NFC North Preview: Packers, Vikings, Bears, Lions under control | football

In Green Bay, the search for a new top receiver is underway, while there is a general spirit of optimism in the Vikings camp. There is little hope in Chicago and Detroit, is there? The four NFC North teams in a kicker check…

Faces of the NFC North: Aaron Rodgers, Kirk Cousins, Justin Fields, Jared Goff (from left).
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In the far north of the US, which is very cold, especially in December, there are always duels between the four archrivals of the NFC North. The title of King of the North should go back to Aaron Rodgers, or can the others bother “The Pack”?

Green Bay Packers (previous year 13: 4): Who does Rodgers shoot at?

However, once again only in the regular season, where the “Gunman” and his Packers recently won the NFC North for the third time in a row. But once again, for both Rodgers and successful trainer Matt LaFleur: In the playoffs things may not go so well, “A-Rod’s” second ring after 2011 takes as long to come as the first big hit. of the head coach. . Keyword 49ers.

ITK #19: NFL Preview – What’s Happening in the Far North? AFC AND NFC NORTH

Our advances go to the next round! Today, Kucze, Detti and kicking editor Grille cover teams from the AFC and NFC North. Rashod Bateman’s escape? Will the Bengals’ offense get to the next level of escalation with Joe Burrow? Are the Pittsburgh Steelers facing tough times? And can the Minnesota Vikings with a new head coach hold their own against the Green Bay Packers in the NFC? We answer these and other questions in the current issue! The next episode of “Icing the kicker” will be available on August 25.

But one thing is certain: Green Bay is also the big favorite in this season of the North this season, especially the defense is full of the highest quality, which could cause a sensation in the entire NFL. The biggest weakness after the departure of star receiver Davante Adams (Las Vegas Raiders) is the receiving corps: Allen Lazard, veteran Randall Cobb and newcomer Sammy Watkins should absorb the loss, and two rookies Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs should start if possible.

Minnesota Vikings (previous year 8:9): Offensive power and improved defense?

Although some critics always make fun of Kirk Cousins, the Minneapolis quarterback is definitely one of the best passers in the NFL.

Under new head coach Kevin O’Connell, it also remains to be seen if the Vikes can put up a truly typical top defense in the first year after head coach Mike Zimmer’s departure. Above all, a healthy Za’Darius Smith should be able to make a good impression in combination with Danielle Hunter.

Chicago Bears (previous year 6:11): Can Fields carry the load?

Last season, if you add up all the stats, the Bears were one of the worst teams in the NFL. On the contrary, this means: You can almost only get better.

Overall, the secondary in Chicago should improve significantly, for example, due to the addition of cornerback Tavon Young (taken from the Ravens in free agency). However, when it comes to offense, playmaker Fields needs to be talked about again, especially his teammates. The two best players on the offensive line (Jason Peters and James Daniels) were lost. And current receivers Darnell Mooney, Velus Jones Jr. and Byron Pringle certainly don’t make an opponent cringe at first sight. This only increases the pressure on the quarterback.

Detroit Lions (previous year 3:13:1): St. Is Brown Really Exploiting?

Even if there were only three wins at the end of the regular season: The Detroit Lions had fun in 2021, and they should want to take advantage of that. Trick plays, keeping big opponents on the verge of defeat and in the final sprint even wins against playoff teams: Dan Campbell, who has been the head coach since 2021 (“We know we have what it takes” ) he liked all that. And why not proceed positively, just ignore the dismal numbers (since 1957 only one playoff win, haven’t won the NFC North since 1993) and instead continue to work hard on improvements?

The offensive line is good anyway, after his injury healed, draft pick Jameson Williams could be a great addition to strong German-American Amon-Ra St. Brown, who is hoping for more bursts, and tight end TJ Hockenson is a bank in a healthy state anyway. Big question mark: the quarterback. Jared Goff averaged less than seven yards (6.8) from him in his last two years in the NFL with the Los Angeles Rams and Detroit. That doesn’t sound like the explosive quarterback and offensive action that modern football seems to need.

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