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The NFC North Will Be a Challenge for the Packers in 2018

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The NFC North Will Be a Challenge for the Packers in 2018

In the first few weeks of free agency, the NFC North has been very active.  With a combined record of 34-30 during the 2017 season, which was tied for the second-best combined division record last year in the NFL, the division is only getting stronger and shaping up to be a beast to deal with in 2018.

With a 5-11 campaign during the 2017 season, the Chicago Bears have taken many strides to surround young quarterback Mitch Trubisky with a ton of talent heading into his second year.  The team added two experienced wide receivers in Allen Robinson and Taylor Gabriel.  As well, the Bears signed coveted tight end Trey Burton.  For the second year quarterback, being surrounded with more talent at the skill positions will only help push the team forward.

In Detroit, the Lions haven’t been extremely active with high profile free agents.  Rather, they have signed several lower cost free agents to hopefully help their team moving forward.  With new head coach Matt Patricia looking to implement a new and improved defense, the team has added several free agents at linebacker and in the defensive backfield.  The offense of the Lions also improved with the addition of tight ends Luke Wilson and Levine Toilolo.  To improve their lackluster performance rushing the football, the Lions also got a great price on a one-year deal with LeGarrette Blount.

The Vikings have been the talk of free agency thus far with the addition of quarterback Kirk Cousins.  While the jury will remain to be out on whether the contract was worth it, the team appears to be all in on their 2018 season with a Super Bowl or bust mindset.  On top of the addition of Cousins, the Vikings also added wide receiver Kendall Wright and they bolstered their impressive defensive line with the signing of defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson.

With the rest of the division being active in free agency, the Packers have followed suit with the uncharacteristic signings of Jimmy Graham, Mo Wilkerson and Tramon Williams.  And with a healthy Aaron Rodgers coming back to start the season, the division is shaping up to be one of the most feared divisions in the league for the upcoming season.

In 2018, the NFC North faces off against the AFC East and the NFC West.  The AFC East was the only division in the AFC with a combined winning record in 2017.  While the Jets and Dolphins may seem like easy outs during the regular season this year, the NFC North will get their crack at the New England Patriots and the Buffalo Bills this coming season, two AFC playoff teams from last season.  The NFC West is lining up to be one of the toughest divisions as well with the San Francisco 49ers adding a potential franchise quarterback and the Los Angeles Rams being extremely active in free agency with many high profile signings. 

With the improvement of the teams within the division, the battle for the NFC North crown will probably once again be a dogfight.  The Vikings and Packers sit among the favorites in Las Vegas to be Super Bowl champions.  With the division coming down to a season-long battle, the remainder of the NFC remains strong as well.  While the AFC may see a couple of teams hit 13 or 14 wins this year like always, I am highly doubtful that many teams will reach 12 wins in the NFC in 2018.  The competition in the NFC is shaping up to be intense once again and the battle to even make the playoffs should be stiffer than ever.

Any season with Aaron Rodgers under center will find the Packers as one of the top favorites to win the Super Bowl.  And like most recent years, the road to the Super Bowl through the NFC this year will provide many obstacles.  The team that hoists the George Halas Trophy will have rightly earned it this year with the amount of competition and talent in the conference.  But 2018 will have a much different feel for the Packers because rather than being the hunted for the NFC North crown, they will now be the hunter in the division chasing the favored Vikings.  Maybe this mindset can provide a little extra spark for the team and the coaching staff if they are fortunate and successful enough to navigate through the NFC North and make the playoffs.

________________________

Ryan Brunner is an avid Packers fan hailing from Chippewa Falls, WI.  He is a firm believer that punters are NFL players too!  Follow him on Twitter @brunwardo

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (77) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

EddieLeeIvory's picture

Would love to see the Bears whack the Vikings in week 1 in Chicago.

mrtundra's picture

Would love to see every team on their schedule whack the vikings this season.

EddieLeeIvory's picture

1 Green Bay 11-5
2 Minnesota 11-5
3 Chicago 6-10
4 Detroit 6-10

Packers sweep the Teddy Bears & Motor City Kitties & split with the Grape Apes, who lose at Chicago, giving Pack the tiebreaker for the NFC Norris title.

