Talk about a transition in a division. How about the NFC South, which will see new quarterbacks on likely three of the four teams (Matthew Stafford WILL start at some point in 09 in Detroit). It’s a division with plenty of big name players, and it seemed that every team made a move to try and trump others. Of course the biggest probably was the latest, with Brett Favre putting on purple to play for the one-time rival Minnesota Vikings. Here’s our final prediction on the NFC North:
Minnesota Vikings (11-5) – Yes, I’m buying into the Favre hype. Sorry. I think this club has plenty of big names on both sides of the ball, with guys like Peterson, Favre and Berrian (along w/ rookie Percy Harvin) on offense, and on defense you have Jared Allen, the Williams’ and a run defense second to none. If Favre can play smart and within the system, which I think he will, the Vikings are a dangerous team that can and will win this division.
Green Bay Packers (9-7) – Aaron Rodgers is a star in the making, and while he and the team had some growing pains last year, they will be better in 2009. The problem at the end of the day will be the shift on defense, which saw them change from a 4-3 to a 3-4, and they will have some early problems getting use to playing that type of D, by the end of the year it will pay off and they will have a shot at a wild card in the NFC.
Chicago Bears (7-9) – Sorry Bears fans, I’m not sold on the Jay Cutler era starting off with a run to the Super Bowl. Yes, Cutler is a very good QB, and the best the Bears have had in years, but they still don’t have a great WR core, and while I think Matt Forte is as good as they get for young backs, I am concerned the defense is not all that good. They have had their issues on D the past two seasons, and while all the focus has been on the offense, the defense and WR core will be their downfall.
Detroit Lions (4-12) – Yes, the Lions will win a few games this year. But while it’s a foundation, they will still be a team that is going to struggle week in and week out. Matthew Stafford is going to eventually be a pretty good QB, but don’t expect him to be a Matt Ryan or Joe Flacco. If the Lions play their cards right, four wins this year could be 6-8 next year, and then they can start to be a force in this division, but not in 2009.