Dairyland Express breaks down the Detroit Lions, NFC North

Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

FanSided’s Wisconsin Sports site, Dairyland Express, breaks down the Detroit Lions and the NFC North prior to the NFL regular season kicking off.

The NFC North figures to be one of the most competitive divisions in the NFL as the regular season kicks off for the Detroit Lions Monday night against the New York Jets. The Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Chicago Bears, and the Lions have all gone through major changes this offseason.

One of the great things about being part of the FanSided Network is our access to other site experts. Below is a breakdown of the NFC North by Josh McPeak, a contributor for Dairyland Express, a Wisconsin sports news and opinions site.

Green Bay Packers

Their season all depends on health. Not only, the health of Aaron Rodgers, but depth as a whole. If the preseason is any indicator, the offensive line is paper thin. The linebacker core is also paper thin. Mike Pettine has some issues to work through.

Sure, the Packers have two of the youngest, most talented corners from the draft. Will the secondary and defensive line be enough? Also, the receivers are young and very inexperienced. Jordy Nelson is gone and all hope remains on Davante Adams.

Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings return most of their NFC Championship Game team. They have also added Kirk Cousins. Many believe Cousins is a big upgrade from Case Keenum. Dalvin Cook also returns from an injury, which gives them more power on the offensive front. A lot of critiques question if the 13-3 record from a season ago can be duplicated.

Chicago Bears

Mitchell Trubisky has some weapons added in the offseason. Allen Robinson and Trey Burton are sure to provide the young quarterback with some new, exceptional weapons. The team also dratted Roquan Smith and recently added Khalil Mack, via trade. This alone makes the monsters of the midway, a relevant term again.

Detroit Lions

The Lions again went to a new coach in the form of Matt Patricia. In round one they added center Frank Ragnow. In round two they added running back Kerryon Johnson. Personally, I’m not a huge fan in what they went out and got Matthew Stafford to make that next step.

As for the division and playoff implications are to go …

Minnesota Vikings – Prediction is12-4: Division Winner

Green Bay Packers – Prediction is 10-6: Wild-Card

  • Their season all depends on the health of Aaron Rodgers. Depth is a huge concern at multiple positions. Their best running back is suspended for the first three games –Aaron Jones.

Chicago Bears – Prediction is 8-8

  • Khalil Mack and Raquan Smith are a nightmare by season’s end. Trubisky will have a developing season with the weapons added. This is a team to keep an eye on that, could very well, defy expectations.

Detroit LionsPrediction is 7-9

  • I just don’t see what they have added to get Matthew Stafford over the hump. Not even a rocket scientist head coach can bring their current roster to the front. This is another team that is hard to predict heading into the season.

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In a nutshell, the NFC North will be determined by health. Currently, the Vikings roster could very well reach the Super Bowl. The Packers will need some Aaron Rodgers magic, while I think the other teams are years away.

SideLion Report would like to thank Josh McPeak and Dairyland Express for their thoughts about the state of the NFC North prior to the start of the 2018 NFL regular season.