TheVOR's picture

The Packers Will Be a Challenge for the NFC North in 2018.....

Cubbygold's picture

Rams schedule is brutal. In addition to having to work through the NFC North, they also have to play philly, KC, DEN, OAK and NO.

croatpackfan's picture

This will be interesting season.

I hope high for Packers. Just because they are not seen as the main favorites ...

Go Pack Go

TJ Coon's picture

Doesn't really matter? Minnesota has no shot of winning the Super Bowl realistically. Green Bay, if they don't make a serious move on trade day to get their impact defensive player, they'll only have an Aaron Rodgers shot. Seriously, look at some of these moves the other top-tier teams are making. The Brandon Cooks move to the Rams giving the Patriots another first rounder. That makes two first-rounders and two second-rounders in this year's draft the Rams??? These guys have the best team on paper Bar None. I mean, the defense reminds me of the Packers 96 defense and their offense? The offense has one of the best running backs in the league , now one of the best receivers in the league, a quarterback who killed it last year and should only get better with his familiarity with Brandin Cooks already in place sing they both share the same agency. Yes, Brian gutekunst made some pretty nice moves in the very beginning but I'm not sure what they're thinking about when it comes to their secondary or there Edge rushers or the safety position. If Green Bay can pull off a killer move on draft day and get a Bradley Chubb, then I'll be happy. But now all reality if you're a scene person you should not get your hopes up for a Green Bay Packers Super Bowl. This year. Go pack go!

Cubbygold's picture

This is why the NFL is great, so much parity. Your logic makes it sound like the seasons basically over already. Outside of a hail mary move, GB has no chance. Go check out the superbowl odds in vegas from week 1 last year. There were 17 teams predicted to do better than philly.

https://www.cbssports.com/nfl/news/2018-super-bowl-odds-for-nfl-week-1-s...

We have no idea who is going to win the superbowl this year. Injuries play a huge role, and teams come out of nowhere every year to compete. A healthy GB has a great shot at a SB.

Oppy's picture

I'm not very popular when I say this, but here goes:

Just remember, Vegas doesn't set odds based on who they think is the best/ is going to win/ is going to score...

They set odds based on what they think, WE THINK is the best/ is going to win/ is going to score.

It's all about luring the public as a whole to put even money adjusted by the odds, so the balance is near zero and they make profit off the juice.

Vegas doesn't gamble- gambling is for suckers. Vegas is a business, and business likes the sure thing.

LAS VEGAS-TOM's picture

Oppy, Don't talk Foolish, & don't talk about something you know Nothing about. Most fans here will agree with what you say, but there is 1 here who knows Better. If you think Vegas lives off the Juice, you're only showing your ignorance. Keep it up though. It allows guys like me to take advantage of all your Suckers!!. You are correct about 1 thing. Vegas DOES NOT GAMBLE. They come out with a line that Wins for them Week after Week. Thanks to fans like you & your Suckers, it gives Betters like me an edge that puts me ahead most of the time. I've pretty much stopped my Football betting, but as you know & others, I called a lot of games right here, The Wrong Way. So Much For Your Juice. Keep it up though. Every little bit has helped. Thanks to fans like you, who think they know how Vegas works, have helped me win a lot of money. You'll never find that out, because of the fish hooks in your pocket.
LVT

Oppy's picture

The more sure you're not a sucker, the more likely you're the mark.
Cheers!

Oppy's picture

By the way, LVT, I few months ago you said you were going under the knife and were concerned about pulling through.

Glad to see you're still kicking around. I had feeling you'd pull through and continue to be a thorn in my side, you old curmudgeon ;)

Lare's picture

Offseason moves and draft grades mean nothing, they're simply something for fans and the media to talk about until the season begins.

Pretty much every team in the NFL (except for the Eagles) is one injury to their starting QB away from having a mediocre season.

HankScorpio's picture

The 2018 Packers got huge upgrades over the 2017 Packers in dumping Hundley & Capers for Rodgers and Pettine respectively. Anything beyond that is just icing on the cake.

