is a daunting task hopefully fantasy football stud Jermey Langford can fill Forte’s role. Kevin White returns from injury and teams with Alshon Jeffery to help enhance the receiver core. The sneaky move I love from the Bears is the move of Kyle Long moving to RG. The defense that we have came to know as the “Monsters of the Midway ” is not walking through this door. Defensive Coordinator Vic Fangio implement a 3-4 defense lead by LB Pernell McPhee . Acquiring Super Bowl champion Danny Trevathan to help bolster their linebacker core. The secondary has a interesting mixture of youth and experience( CB :Tracy Porter , Kyle Fuller , Safties : Harold Jones-Quartey , Adrian Amos). Expect another cold winter and season in Chicago.
Lions (4-12) – Is it 1997 or 2016? Both years saw the face of the franchise leave in the prime of their careers. Like 1997 when Barry Sanders left , Calvin Johnson announced at the age of 30 that he’s hanging up the cleats. Matt Stafford adjusted to Jim Bob Cooter’s offense in the 2nd half of the 2015 season ( 19TDS 2Ints) . Ameer Abdullah showed slight flashes last season ( 597 Yrds 2 TDS) coupled with Theo Riddic and Steven Ridley. Losing Calvin Johnson is devasting to the receiving core , insert Golden Tate ( 90 rec 813 Yrds 6TDS) , Marvin Jones and newly acquired Anquan Boldin to help fill the void. The Denfense took several steps back in 2015 ( 2014 Ranked #2 in total D) as they were ranked #23 in total defense. The DLine has talent as Ezekiel Ansha (30 sacks in 1st 46 games) leads this group alongside Devin Taylor , Wallace Gilbery & Haloti Ngata. LB DeAndre Levy returns to a linebacker core that is emerging as a unit. The secondary remains sold with corners Tahir Whitehead & Daruis Slay with safeties Rafael Bush & Glover Quinn. It’s goin to be a long year Detriot ! bundle up!!