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2014 NFC North Breakdown and Top 10 Fantasy Players

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By Angel L. Quiles Jr.

Green Bay Packers

The Packers look prime and ready to make a serious run at not only their division, but at the Super Bowl this upcoming season. Mainly because of the emergence of second year running back Eddie Lacy. Lacy was a forced to be reckoned with in his rookie season. He put the Packers on his back during the absence of superstar quarterback Aaron Rodgers, and was one of the main reasons the Packers were able to win their division.

Now the Packers will start the season with both of those nuclear weapons. Barring an offensive line meltdown, which is not impossible (the Packers have allowed Rodgers to be sacked 2.7 times per game since 2011). Not even a bomb shelter will be able to keep your team safe from the Packer offense.

The Packer defense could be just as entertaining because of the addition of all-pro Julius Peppers. Peppers may be past his prime, but now he has teammate, and defensive juggernaut Clay Mathews to help shoulder the load. If they can motivate each other, and that Packer defense. The Packers could be dancing toward Glendale, Arizona.

Chicago Bears

The Chicago Bears are the only team in this division who can score with the Packers. They have an amazing running back in Matt Forte, and two incredible wide receivers in Alshon Jeffrey, and Brandon Marshall. All of whom can put the ball in the end zone.

However, will their quarterback Jay Cutler stay healthy? The Bears resigned Cutler to a big deal this offseason, and are hoping that he will be able to stay healthy, and lead them to the playoffs. Cutler is not a mobile quarterback and has been susceptible to big hits, and sacks throughout his entire career. However, if second year offensive guard Kyle Long is able to continue his progress from his rookie year. Maybe Cutler can reach his full potential.

Chicago’s success will be predicated on the success of their defense. The Bears defense stunk last year, and ranked 30th overall. Hopefully for Bears fans, the addition of defensive lineman Jarred Allen will give them some fortitude on the front line.

Detroit Lions

The Lions will have the ability to make the playoffs because of their stellar defensive front seven led by Ndamukong Suh. They also have the best Wide receiver in the game in “Megatron” Calvin Johnson. Nonetheless, winning the division in the NFC North will be harder than the pit of an avocado, because of their quarterback Mathew Stafford.

Stafford can fling the football all over the field, but his decision-making ability in crunch time of games is highly questionable like Dan Le Batard. He threw 13 interceptions in the second half of last season, and six in the fourth quarter.

Moreover, their cornerbacks have shown themselves to be inexperienced and ineffective against passing attacks. The NFC North is a division with great wide receivers; and shutting them down will be a huge problem for the Lions like under aged smoking.

Subsequently, They do have a good running back in Joique Bell. They would be wise to give Bell a lot of touches. It will help them control the ball, and take the pressure off of Stafford. That’s the only way the Lions will have a shot at the playoffs.

Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings don’t have enough talent to compete in this division. Superstar running back Adrian Peterson should ask for a trade or he will be this generation’s Barry Sanders.

Matt Cassel has been named the starting quarterback. Therefore, the Vikings won’t have to begin the season with rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater at the helm. Rookies, have had success in the past(e.g. Andrew Luck and RGIII). However, Bridgewater is not ready to begin as the starter.

They have lost their defensive stalwart Jarred Allen to free agency, and their defense is filled with inexperienced players. The offense is decent because of all-pro Adrian Peterson. However, to be successful in the NFL you need receivers who can make plays. Wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson looks good, but will he be enough to keep defenses from stacking eight inside the box, to neutralize Peterson?

2014 NFC North Prediction

Green Bay Packers- 12-4
Chicago Bears- 10-6
Detroit Lions- 7-9
Minnesota Vikings- 2-14

Top 10 Fantasy Players

1- Adrian Peterson- MIN
2- Aaron Rodgers- GB
3- Matt Forte- CHI
4- Eddie Lacy- GB
5- Calvin Johnson- DET
6- Brandon Marshall- CHI
7- Randall Cobb- GB
8- Jordy Nelson- GB
9- Alshon Jeffery- CHI
10- Mathew Stafford- DET

200-120
210-260
200-310
SY0-401
810-403
300-320
400-101
70-533
N10-006
MB2-707
210-060
400-201
350-018
ADM-201
CISSP
1Z0-060
400-051
300-075
MB2-704
100-101
9L0-012
642-999
300-115
MB5-705
70-461
1V0-601
300-206
352-001
70-486
300-135
NS0-157
PR000041
300-101
70-346
CCA-500
70-480
300-208
70-462
EX200
1Z0-803
EX300
ICBB
1Z0-808
AWS-SYSOPS
1Z0-434
300-070
CAS-002
220-801
SSCP
PMP
642-997
70-410
101-400
ITILFND
AX0-100
2V0-621
102-400
101
1Z0-067
220-802
70-463
C_TAW12_731
70-494
CISM
700-501
NSE4
NSE7
70-483
70-488
200-120
210-260
200-310
SY0-401
810-403
300-320
400-101
70-533
N10-006
MB2-707
210-060
400-201
350-018
ADM-201
CISSP
1Z0-060
400-051
300-075
MB2-704
100-101
9L0-012
642-999
300-115
MB5-705
70-461
1V0-601
300-206
352-001
70-486
300-135
NS0-157
PR000041
300-101
70-346
CCA-500
70-480
300-208
70-462
EX200
1Z0-803
EX300

Angel L. Quiles Jr. is a sports writer from New York, NY. His passion for professional sports was spawned in the school yards of East Harlem. There he learned how to play football, baseball, and basketball. East Harlem is also where he played little league baseball. At the age of twelve he made the 25th precincts police athletic leagues little league all-star team. That team was invited to play against Fort Lee, New Jersey's all-star team in a game at the original Yankee Stadium. The game was covered by Mr. G's show "Care for kids" a community based program on the old WPIX channel 11 in New York City. Angel never made it to the big leagues, but the show and his passion for sports made Angel realize that he didn't have to play the game professionally in order to be around it. He could become a sports writer, be able to cover the drama of sports, and hopefully make a living doing and watching what he loves.

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