While I do believe that Kirk Cousins is a better overall QB than Case Keenum, I have a hard time believing that Cousins will have a better 2018 than Keenum's horse-shoe up the rear 2017.

The Lions addition of Matt Patricia is mining a coaching tree that has not bore good results outside of NE. The list of assistants that left NE and had success as HC elsewhere is pretty short indeed.

Matt Nagy may oversee the Bears taking a step forward on offense but the loss of John Fox may see that offset with a step backward on defense.

I'm good with the Packers chances.

kevgk's picture

Agreed. Cousins has never been a true franchise quarterback and now has to play a very tough schedule and try to get settled day one. Patricia has been real overrated and doesn't have HC experience, so I'm not ready to call them improved, same with Nagy. Mitch averaged about 10 completions a game last year so he may still be a year or two from fully ready.

Hawg Hanner's picture

No one in Chicago will miss John Fox but I think the injuries took their toll with little or no depth behind the starters lost. Wasn't his fault and if there this year he'd be somewhat vindicated. They have to be better but with the kid at quarterback and lots of new faces they will have a hard time bettering .500. Cousins is the key and why does he now rise to top tier after a career run as a merely serviceable quarterback. Good but not great. The Vikings just got the crap kicked out of them after just sneaking by with a miracle in prior game. They look great but play good. The Lions are still the Lions. Their problem wasn't coaching. With a nice draft and a few pickups the Packers are still top dogs in the division.

carlos's picture

Not optimistic about the Packers this year. Rams and 49ers are going to be really hard to beat. Lions are building in the mold of the Patriots with their best coach in years. Bears were hard to beat when they didn’t have good players- now watch out. Vikings- do I need to say more. Possibly in Super Bowl if the get past the Rams. Not to mention Dallas, Washington, Seattle and who knows who will rise up. I don’t see where the Packers have become better than last year. Maybe if, and that’s a big if, Rogers can stay healthy.

Cubbygold's picture

removed, saw post below

kevgk's picture

Rams added a bunch of career troublemakers, and bet their whole future on it. This is their year, but goff needs to a take a big step forward for that. They have a real tough schedule and will struggle to get home playoff games.
49ers: people had little tape on Garop, and he played easier defenses at the end of the season. Not ready to proclaim him a stud, look at how Dak played last year.
Viking-HA! they were the worst team in the playoffs last year bar none, and they aquired a QB that never won a meaningful game. They played two good quarters and looked way out of place against real teams. They played a small handfull of good offenses last season and lost almost all of them, and this year they have one of the hardest schedules in the league.
If they Packers take a big step forward on defense like they are capable of, and fix up the stale and predictable offense, they are back in the race for a top seed. The only real threats are a falcons team coming off a poor year and the Eagles with possibly a different QB than Foles.

stockholder's picture

It will be a big challenge! 9-7 may win it. I still see players getting hurt. We never wondered if the offense would generate enough offense. A-Rods older! We need depth. We have many Question marks. I still would sign RR and House. (No Rookie is going to set this league on Fire. ) WE need playmakers now. The draft is only a building block. Time is not this teams friend. This team will be up and down.

Tundraboy's picture

 "(No Rookie is going to set this league on Fire. )"

If you mean Packers rookie, I can understand based on our recent history, but you never know.

RCPackerFan's picture

The Packers aren't getting any flashy love right now because the Vikings went out and got Cousins and Richardson. They made the big bold moves.

But the Packers made huge moves in changing coordinators. That is as big as any players they can bring in. First we know that Capers scheme was old and stale. Teams knew how to attack him and he didn't make any adjustments. Bringing in Pettine will change the defense a ton.
Philbin is a perfect compliment to McCarthy. While I love Bennett the offense never really improved with Bennett as the OC.

They then went out and brought in Graham and Wilkerson for big moves. Wilkerson could make our DL one of the best in the league. Graham gives Rodgers a huge target and a pure red zone threat.

Speaking of Rodgers the Packers get the best player in the league back. Everyone keeps talking about Vikings getting Cook back. But the Packers getting Rodgers back changes the entire team. There is no bigger move a team can make then going from Hundley to Rodgers.

