by Tommy Gimler
Much like the AFC East, the NFC North has one team capable of winning it all and three other squads that pretty much resemble the inside of a cow’s asshole.
1. Green Bay Packers
A quick look at the Packers’ 2013 schedule sent us running for the shitter, but a clear mind and empty colon helped us realize it’s not all bad in Titletown. For starters, they get six games against the Bears, Lions, and Vikings. Over the last four seasons, Green Bay has smoked those fools or whatever the ghetto kids are calling it these days to the tune of a 19-5 record. And when you throw in the Lambeau Field factor, where the Pack has lost just twice over the last three years, picking them to finish anywhere but first place in the NFC North would be a more embarrassing call than Pat O’Brien’s “you are so fucking hot” episode:
A strange thing happened in Green Bay last year: James Jones learned how to catch the football, making Greg Jennings and his family’s big fucking yappers expendable. The Pack was actually a better team without Jennings a year ago (6-2 without the Old Spice spokesman), as Aaron Rodgers continued to make stars out of nobodies like Jones, Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb. The only question that remains is, “If Jermichael Finley can’t succeed with Rodgers throwing him the pigskin, just how bad would he be with a turd like Christian Ponder as his quarterback?”
On the other side of the ball, Rocky Dennis is no longer in charge of the defense, as stud Clay Matthews is now calling the shots. So, yeah. That’s nice…
Key Addition: Drafting Alabama running backs has become almost as trendy as East Coast date rape, and the Packers jumped on that train by selecting Eddie Lacy in this year’s second round. Last year’s rushing “attack” finished 20th in the league, meaning the Packers could have brought in pile of pig shit like Beanie Wells, and it would still be difficult to be worse this year. But if Lacy can be half the running back Trent Richardson was last year for Cleveland, the Pack could be the team to beat in the NFC…
2012 record: 11-5 (1st)
Vegas: 10.5 wins (1st) – OVER (even) / UNDER (-130)
The DUD: 11-5 (1st)
Pete Prisco (CBS Sports): 14-2 (1st)
Bleacher Report: 11-5 (1st)
Will Brinson (CBS Sports): OVER 10.5 wins (1st)
2. Detroit Lions
It’s going to be a different season for Detroit. For the first time in years, they’re coming into camp without leading the league in offseason arrests. Matthew Stafford has somehow managed to stay healthy for two consecutive seasons despite an offensive line that is about as awesome as syphilis. He fell 33 yards short of a second consecutive 5,000-yard season, although that shouldn’t be surprising considering the Lions were down by double digits going into halftime most of last season. Stafford still has the best receiver in the NFL in Calvin Johnson, and if you think he’s going to be limited to five touchdowns for a second straight year, you’re fucking high.
The Lions drafted Ezekiel Ansah with the fifth overall pick in this year’s draft, and he’ll join a defensive line that already features Nick Fairley and Ndamukong Suh. If he turns out to be the player the Lions think he is, it could mean the most fearsome d-line on the field (well, and off of it) resides in Detroit. We’re not going to pretend we’re up to speed with the other eight guys, though. We took one look at their names, and the only thing that came to mind was, “Who are these fucking guys?”
Key Addition: If Reggie Bush turns out to be as big of a factor in the Lions’ offensive scheme as every fantasy dork thinks he will, it could open things up for Stafford and Johnson, and our 8-8 prediction might be a little on the conservative side. But if he turns into the Reggie Bush that missed 16 games over his final three years with New Orleans, and defenses can triple team Megatron and send the rest of the guys after Stafford, the Lions are gonna fucking blow…
2012 record: 4-12 (4th)
Vegas: 8-8 (3rd) – OVER (+105) / UNDER (-135)
The DUD: 8-8 (2nd)
Pete Prisco (CBS Sports): 4-12 (4th)
Bleacher Report: 6-10 (4th)
Will Brinson (CBS Sports): UNDER 8 wins (4th)
3. Chicago Bears
Are we the only ones who are sick of hearing how much of an offensive mastermind new Bears head coach Marc Trestman is? If that was really the case, then what was he doing in the Canadian Football League? Nobody goes to Canada unless they’re going fishing or running away from a fat broad they just knocked up. And no offensive geniuses go to Canada to put their expertise on display.
The bottom line is that Jay Cutler is a whiny bitch who takes pictures of his shits off the field and plays like shit on it. Cutler finished with under 200 yards passing in half of his games last year and threw at least one pick in nine games. But if Trestman is the offensive Einstein the “experts” say he is, and he can turn Cutler into a player who doesn’t suck to go along with a solid ground attack in Matt Forte, the Bears could make things interesting in the NFC North.
But we’re not buying it. Losing both Lovie Smith and Brian Urlacher, the two constants on the defensive side of the ball for the last eight seasons, is going to have the same effect on the Bears as a guy who just won a free facesitting from Melissa McCarthy…
Key Addition: No matter which one of Brandon Marshall’s personalities shows up to play, it’s no secret that he’s the most talented receiver to come through Chicago in quite some time. In fact, he’s usually the only receiver the Bears have on the field. While most experts are high on Alshon Jeffery, we think the addition of Martellus Bennett at tight end could finally give Chicago the second receiving threat they’ve been longing for since, well, forever…
2012 record: 10-6 (3rd)
Vegas: 8.5 wins (2nd) – OVER (-130) / UNDER (even)
The DUD: 7-9 (3rd)
Pete Prisco (CBS Sports): 7-9 (t-2nd)
Bleacher Report: 9-7 (2nd)
Will Brinson (CBS Sports): OVER 8.5 wins (2nd)
4. Minnesota Vikings
The 2012 Minnesota Vikings were a bigger surprise than Charlie Sheen being HIV-negative, and it was all because of the god among men we refer to as Adrian Peterson. But for the Vikings to finish last year with a 10-6 record, they needed AP to rush for over 2,000 yards, beat San Francisco and Green Bay at home and Houston on the road, and somehow get past three games in which Christian Ponder threw for less than 100 yards.
That isn’t going to happen again. Well, the part where Ponder throws for less than 100 yards will probably happen again. And that’s why the addition of Greg Jennings isn’t going to matter. It’ll basically be Larry Fitzgerald Show II, only with a less talented receiver, and eventually Jennings, just like a pit stick of Old Spice, will become nothing more than a shitty little product.
The front office addressed their second biggest weakness in the draft by selecting Sharrif Floyd and Xavier Rhodes to anchor their defense of the future. Unfortunately for Vikings fans, the future is not now…
Key Addition: Or, we could be dead wrong. After all, our World Series prediction of the Nationals taking down the Angels in seven games is looking about as good as Kirstie Alley sporting a thong bikini while she inhales an oversized bowl of Hard Times chili. Jennings could be the guy that keeps eight guys out of the box while at the same time ensuring Ponder finishes 2013 with a quarterback rating higher than Josh Freeman…
2012 record: 10-6 (2nd)
Vegas: 7.5 wins (4th) – OVER (even) / UNDER (-130)
The DUD: 5-11 (4th)
Pete Prisco (CBS Sports): 7-9 (t-2nd)
Bleacher Report: 7-9 (3rd)
Will Brinson (CBS Sports): UNDER 7.5 wins (3rd)