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Midseason Grades For Teams of the NFC North

As the NFL seasons enters its second half, we are beginning to learn more about each team and each division and one thing has been made very clear; the NFC North is stacked. In fact, it’s the toughest, most competitive division in the league. The North is currently the only division without a losing team, as Detroit is in last at 4-4 and although we knew it would be strong, it’s safe to say not many believed it would be this strong. However, are some teams not as good as they seem? Are the Vikings and Lions nothing but smoke and mirrors? Are the Bears really one of the best teams in the league? These questions will be answered and more and as give a letter grade to each North team at the midway point this season.

 Chicago Bears 7-1

Many are anointing the Bears as the team to beat in the NFC North after winning six straight games and there’s plenty of reasons to argue that they are the best team in the division. The 7-1 Bears have certainly had some impressive wins, last last week’s destruction of Tennessee 51-20, but then they’ve had some that have not been as impressive like the week before when they beat Carolina 23-22. What’s really concerning is that they’ve only beaten one team that is currently over .500 and that’s the overachieving Colts. They’re only really tough game resulted in a loss to Green Bay, so are the Bears really that good? The Bears have the 29th ranked passing offense and are only 16th in pass defense. The Bears will struggle later in the year when they play the likes of Houston, Seattle, Green Bay, San Francisco and Minnesota twice. With this tough second half schedule, they may finish with only nine or 10 wins, so they are not as good as their record indicates right now.

Grade – B-

The Vikings get a passing grade, but not enough extra credit to get to the top of the class

Minnesota Vikings 5-4

Like the Colts, the Vikings are surprisingly over .500, but they have dropped their last two games after starting 5-2 this season. Adrian Peterson has had a phenomenal year so far, but will his legs hold up over the grind of the entire NFL season? The bad news is that they will have to rely on him, since they have the 30th ranked pass offense in the NFL. The Vikings have shown they are better than we thought, but I still don’t think they are quite good enough to make the playoffs, especially in a division as tough as the North. Sorry to say, but the Vikings are more of a pretender than a contender.

Grade – C

Green Bay Packers 6-3

When Green Bay got off to a shaky 2-3 start, they had a lot of people worried, but after rattling off four straight wins, they look like the same old Packers. We all know Green Bay should be 7-2, since they got jobbed out of a win against Seattle and although they haven’t been at their sharpest at times, they still have enough offensive weapons to dispose of any NFL squad. Green Bay also has the distinction of being the only team to beat both Chicago and Houston this season. This year’s Packer team may not win the Super Bowl, but they will win the North.

Grade – B+

The Lions' season is already starting to turn itself around

Detroit Lions 4-4

Like the Pack, Detroit had people wondering what was wrong with the Lions when they were 1-3, but now Matt Stafford and the offense is starting to come alive like they did last season. Staying healthy is a big concern with Detroit, but if Stafford can start each game for the Lions, they have a good chance to earn a wild card spot again this season. Detroit currently has the best passing attack in the NFL and is ranked 8th in pass defense. Look for the Lions to make a charge with their recently building momentum. This is a team with a lot of upside, although they do have a fairly tough schedule down the stretch.

Grade – B



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