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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
NFL: Preseason: 1 2 3 4 Reg. Season: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 Playoffs: Wild Card Division Conference Super Bowl
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NFL Pro Football 2015 NFC North Preview

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Fearless Rick's NFL Preview - NFC North

Rick Gagliano | July 24, 2015

NFC North

Green Bay Packers

2014 Record: 12-4

2015 Expected Finish: 13-3

The Good: The Packers led the league in scoring last season, amassing 486 points (30.4 per game) and went to the NFC Championship. The defense is decidedly better when both Clay Matthews and Julius Peppers are both on the field. Eddie Lacy is a human battering ram.

The Bad: Not much, except they’ve got to find a way to get past Seattle come playoff time. They did take them to OT last season, but should have won the game outright.

Outlook: Led by perennial All Pro QB Aaron Rodgers and RB Eddie Lacy, the Packers have an offense that is the envy of much of the rest of the league. They reached the NFC championship last season and should make it to the Super Bowl this year even if the defense is only marginally better. The good news is that the defense may be much better, which means the Packers could have one of their best seasons ever and capture home field throughout the playoffs.

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Detroit Lions

2014 Record: 11-5

2015 Expected Finish: 10-6

The Good: Matthew Stafford was healthy for the entire season and put up solid numbers. Wideouts Golden Tate and Calvin Johnson strike fear into opposing defenses.

The Bad: Joique Bell is not a quality running back; beyond that the OL needs to learn more than pass protection.

Outlook: If the Lions can get any production from the RB position they could challenge the Packers for dominance in the NFC Central. Otherwise, they’re subject to defensive schemes designed to stop their potent passing game. Their defense was third-best in the NFL, and should be close to that, depending on how the team responds to the departure of Ndamukong Suh (Miami). Could be fun times ahead in Motown.


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Minnesota Vikings

2014 Record: 7-9 2015 Expected Finish: 9-7 The Good: Teddy Bridgewater has a year of experience under his belt and Adrian Peterson returns after a somewhat-unjustified suspension. The Bad: They have to play Green Bay and Detroit twice each and are in a tough spot. Outlook: Minnesota’s defense was #11 in scoring last season, a very bright spot for a team which was under undue scrutiny. QB Teddy Bridgewater had his ups and downs, as befits most rookie QBs, but he’ll have another weapon with the return of Adrian Peterson, who should be running arguer than ever. A playoff spot is not out of the question for this young, improving bunch of players.


Chicago Bears

2014 Record: 5-11

2015 Expected Finish: 4-12

The Good: Not much is expected from the Bears. Their fans know it and the rest of the league knows it.

The Bad: QB Jay Cutler, once considered the savior of the franchise, has repeatedly failed under pressure. The defense was 31st in the NFL, allowing 27.6 ppg. Only the Raiders were more inept.

Outlook: If the Bears win more than six games, it will only be because of injuries to stars on other teams, flukey plays, weird weather or some exotic curse. Their season opens with Green Bay, Arizona, Seattle, Oakland, Kansas City and Detroit, up to their bye week. Realistically, the Bears should be 1-5 at that point (beating Oakland), but they could easily be 0-6, and the season officially lost.

Copyright 2015, 2016, 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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