Well pigskin fans time to pull out the grills, secret hot wing recipes and that lucky jersey you’ve owned since childhood. It’s the most wonderful time of the year. The kickoff to the 2012 NFL season is about 6 days aways so once again it’s time to weigh in on my NFL 2012 season preview and predictions. Before I tell you who I see holding the trophy in New Orleans as this years Super Bowl 47 champs,my single season award winners and big mid season signing, I’ll be breaking down each division in football starting with the NFC North. The NFC North is the home of the 2011 MVP Aaron Rodgers, the Reunion of Culter and Marshall and of course the Lions lethal combo of Matthew Stafford and Megatron. I’ll start in my opinion from worst to first.
Minnesota Vikings: (2011: 3-13 2012: 6-10)
After what seemed to be a devastating injury to future Hall of Fame running back Adrian Peterson during the last week of the 2011 season that could’ve left him out the entire 2012 season he’s back! Defying the odds and doctors opinions AP will be in the huddle week 1. With both Head Coach Leslie Frazier and QB Christian Ponder entering their second season together it’s a must the Viks offense shows some improve. Look for both Percy Harvin and new addition Jerome Simpson to help Ponder’s development. I see a sight increase in VIKS victories but playing in a tough division will prevent postseason hopes for Minnesota fans.
Key losses: LG Steve Hutchinson, PK Ryan Longwell, LB E.J. Henderson, TE Visanthe Shiancoe, TE Jim Kleinsasser, RG Anthony Herrera, CB Cedric Griffin.
Green Bay Packers: (2011: 15-1 2012: 10-6)
I honestly don’t see the Pack falling off too much this year but they won’t be in the Super Bowl or win that division. I want to say the Pack finish 9-7 because of a overrated defensive and a lack of production from the Pack offense line but I can’t beg against Aaron Rodgers. Signing future Hall of Fame center Jeff Saturday will only help Rodgers but the loses of Matt Flynn in the off-season will haunt the Pack with Rodgers misses any games. Moving All-Pro DB Charles Woodson to safety will either be a great move or hurt the Pack secondary if their young DB get exposed. The addition of RB Cedric Benson could pay huge rewards if the Packs high powered offense begins to look bland. The Packers biggest game could be…..
New Key Additions: C Jeff Saturday, RB Cedric Benson, OLB Nick Perry (first-round pick).
Key losses: S Nick Collins, C Scott Wells, LT Chad Clifton, QB Matt Flynn, RB Ryan Gran
Detroit Lions: (2011: 10-6 2012:11-5)
Two Words describe why the Lions will win this division. Ndamukong Suh. Head Coach Jim Schwartz has been leading and preparing his team for this moment and the time is now. If Matt Stafford can stay healthy this will be a top 10 offense with weapons Megatron, Pettigrew ,Burleson and Young. Not to mention a defensive line that can easily be the best in football. The return of Mikel Leshoure to Detriot’s backfield could be huge if the Lions look to advance in the post season.
New faces: CB Kevin Barnes, CB Bill Bentley, WR Ryan Broyles, OT Riley Reiff (first-round pick).
Key Losses: CB Eric Wright, CB Aaron Berry.
Chicago Bears (2011: 8-8 2012: 11-5)
Despite hosting the NFC Championship game last year in 2010 I predicted the Bears woukd miss the playoffs in 2011 but shoud return in 2012. The reunion of Jay Culter and Wide out Brandon Marshall will land them both in the Pro Bowl.The Bears finally came to their senses signing RB Matt Forte and also signed free agent RB Michael Bush in the offseason. Chicago’s Defense is good but not great and the window is closing for them. If the Bears don’t produce now look head coach Lovie Smith may be looking for a new job. They will face Green Bay in Week 15 in a game that could play a huge role in the NFC playoff picture and the division title.
New Key Additions: WR Brandon Marshall, RB Michael Bush, QB Jason Campbell, KR/WR Eric Weems, DE Shea McClellin (first-round pick).
Key losses: None
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