NFL Green Bay Packers

5 Reasons Why the Green Bay Packers Will Win the NFC North in 2014

Green Bay Packers: 5 Reasons They'll Win the NFC North in 2014

Aaron Rodgers
Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

The Green Bay Packers have owned the NFC North division for the past three seasons, and after some solid additions in free agency and the draft plus the healthy return of quarterback Aaron Rodgers, they are poised for a fourth straight division title.

5. Julius Peppers

Julius Peppers
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

5. Julius Peppers

Julius Peppers
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

The Packers surprised some by going out and signing Peppers this offseason, but it was exactly the kind of move that needed to be made. Green Bay needed another impact player or two on the defense, and they got one in Peppers, who is still one of the better pass rushers in the league and will team with Clay Matthews to create a formidable pass rush combination.

4. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix

Ha Ha Clinton-Dix
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

4. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix

Ha Ha Clinton-Dix
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The Packers got some of the worst safety play in the NFL last season, which is why adding Clinton-Dix in the first-round of the 2014 NFL Draft was such a huge addition. He is still competing against Micah Hyde to start, but when the pads are on in training camp, I expect Clinton-Dix to show why scouts were so high on him in the draft process. He will be a difference maker for Green Bay this season.

3. Mike McCarthy Gets Hands on with Defense

Mike McCarthy
Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

3. Mike McCarthy Gets Hands on with Defense

Mike McCarthy
Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

During the offseason, McCarthy decided to play a bigger role in the handling of the team's defense and because of that, Packer fans should expect to see a different defense on the field in 2014. Green Bay will be more versatile, particularly in the front-seven, and will have a faster, more athletic defense this season. McCarthy fixed the running game in 2013 and will do the same with the defense this season.

2. A Dominant Running Game

Eddie Lacy
Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

2. A Dominant Running Game

Eddie Lacy
Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

For years the Packers struggled to run the ball; then Eddie Lacy came along and Green Bay became a dominant running team, ranking seventh in rushing yards and fourth in yards per carry. With the majority of the offensive line returning as well as Lacy and James Starks back, Green Bay should be just as good in 2014 which will make their offense just nearly impossible to stop.

1. Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

1. Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

More than anything else, the Packers will win the NFC North simply because the presence of Rodgers, the best player in the NFL. Whether he is the best quarterback in the league is debatable, yet there is no question he is one of the truly elite players in the NFL right now. As long as he is under center for 16 games, Green Bay's reign in the NFC North will continue.

Even in a down year for the Packers, they managed to win the NFC North in 2013. This season, they have a shot at one of the NFC’s top seeds, and yet Packers tickets are still just around league average.