Give me a healthy Rodgers and Packers over the other North teams.

HankScorpio's picture

In addition to the change at OC that may bring a fresh approach, they dumped Jordy. That makes them less likely to use 3 WRs the vast majority of the time, which mixes in more looks that defenses see. That can only help if the creativity of the offensive game planning can use that uncertainty wisely.

RCPackerFan's picture

Exactly right. We have heard McCarthy come out and say that they are refreshing or changing the play book. If they got even a little more creative the offense could be a match up nightmare for defenses with the players they have.
With Adams as WR1, Graham essentially as a WR2, Cobb as the Slot WR, they can create a lot of different looks based on those 3 guys. Add in the versatility of Montgomery and Jones, and our offense could really be a problem for defenses.

ohh, and yeah we get Rodgers back.

cuervo's picture

That's my greatest hope for this next year, that the offense is completely revamped. Watching the Packers offense these last 3 or 4 years has been painful. It has only been masked by the extraordinary play by the best QB in league, and even then they make it look so difficult to move the ball between the 20's.

When you compare to the Pats ,Eagles, Saints, who scheme players open rather than relying on isolation routes they make it seem so simple. The other advantage of this is that you don't have to aquire top tier talent to make it work.

Here's hoping that MM actually scrapped the old playbook and will reinvent the offense.

RCPackerFan's picture

I completely agree. We have all been asking for more creativity the last few years. It really showed up with Nelson got hurt. Watching other teams they scheme players to get open. Packers rarely did that.

The Packers offense the last few years was mostly created from when they had Jennings, Driver, Nelson, Jones and Finley as the top receivers. Problem is they don't have that talent and experience at the position. So being more creative is the way they have to go.

Also now they have a lot more versatile players. Montgomery, Cobb, Jones, Graham, Kendricks are all players that can play multiple roles. Being more creative in how they use those players will create mismatches they can take advantage of.

Another thing I want to see them do more is taking advantage of players strengths. Taking what the player is great at and finding ways to use it.
For example Trevor Davis has speed. Find ways to use his speed. Michael Clark is a former basketball player with great size. Use that.

Cubbygold's picture

Maybe I'm just making an assumption, but I have to believe that Rodgers is considered one of the smarter QBs in the league. If so, GB should be taking advantage of that and running one of the most complex offenses in the league to make it as difficult as possible for opposing defenses. This is why it's always confused me how GB could run a predictable offense. I could understand if the QB was an idiot and couldn't read defenses and make adjustments, but I don't think that's the case.

If 12 has the freedom to audible and adjust plays as he reads the defense, then how is GBs defense predictable? Is it just that the skill set of the players made the offense predictable?

...sorry for rambling

Tundraboy's picture

Keep rambling, your making a lot of sense. Rodgers, and predictable O should never be in the same discussion.

HankScorpio's picture

Just with the personnel they have now, they can mix and match 2 RBs on the field from Williams/Jones/Monty/Ripkowski/Kerride. They can start Monty lined up wide and shift him to the backfield pre-snap or vice versa. They can use 2 TE formations with Graham and Byrd/Kendricks. They can use Clark or Allison as a 3rd WR. Or both in 4 WRs looks. Throw in some draft picks or another low level vet signing and it just gets better.

That's a lot of diversity where they know what comes next and (presumably) the defense does not. Give that advantage to Rodgers and we can see some real fireworks without what looks like imposing firepower on paper.

dobber's picture

"They can start Monty lined up wide and shift him to the backfield pre-snap or vice versa"

This is where the Packers can scheme players open more than anywhere else. Do I really feel they're going to revamp the entire playbook and work from different principles? No. But by motioning players into and out of the backfield (just as a starting point), they'll be forcing opposing defenses to reveal coverages or into obvious mismatches (Monty vs. a LB? Yes, please!). MM always has seemed to like lining up TEs in the backfield, too. Maybe this is where Kendricks starts to shine...

" They can use Clark or Allison as a 3rd WR. "

They could, but geez I hope they can do better....

