2011-2012 NFL Regular Season Preview NFC North

Minnesota Vikings (6-10)

The Brett Favre era in Minnesota is officially over, but now the franchise will be handed over to another veteran quarterback in Donovan McNabb. Even though McNabb will bring experience and leadership at the quarterback position this season, the Vikings will be without their best wide receiver in the passing game in Sidney Rice.

With Sidney Rice signing free agent deal with the Seattle Seahawks, Percy Harvin will be the number one option in the passing game and potentially Donovan McNabb’s new favorite target. Along with McNabb and Harvin, the Vikings still have arguably the best running back in the game in Adrian Peterson coming out of the back which could make this a scary offense for any team to face.

Despite the addition of Donovan McNabb which is a step up at the quarterback position, I believe the Minnesota Vikings will struggle and fail to make the playoffs for the second straight season.

Green Bay Packers (10-6, Super Bowl title)

Coming into this NFL regular season, the Green Bay Packers will be the team to beat in the NFL and will be much healthier than they were at the end of last season. With important offensive players like tight end Jermichael Finley and running back Ryan Grant getting back on the field, the Packers will be even better on offense this season as quarterback Aaron Rodgers doesn’t have to put the team on his back to score points every single week.

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JANUARY 09:  Clay Matthews ...

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Along with a potent offense, the Packers will still have one of the best defenses in the league with long-haired Clay Matthews leading the way. If Matthews can have even half the season he had last year, the Cheese Heads will be having another successful season defensively and might be on their way to a Super Bowl repeat.

Chicago Bears (11-5, Division title)

Last season the Chicago Bears were the best team in the NFC North division during the regular season. Quarterback Jay Cutler seemed to come into his own under center in the Windy City and the Bears continued the tradition of having a lockdown defense with perennial Pro Bowler Brian Urlacher and new addition Julius Peppers leading the way.

This year it should be more of the same for the Bears as they could very well be playoff bound once again, but I am not convinced they can compete with the division rival Packers in the division or in the playoffs.

Detroit Lions (6-10)

As arguably the most talented young team in the NFL today, the Detroit Lions are a team on the rise and could be headed towards their first successful season since the Barry Sanders era in the Motor City.

DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 27:  Quarterback Matth...

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With quarterback Matthew Stafford back healthy and surrounded by extremely talented players on both sides of the football, this team is primed for greatness. Whether or not this season is the year the Lions breakout of their funk remains to be seen, but they could surprise some people this season by being the Packers best competition in the NFC North division.

Division Winner Prediction: Green Bay Packers

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