It’s time we had a serious conversation about the Packers and the NFC North. There is a lot to talk about. Aaron Rodgers could be twenty percent more efficient, Mathew Stafford may hit a post-crazy-contract slump … the Vikings defense looks good, but can their offense get the job done? And the Bears … ugh … we’ll just leave it at that. Anyhow, you see my point. It’s time we have a serious talk. So, sit down and let’s work this out.
What Las Vegas Says About The NFC North
Las Vegas and offshore sportsbooks have listed Green Bay as the clear, runaway favorites to be left last standing on the top of a pile of bodies wearing celeste and silver, blue and orange … and of course, purple.
The Packers come in ranging from (-200) to (-235) depending on which sportsbooks you look at make sure to review the odds at Bovada if you are looking to place any action this season— but is this accurate? Should you have to risk nearly $2.50 to win $1.00 for the Packers to win the NFC North?
The answer to that is yes.
The Closest Competition
The Purple People Eaters started out like their moniker implies last season, with a strong 5-0 start … only to drop the ball –literally—and finish out 3-8. This go around, Minnesota should be a bit more even keeled and their defense is still no laughing matter. But, QB experience in the depth chart is a concern with the questions surrounding Teddy Bridgewater. They are positioned in most pundits’ minds to come in second in the division and Vegas agrees, putting them behind the Packers at around 3 to1 odds and an expectation of eight and a half wins. Bradford has an excellent completion percentage and gets a decent amount of wins, but he is just not a clutch guy. Definitely not clutch enough to take down Mr. Rodgers in his neighborhood … or any other neighborhood for that matter.
Wait … How Much?
The Detroit Lions organization has just placed $135 million worth of pressure on the shoulders of Matthew Stafford. I guess you have to give him credit … he managed to win nine games last year, but the Lions road schedule is TOUGH this season … and we all know that Stafford just can’t get a win on the Road. Let’s get back to that aforementioned pressure … we’ve seen it a dozen times. Athletes who lock in a seriously heavy contract tend to have some pretty heavy regression, at least for a season or two while they adjust to the realization that they are now almost wholly responsible for the immediate fate of an entire franchise.
The Bears … oh, the Bears … Every team usually gets around a field goal of love from bookmakers when it comes to home-field advantage … except for the Bears because playing home games in Chicago doesn’t do a lick of good to affect the outcome. They still lose. The Bears managed 3 wins last year and have been lined out to win in the neighborhood of five games this season … though I call three wins only again. The Bears are in complete rebuild mode … which makes their offseason moves even more mind-boggling. One thing is certain, there will be three teams at the ass-end of the NFL. The 49ers, the Browns, and ‘Da Bears’.
Expect to see a newly re-envigored Aaron Rodgers. You Probably haven’t heard of the Kate Upton Effect, but it is indeed, real. The Harvard Sports Analysis dutifully broke down six or seven dozen cases of star athletes performance before and after dating beautiful, famous female counterparts … let’s keep examples to a minimum but get right to the heart of it … Kate Upton and Verlander. Jessica Simpson and Romo … you get the picture. The interesting part is the data shows that Rodgers could rebound in style. Up to 23.9% more efficient than the last couple of seasons … now that is a scary thought!
Packers Preview Diagnosis?
So, what does this all add up to? The Green Bay Packers are going to go waltzing into the playoffs, dancing on the backs of the bruised NFC North with a solid 12-win season.