The Detroit Lions on paper have a lethal offense that some hail as possibly the best in the NFL. Quarterback Matthew Stafford’s numbers over the last three seasons are staggering and few people argue against Calvin Johnson being the best wide receiver in the game, if not the best overall player in the league. What the two have combined for over the last three years is stunning and now there is more help around them then they’ve ever had, so it’s logical to think that this could be the year it all comes together for the Lions. Problem is there are two other great offenses in the NFC North alone.
The Green Bay Packers have Aaron Rodgers behind the center again after missing a large portion of 2013 to injury. Rodgers injury had left the door open for the Lions to capture their first ever NFC North title last year and the Lions stumbled and fell out of contention in shocking fashion last year. Now, Rodgers is healthy again and the Packers know how good they can be with him. Eddie Lacy emerged as a legitimate threat at running back and Rodgers will be slinging the ball to Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb with his typical proficiency that has made him a former NFL MVP and super bowl champion. While Stafford has all the potential to succeed, until he’s able to surpass Rodgers, its still Rodgers deserved right to claim that he’s the division’s top quarterback.
It would also be a mistake to forget about the Chicago Bears. Jay Cutler has one of the league’s strongest arms. Cutler also has the best one-two punch wide receiver tandem in the NFL with Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffrey spreading defenses apart. Matt Forte is still a force at running back and Marc Trestman’s offense will be entering its second season for the Bears and should be even more potent. If Cutler, Marshall, Jeffrey and Forte stay healthy this season, they’ll be a factor. The Bears lack the depth the Lions have amassed, but position for position the only clear advantage the Lions have is Johnson over Marshall and Marshall is not as far behind Johnson as the rest of the league generally is.
The one down team in the division is the Minnesota Vikings and in comparison to the other three teams, they should not be a factor. You can’t exactly count out the Vikings because they do have Adrian Peterson, but the Lions, Bears and Packers shouldn’t exactly feel threatened by Matt Cassell or rookie Teddy Bridgewater.
So, is the Lions offense led by Stafford and spreading the ball around to Johnson, Golden Tate, Eric Ebron, Reggie Bush and Joique Bell the best in the NFL? Is it even the best in the NFC North? Let me know what you think below.