Cubbygold's picture

Completely agree. If only Graham had the desire and ability to block, then having him and monty on the field would be a nightmare. Are they 2 wide and running the ball? Are they motioning to 4 wide? Defenses would have to prepare for every possible scenario.

RCPackerFan's picture

I really like the idea of having Jones and Montgomery together on the field. Both can be used as weapons as Receivers or runners. They can create so many different looks with that.

I will be honest, I am a fan of Clark. The idea of having Clark, Graham, Cobb and Adams as the 4 WR's in the redzone is very intriguing to me. They have 2 6'5+ receivers, a slot guy in Cobb and a guy that knows how to get open for Rodgers. Adams who is very hard to cover. Then throw in a guy like Jones out of the backfield. That could be a great red zone offense.

Tundraboy's picture

"That can only help if the creativity of the offensive game planning can use that uncertainty wisely."

Hmm. Maybe MM can take a leave of absence and Philbin can run the O.

carlos's picture

Good points RC. I just don’t feel positive today. Could be the weather up here by Lake Superior. lol. Too cold to ice fish today. I like out new coordinators, just concerned about quality depth.

carlos's picture

Another concern is injuries. Packers seem to have an awful lot. I realize the whole league suffers in this area, but DB’s and RB’s always seem banged up. Need TE depth. Not a fan of Kendrick’s. Maybe Rogers can make him look better. Too many dropped passes and seems so slow. Just hope the front office moves can pan out. Like I’ve stated before- love the new coordinators. Agree the offense was predictable and got real stale. As far as the defense last year Stafford claimed to know everything the defense was going to do before some of our players did.

dobber's picture

Kendricks just looked lost--even disinterested--last season. You could see it at times in his body language on the field. Maybe that was a function of a sub-par QB chucking passes: if anything, I thought Kendricks might benefit from Hundley as a dump-off option. Given that Kendricks was coming off arguably his best season with the Rams (where he was Goff's dump-off security blanket), last season was extra-disappointing.

RCPackerFan's picture

No fear Carlos.

Spring is around the corner as is the draft.

carlos's picture

I’m ready for spring RC. Up in the land of the north it seems far away. We still are covered in snow. Last year at this time the snow was mostly gone. The ice fishing has been fantastic. Just too cold to go today. Thanks for the positive thoughts.

holmesmd's picture

Adams, Graham, Alison/Davis/ Clark? Monty & Jones our of the backfield? I don’t think productivity should be a problem for offense provided they get square on OL.

Savage57's picture

Packers are gonna be alright. For those who haven't been paying attention, it's always been AR's team. As he goes, so go the Packers.

Compare Rodgers to the rest of the NFCN QB's. He's good for a 3-4 game advantage over any of the rest of the QB's in the division. Philbin's back, and I think he's going to jump start the creativity of the offensive play design. Pettine's going to have a huge positive impact on the defense, so add a game or two just for removing the two collapses you could count on with Capers.

So take a toss up team at 5-5, add 5-6 wins and you have a team whose chances are pretty good they'll finish up 10-6, 11-5. They're in as good a position as anyone going into this season in the division.

RCPackerFan's picture

In all honesty with Rodgers as the QB and an average to below average defense they are pretty much no worse then a 10-6 team.

With a good defense they can be a 11-5 to 12-4 team. With a great defense and just a little bit of luck they could be a 13-3 team or better.

Samson's picture

And the homers are once again putting the Pack into the SB just because AR is back and healthy (hopefully).

Please, for once, observe the 2018 season as a realist instead of someone who makes an avalanche of homer comments that you never revisit when reality hits. (reminder- the Pack finished 7-9 in 2017)

13-3 team or better. ---- Please!!! ---(Someone has to slow you down. You're already getting silly and it's only April)

RCPackerFan's picture

Go away

Kubyskins12's picture

They were four and one when Rodgers went out. They've added a new defensive coordinator so you get rid of that predictable terrible defense and they brought philbin in and they're tearing down the offense of playbook and starting from scratch. So in addition to that we picked up some nice free agents and get Rogers back and hopefully we get some good draft picks. This team is easily at 10 win team and has the potential to win 13 if the draft picks work out really good .

