If you follow the Cover Two and any of my writings (The Old Man’s Picks), you know, or will soon know, that I am a HUGE Chicago Bears fan. That being said, the mantra for me so far this season is WHAT? Trade Greg Olsen? Sign Roy Williams and make Johnny Knox a reserve?
Did you watch the preseason game against the Giants? WTF! OK, enough with my rant. The Bears won the NFC North last season but failed in the playoffs mainly due to their inability to score touchdowns in the red zone and convert third and ones into first downs.
The Bears brought in Marion Barber, who looks really good, and Roy Williams to be that big receiver they need to fix these areas. However Roy Williams cannot catch the ball and the O line hasn’t been able to gel enough to get that big push they need.
The Bears are a team in transition. It pains me to say so, but I don’t see them repeating as NFC North champs. I think they finish at with a 9-7 record. I could see them being 6 and 10 just as easily.
This is a team to watch, but for some reason they are injury prone! Already in the preseason Nick Fairley, Alphonso Smith, Jeff Backus, Mikel Leshoure (out for season), and Jahvid Best have been hurt in some form or fashion.
These are key players for the Lions to be successful. If Fairley can come back and be that impact player, this will be one of the best defenses in the league. On the offensive side, the health of quarterback Matthew Stafford is their key. When he’s playing, they’re a dangerous team, but he needs to stay on the active roster playing. This is a tough one, but I think the Lions go 8-8.
Green Bay Packers
The Packers are coming in as the defending NFL champions. They got hot at the right time last season. They were my preseason pick to be in the Super Bowl last year, and I don’t know why they couldn’t return, especially if they remain healthy. Their big issue is the O line. Ryan Grant’s return will be a boost to the running game and Jermichael Finley’s return bolsters a pretty solid receiving corp. They win the North with a 12-4 record.
I think Donovan McNaab has something to prove and Minnesota will give him the chance to do so. However he’s going to need some help. The running game is solid with AP, but McNaab needs Bernard Berrian to be the receiver he was with the Chicago Bears.
He also needs Percy Harvin to be on the field, and not in a dark, quiet room because of migraines. It sounds like Percy’s migraines may be a thing of the past. If so, he’ll be an impact player. However, I don’t see the Vikings making vast improvements record wise. Can McNaab return to his former self, or has age actually caught up with him. Time will tell but I see the Vikings finishing at 7-9 for the year.