5 Reasons Why the Green Bay Packers Won’t Win the NFC North in 2014

5 Reasons Why the Green Bay Packers Won't Win the NFC North in 2014

MIke McCarthy
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

The Green Bay Packers are the heavy favorite to win the NFC North for a fourth consecutive year. With Aaron Rodgers at quarterback, they're the favorite for good reason. However, here are five reasons why one of Green Bay's rivals will take home the division title instead.

5. No Solidified TE in Place

Andrew Quarless
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

5. No Solidified TE in Place

Andrew Quarless
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

The loss of Jermichael Finely has left the Packers without a surefire starter at tight end, and every explosive passing attack should have one. GM Ted Thompson can still bring Finely back, as he remains a free agent, but Green Bay and others are obviously concerned with his health after a scary neck injury. More than likely, Andrew Quarless will be relied upon for major improvement.

4. Evan Dietrich-Smith Will Be Missed

Evan Dietrich-Smith
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

4. Evan Dietrich-Smith Will Be Missed

Evan Dietrich-Smith
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Starting center Evan Dietrich-Smith departed in free agency, leaving the Packers without an option at the position with any real experience. JC Tretter, an essential rookie after a nasty leg injury sidelined him for his entire first year in Green Bay, is expected to get the first crack at the job.

3. David Bakhtiari Will Struggle at LT

David Bakhtiari
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

3. David Bakhtiari Will Struggle at LT

David Bakhtiari
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Another concern along the offensive line is starting left tackle David Bakhtiari. As a rookie, Bakhtiari struggled in pass protection, giving up 10 sacks, and run blocking, grading as Pro Football Focus' sixth-worst run blocker among qualifying tackles. The hope is, he improves substantially in year two, but banking on that is a huge gamble.

2. Chicago Bears Poised to Break Out

Jay Cutler
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

2. Chicago Bears Poised to Break Out

Jay Cutler
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

With an elite quarterback in Aaron Rodgers, the Packers, despite issues, are still more than capable of running away with the NFC North by default, especially if there is no legitimate challenger to the crown. But the Chicago Bears, with a dominant offense and an improved defense, will have something to say about that. A healthy Jay Cutler will equip Chicago with what it needs to steal the title.

1. Defense Remains Leaky

Michael Crabtree
Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

1. Defense Remains Leaky

Michael Crabtree
Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

For as good as the Packers' offense is, possibly great even, their defense still has plenty of holes. In 2013, Green Bay ranked 24th against the pass and 25th against the run. Signing a 34-year-old Julius Peppers and using their first-round pick on Ha Ha Clinton-Dix won't be enough to drastically improve the unit.


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  • Michael Daws

    I disagree. They have some great prospects for TE, besides Quarless. Cutler can’t win the big games. They have a great 1-2 receivers, but I think/hope it’s not enough to de-throne the packers.