Since '61's picture

Staying healthy, especially for Rodgers is the key for this team as always. Maybe M. Adams and Beigel come on strong this year and solidify the defense along with yet to come draft picks and FA at CB. Too soon to tell. We'll have a better feel after TC for how this team is coming together. Thanks, Since '61.

CheesyTex's picture

Well said '61. And we'll know more about the effect Rodgers injury will have on his game, although we may have to wait until live bullets fly to learn that.

mrtundra's picture

I like the Packers' chances this year. We should get a game changer at 14, no matter what position he plays. Gute being active in FA and with Aaron being 100%, we have to be right up there in the division. The vikings think they are Super Bowl bound because they acquired Cousins. Remember how the vikings were crowing Super Bowl when they signed Favre? That didn't work out so well for them, did it? If Cousins were to get injured, a distinct possibility on that turf of theirs, will Siemien be able to lead the team like Keenum did last season? I doubt it.

dobber's picture

I think the Packers will be in the hunt for the division title and have a reasonable shot at the WC. The NFC looks strong this year in general. On paper, I'd say that at this point there are 8 teams (PHI, DAL, NO, CAR, ATL, GB, MIN, LAR) that can reasonably say they're going to be in the conversation for winning their respective divisions (this doesn't include that surprise team or two that springs up every year)...that means that at least 2 of them aren't going to make the playoffs. I don't see anyone who will contest the Rams for the NFC West. Seattle has dropped a lot of personnel from a team that scuffled last year, and it's hard to say what they'll look like. Not sure what to think on San Fran. A lot of moving pieces, but the top of the NFC looks really good.

kevgk's picture

Drop carolina and dallas and you have your playoff teams

dobber's picture

I wouldn't be surprised to see a regression in NO. They seemed to have everything come together just right last season from rookies stepping in and playing well, to health, to having backups play well when called upon.

carlos's picture

I’m liking the positive posts. I feel like a negative Nancy today. I’m blaming it on the weather. I’m usually very positive about the Packers.

Lare's picture

Lots to be cautiously optimistic about, although there are more unknowns with the Packers this season than what we've had for years.

On the bright side, pretty much anything they do should be an improvement over last year. Including Danica over Olivia.

carlos's picture

Like that Lare.

egbertsouse's picture

Wow! Anybody want to buy a unicorn ranch?

dobber's picture

No thanks. I've got 3. They're run by leprechauns.

Razer's picture

...But the Packers made huge moves in changing coordinators. That is as big as any players they can bring in...

I agree totally with RCPackerFan. If we didn't move on Capers, our old offensive schemes and the other structural deficiencies we would continue to sink. We only contend because of Rodgers. If Pettine can build a decent defense and the offense can revitalize itself, we can reclaim the NFC North - but - it is going to be a dogfight.

dobber's picture

"We only contend because of Rodgers. If Pettine can build a decent defense and the offense can revitalize itself, we can reclaim the NFC North"

I would argue that the Packers offense will go as far as the right side of its OL will take it this season.

Razer's picture

I agree. We have been preoccupied with the secondary/pass rush and not talking about the potential problems at RT/RG. The Minnesota defense will eat us alive if we, at least, don't fix the RT. Rodgers new scheme may be a "run for your live" scenario.

Tundraboy's picture

I think that's a good thing. It will only battle harden them for the playoffs. I always think about the NFC east over the years when some combination of Dallas, Giants, Eagles and even the Redskins were at their peak, and that always served the Giants well going into the playoffs.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

"The NFC North Will Be a Challenge for the Packers in 2018"

It's impossible to understate the wasted oppertunity by TT and MM over the past 6 years. Sorry, downvote all you want but it's 100% true. Bad defensive draft picks that didn't fit the lousy defensive scheme which McCarthy kept around 4-5 years too long.

I guess my hope now is that facing a really tough Vikings team 2x will make the Packers a better football team for January.

4thand1's picture

This reminds of the Farve era so much. Every year the experts would say, the Packers have a shot because of number 4. Now are hearing the same thing every year with AR. The Packers failed to put the pieces in place when we had Favre, they've done the same thing with AR, history repeating itself. This off season will be key, they've made some moves , but we need a couple more.

