By Eric Schmidt

The NFC North features three teams which have seen post-season play in recent years, with the exception being the Chicago Bears. The Green Bay Packers and QB Aaron Rodgers seek to avenge their playoff loss to the San Francisco 49ers in week one and set a tone for the 2013 season. Can they capture the division title this season?

Green Bay Packers- 11-5 The Packers are a prolific passing team but has struggled at the running back position the last few seasons. The addition of rookie RB Eddie Lacy should help to stabilize issues at that position this season. WR Jordy Nelson has to find a way to stay healthy. Look for Rodgers to put up another 40+ touchdown season.

Minnesota Vikings- 9-7 Christian Ponder will be the key to success in 2013. The NFL world knows what superhuman RB Adrian Peterson is capable of doing on the field, but Ponder’s play has to improve. Percy Harvin might be gone but Minnesota drafted speedy WR Cordarrelle Patterson while signing free agent veteran wide receiver Greg Jennings. Ponder has the weapons, can he utilize them is the question. If not, Matt Cassel could get a shot.

Chicago Bears- 9-7 The Bears went north of the border to hire their new head coach Marc Trestman. Trestman has a solid reputation for getting more production out of his quarterbacks. QB Jay Cutler is playing the final year of his contract and needs to step up his game. The Bears are hoping offseason moves stabilize an offensive line unit which has struggled in recent years.

Detroit Lions- 6-10 The Lions gave quarterback Matthew Stafford a contract extension this offseason after throwing for nearly 10,000 yards in the last two seasons. The Lions are hoping that the addition of free agent RB Reggie Bush will provide some much needed consistency at the position. Defense remains suspect as does the offensive line play. WR Calvin Johnson remains the top receiver in the NFL but can a legitimate number two receiver step up?

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Filed under: Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, NFC, NFC North, NFL, Previews-Predictions

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