NFL Storylines: NFC North

8/9/13 in NFL   |   GFortier   |   520 respect

Blog Photo - NFL Storylines: NFC North

The NFL's popularity is at an all-time high, and this coming season seems as intriguing as ever. Time to feed the beast and take a division-by-division look at the five biggest questions facing each team in the league. Here's the NFC North.

Chicago Bears

What will new head coach Marc Trestman, formerly of the CFL, bring to the table? Will he help Cutler be more consistent?

The Bears went 10-6 last season yet they still missed out on the playoffs. Will they come back with a vengeance this year or will the tough luck continue?

Chicago drafted Kyle Long, a guard in the first round. Can they provide Cutler with better protection this season, after giving up 38 sacks last year?

Brandon Marshall put up monster numbers in his first season in Chicago-- will he make a repeat performance?

Can Forte stay healthy? This may be the biggest key to a successful season.

Detroit Lions

How good can this defensive front be? The combination of Suh, Fairley and Ansah, drafted 2nd, 13th and 5th overall in consecutive drafts, is as formidable as it gets.

Matthew Stafford threw 41 touchdowns in 2011, but only 20 in 2012 (starting 16 games each season). Was 2012 just a bump in the road or indicative of bigger problems for a young QB who just landed the contract of a lifetime?

Do the Lions finally have a #1 running back in Reggie Bush who will stay healthy?

Can Megatron come close to repeating the performance he put together in his record-breaking 2012 season?

Will Ndamukong Suh find a way to make headlines the wrong way for the 3rd season in a row? (the groin kick, the arm stomp, etc.)

Green Bay Packers

Can the Packers succeed despite their mounting injuries? LT Brian Bulaga is out for the season, Jordy Nelson's knee is a major question mark, and Randall Cobb has missed time with a biceps injury. 

Is Green Bay about to unveil a legitimate running game? The addition of Eddie Lacy and Jonathan Franklin through the draft suggest that they are going to try to add this dimension to their offense.

Randall Cobb led the team in receiving yards last season, while James Jones caught by far the most touchdowns. Who's going to emerge as Rodgers' #1 target this year?

In a very competitive division, the Packers defense must continue to make strides to remain on top. They drafted DE Datone Jones in the 1st round, but also let Charles Woodson go in favor of youth/inexperience at safety. Will the defense be able to stop any of their rivals?

Much like Brady's Patriots, Aaron Rodgers is the #1 reason the Packers remain atop the division. Can he continue to keep his team on top, or will the vastly improved rosters of the Vikings and Lions threaten to take the throne? (The Bears are also on the cusp, but haven't improved their roster as drastically as the aforementioned two). 

Minnesota Vikings

This season is about Christian Ponder more than anything else. If he plays well, the sky is the limit for this talented roster, but if he flounders so will the Vikes. Which one will it be?

After rushing for 2,097 yards in 2012, Adrian Peterson has set his sights on the 2,500 mark (are you kidding me?) What kind of season is he about to put together? He should be one of the most exciting players to watch on a weekly basis. 

How will Greg Jennings do, now wearing the former arch-rival purple and gold? 

The Vikings go into 2013 with an unprecedented draft class of three 1st round picks. How big of an impact will Shariff Floyd, Xavier Rhodes and Cordarelle Patterson make in their rookie seasons?

In 2012, the Vikes lost just 1 game at home. Can they repeat this dominant home-field performance in their final season playing at the Mall of America Field? (They will play at the University of Minnesota in 2014 and 2015 while their new stadium is under construction). 

Other storylines: 
AFC East
AFC North
AFC West
AFC South
NFC East

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