My trip through the 2014 NFL division previews and predictions for Doc's Sports takes me to the NFC North this week. The Green Bay Packers have dominated the Black and Blue Division of the NFL for over two decades with a winning record in 18 of their last 22 seasons. The Packers have laid claimed the division title the last three seasons so it is no big surprise that they are heavy favorites to make it four in a row this year.
I would have to agree with the Oddsmakers on that call as long as quarterback Aaron Rodgers remains healthy. Green Bay stumbled to a 2-5-1 record in his absence last season due to injury and the team had to scratch and claw its way to a NFC North title with an overall record of 8-7-1.
The Chicago Bears are expected to give the Packers the most trouble this season after going 8-8 last year. It is the second year of the Marc Trestman era in Chicago and its already potent offensive attack should only get better. The question mark here is can the Bears' defense regain the form that made it one of the most formidable units in the league just a few years back?
Detroit is a franchise that just cannot stand success, most likely because it is not used to achieving it. The Lions have posted just three winning seasons since 1996 and while they had things rolling last season with a 6-3 start, a second-half collapse led to a 7-9 record overall.
Minnesota could only manage four victories last season after going to the playoffs in 2012 with a record of 10-6. The Vikings' projected win total for this season has been set at six games, but that could be a reach with far more questions than answers especially at the quarterback position.
The following is a link to my complete preview of the NFC North as originally posted on Doc's Sports.
2014 Odds to Win NFC North with Picks and NFL Predictions