As the 2014 season inches nearer and nearer, Purple Jesus Diaries is going to take a look at the NFC North division to preview the upcoming year. How stiff is the competition? Where do the Vikings rank? How much do I hate every other team? We’ll take a stab at all of that here, relying heavily on ESPN The Magazine’s NFL preview rankings, which we learn are utter shit. Onto the previews!
Green Bay Packers
2013: Record 8-7-1, Lost in the Wild Card Round
Biggest Team Douche: Clay Matthews. At least Aaron Rodgers is a good player at a high commodity position.
ESPN The Mag Prediction: 12-4, 58.2% chance of making the playoffs.
ESPN The Mag Quote:
“Will Win 12 If Eddie Lacy is one of the NFL’s best RBs and Peppers and Matthews solidify the rush. Will Win 9 If the O-line opens up Aaron Rodgers to injury; he’s been sacked 2.7 times per game since ’11, second most in the NFL.”
PJD’s Take: Jesus, alright. The Packers are still probably the team to beat in the division as long as Aaron Rodgers is on the team. But as we all saw last year, once he goes down, the team turns to butthole. Sure, Eddie Lacy may turn out to be one of the NFL’s best (FAT chance of that happening, says Adrian Peterson), but even then … So what? Adrian Peterson IS the NFL’s best, and he suffered through a 3-13 season. Also? Your defense sucks balls. Quit acting like Dom Capers is some genius. You finished 25th in points allowed last year, a measly seven spots better than a shitty Vikings team. I mean, I guess the Packers can be a good team in 2014, but quit thinking that Julius Peppers and his walking sticks are going to be your defensive savior. I bet a 10-6 record at best, probably a 9-7. In other words, eat shit.
2013: Record 8-8, 2nd in NFC North
Biggest Team Douche: Jay Cutler. Did you think it’d be anyone else? DOOONNN’TTT CAAARREEE!
ESPN The Mag Prediction: 9-7, 40.6% chance of making the playoffs
ESPN The Mag Quote:
“Will Win 11 If the D-line earns its pay and the pass game attacks D’s at all depths. Will Win 8 If a weak safety corps keeps the defense from improving and injuries expose a lack of depth at skill positions.”
PJD’s Take: So ESPN predicts that a team that brought in a new coach, who inherited a solid defense, thrashed that defense to a 31st in points allowed ranking (only team worse was – again – a Leslie Frazier led Vikings team), and then is relying on bare minimum three rookies to help said defense, is going to turn the team around like they are the Monsters of the Midway again? May as well just project the Vikings to the Super Bowl at this rate. Listen, people seem to be all about sucking Marc Trestman’s Canadian bacon, but I’m not buying it. He’s taken a team that was a perrenial pain in the ass, and made them actually look worse somehow. I don’t give two shits that they still finished with an 8-8 record. Anyone could finish with an 8-8 record if you play the Vikings twice. But the Bears look bad, their team is bad, and Trestman isn’t long for the NFL. Jay Cutler is already smoking cigarettes in anticipation of the offseason. Also, Jared Allen is old and slow on turf. Best of luck with that. I see a solid 6-10 record for these blowhards.