Bearmeat's picture

Agreed almost 100%. The only caveat there is that during BF's early years, at least they had a very good defense. And BF managed to choke away chance after chance in the playoffs himself. There has been exactly ONE year in ARod's career with a top 10 defense.

Disgraceful.

4thand1's picture

I said after the loss to the Giants when he threw the pick, he's done. He had 2 or 3 other options and forced the throw. It was sheer bliss to him do it to the queens in NO.

Douglas Casher's picture

I would guess 10-6 wins the divison. The Packers ability to run may help eat up the clock.Helps the D.

Razer's picture

11 or 12 may be needed to win this division. There could be 3 teams in the NFC North with 10 wins or more.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

12 wins needed is very likely...

bodei1newbie1's picture

what i want to see is who they will draft in the first round then we well see what kind of GM we really have that will tell it all

Lphill's picture

So according to some here Kirk Cousins is a guarantee to win the Super Bowl ?

Christopher Gennaro's picture

No not just Cousins, but Cook back and he just makes that offence even stronger. That defense is still top 5. I get it we have Rodgers and with him we have a better shot then most, but the Viks are good real good. People want to bring up the games against the Saints and Eagles, but that defense just got even better with RIchardson. Another sneaky pick up was Wright, with one of the best wr combos in Diggs and Thielen, the viks on paper are the best team in the NFC North.Right now I dont see many holes on that team, besides the O-line, and right now they are not far behind the Packers, with the right side of our line in question. I still have the Packers winning the North, but health is my biggest concern, they stay healthy they win. Plus you know regardless of how bad either the bears or lions are, (I think both team are going to very competitive this year) they will always go all out against the packers.

JohnnyLogan's picture

I believe Pettine is worth 2-3 wins even with no changes to the D. Capers was clueless. Other teams laughed at our mid field coverages and lack of rush. CB is not as bad as everyone thinks. King, Tramon, Hawkins, Pipkins Rollins and Tramon can old on while our 1st or 2nd round draft pick develops. I'm a little more concerned about the offense. We're still slower than most teams at WR. We need speed along with some talent on the edge. Jordan Matthews may help but everyone says he's mostly a slot. It's possible we draft CB and WR in the 1st or 2nd and wait til the 3rd for a rusher, hoping that Beigel has gotten stronger and will show people why many thought he was as good as Watts. Overall, this is a good roster, with 12 drafts picks to improve it. There's no reason to be discouraged or frightened by the Vikings.

Christopher Gennaro's picture

Your last sentence goes both ways, cause right now I don't think the viks are discouraged or frightened of us either.

kevgk's picture

I think they know how capable Rodgers is and how easy it is to beat a capers defense. If they aren't scared it will only catch them off guard.

Samson's picture

With AR healthy and playing at a high level, GB will pull out 9 and with some luck maybe 10 wins (with at least an average type defense) . It's going to be more difficult than any season in AR's career. The North is better than it's ever been in AR's career.

This is a transition season. --- 2019 is the key. --- Not 2018.

kevgk's picture

Is it not going to be a transition year for the Lions and Bears? This isnt the first time another nfcn team has fought for the title. Rodgers took this team to 10-6 and 4-1 last year with one of the worst defenses in packers history, I don't see how that is their ceiling if Pettine turns out to be a servicable DC. Look at their schedule, I couldnt even name 6 losses next year.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

NE, LAR, MN (split?), Atlanta. Seattle and Miami could be tough. Not sure how ARI and SF will be. I expect to sweep CHI and DET, but I don't guarantee it.

I don't expect to lose 6 games. I would guess 11-5 or 12-4 if pressed right now.

Archie's picture

I'm looking for another down year from Pack this year. Then we give MM the boot. Then we hit FA with lots of $$$ and then we draft with high position. 2019 we begin the resurgence. But 2020 will be our year. Just sayin ...

dobber's picture

Archie's back...the Packers must've lost today. ;)

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"A school without football is in danger of deteriorating into a medieval study hall. "
"I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle – victorious."
"The Bears still suck!"