NFC North Sending Sending Three Teams to the Playoffs This Season?

ALLGBP.com All Green Bay Packers All the Time

The NFC North is set to be one of the NFL’s toughest divisions during the 2012-13 season, despite being home to the lonely Minnesota Vikings. The Packers are the reigning kings, but the Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions are certainly formidable foes.

With so much talent in the division, there is a good chance the North could see three playoffs with the Packers, Bears and Lions continuing their season past the first weekend in January.

Green Bay Packers
The Packers aren’t only favorites to win the division, but likely the conference and possibly even the Super Bowl. Dominating their way through the regular season last year, minus a Kansas City hiccup, the Packers were able to bring back the majority to key contributors.

The team lost center Scott Wells via free agency and cut Chad Clifton due to financial reasons, but replaced Wells with veteran Jeff Saturday. Clifton had fallen out of rotation due to his back troubles.

The Packers didn’t lose much in terms of personnel and added reinforcements on the defensive side of the ball via free agency and the draft. Key draft picks Nick Perry, Jerel Worthy and Casey Hayward as well as free agent signing Anthony Hargrove (after his suspension) and many others will have opportunities to not only make the team but improve the defense.

After finishing 15-1 and sweeping the division last season, the Packers should be even better in 2012.

Detroit Lions
Following their first playoff appearance in more than a decade, the Lions will look to get back into the postseason rather than start a new streak of missing out. The Lions are filled with talent on both sides of the ball.

Wide receiver Titus Young is a player to watch while defensives focus their attention on stopping Calvin Johnson. With good health, Mikel Leshoure and Jahvid Best could provide more stability for the Lions offense in terms of a running game. With strong cores on both sides of the ball and even more young talent, the Lions are in good shape.

This offseason, the biggest and most frequent news out of Detroit has been the legal issues hanging over the team’s players. Leshoure and Nick Fairley have seen their names pop up in legal mess. In addition to the off-field issues Ndamukong Suh has had his separate issues on field.

While the Lions are plenty talented enough to get back to the playoffs, composure will determine how well they do. If they can mature as a team, they will likely be back in the playoffs.

Chicago Bears
It seemed the Bears would be playoff team in 2011 before Jay Cutler broke his thumb and Matt Forte hurt his knee. They were one of the hottest teams in the league, but with those injuries crumbled and faltered down the stretch.

Not only are Cutler and Forte back in good health, the Bears landed Brandon Marshall in a big trade and drafted wide receiver Alshon Jeffery to finally give Cutler some legitimate weapons at wide receiver.

The Bears defense is continually getting older, but somehow they have been able to stay productive. Brian Urlacher has a few seasons left under his belt and will continue to be the heart and soul of that defense. Incoming rookie Shea McClellin will be asked to bolster the Bears pass rush in hopes of getting pressure on opposing quarterbacks.

Overview
The Packers are as close as you can get in the NFL to being a lock to make the playoffs, leaving the Bears and Lions fighting for wild card berths with other NFC foes. Coming in to the season, the stiffest competition for wild card spots will likely come from the NFC East. The Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles are all capable of winning the division, with the other team capable of earning a wild card spot.

While the wild card spots will be hotly contested, it’s hard to imagine any team in the NFC that is much better than the Detroit Lions or Chicago Bears other than the Green Bay Packers. The NFC North could very well send three representatives into the playoffs this season.

 

——————

Michael is a sports writer currently attending Seattle University. You can follow Michael on Twitter .

——————

  • Chad Toporski

    The AFC North did it last year… I think it’s very possible.

  • steve cheez

    I would love to end both the Bears’ and the Lions’ seasons in January.

  • Tarynfor12

    The NFC has way too many qualified to very qualified teams in the competition to get 3 from one division.
    GB,Det,Chi
    SF,Sea,…Ari,
    Gia,Dal,Phi,
    No,Car,…Atl
    Anyone of these teams can win the division and tie breakers after each play one another would make much more impossible than as possible for the AFCN again and only that Division.

    NE,Buf,…Jets,Mia
    Pitt,Bal,Cinn
    Hou,…Tenn,Ind,Jac
    Den,KC..SD,Oak

    The odds are that with division games against each in the NFCN during the last 5 weeks,the outcome would most likely be the death of at least one…Da Bears.

  • http://grizzlymitch@bresnan.net montanacheezhead

    What is Detroit’s record in Green Bay in December and January and Chicago for that matter? Great, I can live with that scenerio.

  • Oppy

    Packers fans should be very, very wary of the Detroit Lions for the next few years. They have plenty of talent to move the ball in the air with Stafford and Megatron, they have a defensive line that is only rivaled by the Giants and 49ers, and they could be stacked at running back.. If they get their DB’s in order, it could be a clock control Packer-killer of a team.

    • http://grizzlymitch@bresnan.net montanacheezhead

      blah, blah, blah

  • http://grizzlymitch@bresnan.net montanacheezhead

    If fishes were wishes and horse terds were bisquits, we’d all win Super Bowls.

    • Oppy

      We’d also have really bad breath

  • http://None Bearmeat

    I agree with Taryn – I don’t think all three good teams from the NFCN will make the playoffs. I do think the Packers will be 4-2 in the division at worst, and 12-4 overall (at worst). Whis will leave the Lions and Bears fighting for one wildcard spot.

    PHI, DAL, and NY will take turns beating each other over media overhype, and one will be left out come January.

    The 9ers will win the 2 seed in the NFCW, and the Panthers the 4 seed in the NFCS.

  • I bleed green more

    Just think we went 15-1 with a not the greatest defense can we go 20-0 this year lol..

  • http://www.squidoo.com/free-microsoft-point-codes Conchita Hathaway

    Awesome web blog, continue the effort dude!

  • http://freehuluplussubscription.blogspot.com/ Aiko Mercurio

    Very interested in this subject, thanks for writing the post.