Head Coach: John Fox
Entering year 3 of a 4 year contract, it’s unsure if Fox’s job is on the line or will Bears’ HQ let him ride out the length of his contract. Standing at 9-23 as Head Coach of The Bears, it’s a huge fall off from 4 straight division titles he won with The Broncos, having said that, there is also a massive fall off in talent between the teams.
2016 Record: 3-13
On paper, The Bears had a fairly soft slate of games. In reality, they got a kicking. Losing all road games and only 3 wins at home, The Bears had their worst season since the 16 game season era began in 1978.
Draft Position: 3rd but traded to 2nd
Player To Watch: Mitchell Trubisky
With Jay Cutler retiring from The Bears at the end of 2016, The Bears traded up to grab Trubisky. He had an ok college career and wasn’t even ranked as the best Quarterback in the Draft so it’s anyone’s guess to why The Bears reached for him. It will be interesting to see if he lives up to the billing.
MVP: Kyle Long
With the possibility of a rookie QB under center, the Bears O-line will need to do extra to help out and Long is the possibly the most talented lineman they have. A three-time pro-bowler, he sat out a large chunk of the 2016 season with injuries. If fully healed up, he could really help keep his QB upright.
Super Bowl Chances: None
The Bears haven’t had a winning season since 2012 and it would be hard in 2017 to see them turn this around. They do have some pieces for a decent team but they are years away from competing.
Head Coach: Jim Caldwell
Entering his 4th season as Lions’ Bossman, Caldwell has had mild success. 2 appearances in the Playoffs but also a losing season has given him a mixed record. There is no reason to think his job is on the line but will need to have more luck in the Playoffs.
2016 Record: 9-7
Two 3 game slides during the season derailed The Lions slightly during this season but the telling fact of where this team lies in the playoffs. A 26-6 kicking by The Seahawks knocked them out in the Wildcard round. This defeat was the 4th in a row to wrap up the season
Draft Position: 21st
Player To Watch: Golden Tate
He is single handily responsible for nearly a quarter of his QB yardage last season at 1,077 yards. Tied to 4 touchdowns, it wasn’t a bad return for Tate. A repeat of this could take the Lions to the Playoffs again
MVP: Matthew Stafford
6 seasons with over 4,000 yards and 20+ touchdowns. Let them numbers sink in. He is a machine. The list of accomplishments Stafford has to his name already is stunning. Here is a few:
- First player in NFL history to complete 60% or more of all passes in each game in a season
- Fastest player to reach 30,000 career passing yards: 109 games
- Most passing attempts in a season: 727
- Most games with at least one touchdown pass in a season: 16
Super Bowl Chances: Outsiders
They have the QB to win it but the cast around him are only so so. With a few better Wideouts and a better defence, they could win it all but the fact they always seem to win from behind in the 4th quarter of games doesn’t fill me with hope. If Stafford can learn to play in January and the defence do better than they have in recent years, they could be in with a shout
Head Coach: Mike Zimmer
Zimmer will start season 4 with The Vikings with 1 winning season, 1 losing season and last year’s 8-8. Medical issues have led to him missing time at games and pre-season training. Hopefully, it’s all behind him now.
The season began with star QB, Teddy Bridgewater, destroying his leg which ruled him out for the season. The Vikings traded for Sam Bradford to cover the loss. At 5-0, The Vikings set the pace early for the season. A four game slide after the week 6 bye week followed by inconsistent performances knocked The Vikings out of the Playoff race.
Draft Position: 14th. Traded to The Eagles for Sam Bradford.
Player To Watch: Teddy Bridgewater
He may not even play this year but the Quarterback question is worth mentioning. Drafted as the future of The Vikings, the team have chosen not to pick up his 5th year option after his massive injury last year. If he is fit, will The Vikings allow him to go back to being number 1 or fight with Bradford. If he is not, odds are the last sight of him in Viking Purple is the horror show of him screaming in blinding agony with a busted knee.
MVP: Stefon Diggs
Diggs had a breakout year as a Number 2 Wide receiver. Just shy of a 1,000 yard season and 3 touchdowns at an average of over 10 yards a catch, the pressure is on to improve his productivity this season.
Super Bowl Chances: Not Likely
A blistering start last year only to flame out after the bye week. From heroes to zeroes in 9 weeks, it’s hard to see them be able to string a 16+ game season with the roster they currently have.
Green Bay Packers
Head Coach: Mike McCarthy
Now in his 12th season, McCarthy has a good return in that time. 6 divisional crowns sit atop a Lombardi along with only one losing season in that time. Some would say that’s down to having 2 of the greatest of all time quarterbacks under his command but that’s a debate for another time.
2016 Record: 10-6
A mixed start, A mid season slump and a run of the board is how 2016 went down for The Packers. Trading wins and losses for the first 6 games, The Pac had a 4 game slip before winning 6 on the bounce. They reached The Conference Final only to fall apart in The Georgia Dome against The Falcons.
Draft Position: 29th. Traded out of First Round to The Cleveland Browns.
Player To Watch: Clay Matthews
One of the most well-known players in the NFL, Matthews is also one of the most exciting. A dominating Line Back since day one, injuries have slowed him a little but not a lot. 396 tackles and 72.5 sacks, there is few better to watch fly out of the backfield hunting Quarterbacks.
MVP: Aaron Rodgers
Nothing I can say will do this man justice. A cock on, first ballot Hall of Famer with a Rocket Launcher of an arm, this man has had more successful Hail Marys than The Pope. A clutch time magician this man could put a ball on a receiver’s palms in a burlap sack tied closed with barbed wire without popping the ball. He IS that good!
Super Bowl Chances: Never Rule Them Out
It may be a team sport but if you got someone with Rodgers’ talent, he can make the average look super human. If they can get a good run like the end of the regular season last year, they will get into the Playoffs at a canter
Once they get there, anything is possible. In Rodge We Trust.