This is a division that just tears at my soul. . . as a Chicago Bears fan, it hurts to see all other three teams in this division have some kind of potential or hope. All the while, the Bears fumble through their seasons as if they have just learned the sport. . .
Green Bay Packers
Finished with a 10-6 record
Def Yards:22nd Off Yards: 8th
The Packers pass defense ranked 28th in the league giving up 248 yards a game, but that stat is misleading because the Packers rush defense was so good, teams usually had no other option but to throw the ball against them. Their 17 interceptions on the year proves that their defense was up to the challenge and their 40 sacks last season were the sixth highest total by any team in the league. Green Bay might just fine tune this defense up a bit and do it with some home good cooking. Wisconsin’s T.J. Watt is another one of these athletic linebackers who can play in or out. He has his brother’s knack for swatting passes if he can’t get to the quarterback and is playing to make a name for himself. The in-state talent would fit in great here and there is no “becoming accustomed to the weather” type of scenario for this former Badger.
Finished With an 8-8 Record
Def Yards: 3rd Off Yards:28th
No team was smacked back down to reality faster than the Minnesota Vikings last season (eh, maybe the Eagles too. . .). They started the season 5-0 and only managed to win 3 more games after their bye-week. Adrian Peterson is gone so they signed Latavius Murray to the squad, who is mediocre at best. Unfortunately, the Vikings traded their first-round pick for quarterback Sam Bradford last season. It looked like a thing of genius early, but then it just looked like Sam Bradford. . .
Finished With a 9-7 Record
Def Yards:18th Off Yards: 21st
For quarterback Matthew Stafford, he had his first taste of life without Calvin Johnson. He threw 8 fewer touchdowns, but he made the playoffs – so it depends on what you’re looking for, I guess. Maybe a running game would’ve helped out – because the two-headed monster of Theo Riddick and Ameer Abdullah is more like a sleeping dragon. . .that sleeps. . . and sleeps. Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey may be exactly what this team needs to get a ground game going. McCaffrey is a true dual-threat back, who has the ability to break a big play from anywhere on the field. He is a smart player, who is patient in waiting for his blocks. He should amount up to what Abdullah was supposed to be. . .
Finished With a 3-13 Record
Def Yards: 15th Off Yards: 15th
The Bears did a good job drafting last year. They scooped up Leonard Floyd in the first round and he showed flashes of his pass rushing ability frequently last year. Cody Whitehair proved to be a starting offensive lineman in this league, drafted to be a guard and became the day one center for the Bears; and Jordan Howard, the fifth round running back out of Indiana ran for over 1300 yards in his rookie campaign. The Bears won 3 games though. . . if the Bears enter next season healthy they actually do have some skill and size on both sides of the line of scrimmage – receivers and secondary players though . . .they might be the worst in the league at both of those positions. The Bears haven’t had a good safety since Mark Carrier left the team in 1996 (sorry, Mike Brown fans) – LSU’s Jamal Adams is a safety that can be an All-Pro for many years to come. Besides having excellent instinct on the ball, he is an aggressive player, who can line up in the box and also cover down the field in man coverage. If the Bears are ever going to make strides in this secondary, getting a player like Adams is the perfect place to start.