The NFC North has suddenly become the most competitive division in the NFL. With three teams capable of making playoff runs, winning the division title will prove to be a dog fight for all involved.
The Green Bay Pack won the Super Bowl in 2010 and followed that up with a 15-1 season in 2011. It’s safe to look at them as the class of the division.
The Detroit Lions were picked by many to make the playoffs in 2011. The Lions did not disappoint. That has lead to them being labeled as the second best team in the division. However, with some many off the field issues this offseason, and multiple suspensions likely to arise from these mishaps, their status within the division is not as rock solid as it seems.
That means that the Chicago Bears have a real shot at improving upon their third place finish within the division in 2011. Speaking with the Chicago Tribune, Urlacher sounded eager to get out on the field and prove doubters wrong.
He became a bit fiery when asked about the lack of respect the Bears are getting from the so-called experts in regard to the NFC North race despite the addition of receiver Brandon Marshall.
“It’s perfect, and just the way we like it,” Urlacher said of the disrespect. “If you look at what we did last year before Jay (Cutler) got hurt, we won five in a row. When Jay went down, you saw what happened after that. When we’re healthy, I don’t see a better team in the NFC North.
“Last year, Green Bay and Detroit were in the playoffs, so they should be talking about them. I don’t know if they got any better in the offseason, but I know we got better.”
With the Minnesota Vikings still stuck in rebuilding mode and the Lions dealing with disciplinary issues, look for the Bears and the Packers to battle it out for the division crown.