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SNAP CENTRAL | PREVIEWS: NCAA Top 25 | NFC East | NFC North | NFC South | NFC West | AFC East | AFC North | AFC South | AFC West
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NFL Pro Football 2013 NFC North Preview

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Fearless Rick's NFL Preview - NFC North

Rick Gagliano | July 30, 2013

NFC North

Minnesota Vikings

2012 Record: 10-6

2013 Expected Finish: 12-4

Adrian Peterson is a superstar with hidden qualities of toughness and resilience who can lead the Vikings into the playoffs and beyond. The running back returned early from a devastating injury to lead the NFL in rushing with 2097 yards on the ground.

Christian Ponder is a serviceable QB alongside peterson in the offensive backfield, who should be ready for some of the best years of his career.

On defense, the Vikings were mid-pack, though they displayed talent stopping the run. Jared Allen remains a monster at defensive end and Chad Greenway may emerge as a Pro Bowl strong side linebacker in 2013.

Minnesota can win the division by beating either Chicago or Green Bay twice, not an easy prescription, but a doable one.

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Chicago Bears

2012 Record: 10-6

2013 Expected Finish: 10-6

The Bears had the unfortunate distinction of being the team with the best record (10-6) in 2012 that didn't make the playoffs, due to an unbalance between the top NFC teams and the rest of the league, but particularly, the AFC East and West, where just one team from each division (New England and Denver) had a winning record.

While the Bears will still have a solid defense, the offense will be bolstered by the maturation of Alshon Jeffery at wideout, one of the best pure talents in the league. If Jay Cutler can stay healthy and cut down on mistakes, the Bears should make it back to the playoffs.


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Green Bay Packers

2012 Record: 11-5

2013 Expected Finish: 9-7

The Packers are in a situation where they could make or miss the playoffs based on the outcome of just a few plays.

For the past couple of years, Aaron Rodgers has been able to come through in the clutch, but other teams - especially the Bears and Vikings - are catching on and catching up with Green Bay's potent offense. This could be a missed opportunity for the Packers or another trip to the playoffs.

The talent is in place for a Super Bowl run, but in a division loaded with good teams (even the Lions are decent), the Packers may come up a bit short in 2013.


Detroit Lions

2012 Record: 4-12

2013 Expected Finish: 7-9

Probably the biggest disappointment the past few years, the Lions hope to avoid injuries and mistakes that cost them dearly.

The main issue for Detroit is a lack of continuity. They have a good enough defense, and Matthew Stafford is a proven commodity at quarterback, but they just can't seem to find a winning formula. should they do so in 2013, this division could finish in reverse order from last year.

Copyright 2013, 2013, Rick Gagliano, Downtown Magazine. All rights reserved. Downtown Magazine is located in the Uinted States of America and is not affiliated with the National Football League or the NCAA. For more information, contact us here. Use of this site is for entertainment purposes only.

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