NFC North Preview: Packers Remain Class of Division

green bay packers

Doug Upstone

Wednesday, August 2, 2017 3:13 PM GMT

Green Bay is a rather overwhelming choice to win the NFC North again. Minnesota and Detroit both have very visible flaws and Chicago, well, it is going to be awhile before we hear anything resembling contention from the Bears.

Having been to and winning just one Super Bowl, the sense in Cheesehead Land is they better start using every opportunity to reach for the big game with Aaron Rodgers now at 33. Minnesota is writing off last year as "one of those things," and Detroit feels as long as it has Matthew Stafford, it has a shot at winning the division. Here is our preseason preview and all the NFL odds listed are courtesy of Bookmaker.

 

Green Bay Packers

After a mysterious first half of the 2016 season by Rodgers, once again he spoke up, rallied the troops and the Packers ended up in the NFC title game. Offensively, Green Bay should be similar to the team we saw in the second half of the year, which was extremely diversified. The only real concern is the offensive line in terms of cohesiveness and depth. GM Ted Thompson went all in on defensive draft choices, trying to shore up 30th-ranked pass defense with secondary help and attempting to put together more effective pass rush. Rodgers is going to Hall of Fame, but the next few years will determine if it is with one Super Bowl ring or two.

Odds to Win Division (as of 8/2)

Green Bay -250

Minnesota +372

Detroit +555

Chicago +2500

 

Minnesota Vikings

Having to scramble to trade for Sam Bradford as the 2016 season began, in retrospect, the Minnesota offense never had a chance. It did not help that Bradford had no running game thanks to a dozen different Vikings playing in the offensive line due to injury. With a healthy O-Line, a couple of rookies expected to contribute and Bradford now comfortable, this offense should improve. The defense was tremendous to start last year, but wore down with no offensive help. Not being on the field will be big help coach Mike Zimmer's defense, making the Vikings a decent wager on 'over' for win total.

Season Win Totals (as of 8/2)

Green Bay Ov10

Minnesota Ov8.5

Detroit Un8

Chicago Un5.5

 

Detroit Lions

For 12 games last year, Stafford was a top candidate for MVP. The Detroit defense kept the Lions in games, and Stafford stopped making those wild side-arm throws 40 yards down the field and engineered eight come-from-behind victories. A Week 13 finger injury curtailed Stafford and Detroit lost its last three games. While optimism resides around the franchise, when all but one of your wins came after trailing in the second half, you are hardly a domineering squad and being 20th in points scored and 15th in points allowed bears that out. 'Under' 8 looks like the way to go for NFL picks on Detroit.

Odds To Win NFC (as of 8/2)

Green Bay +494 (3rd in NFC)

Minnesota +1920 (9th)

Detroit +2430 (11th)

Chicago +7000 (Tied Last)

 

Chicago Bears

It was OK to sign Mike Glennon for Chicago, after the Jay Cutler era closed, but what rankled Bears fans was paying him $45 million, which signified he was your future quarterback. Then Chicago with the No. 2 pick in the draft (traded up from No. 3 overall) takes QB Mitchell Trubisky, who started one year in college and almost never took a NFL-style snap. With this as the backdrop and roster not exactly loaded with players who would start on other clubs in the NFC North, coming anywhere close to 5.5 wins this season feels like a pipe dream.

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