The Pi-Rate Ratings

August 30, 2015

2015 NFC North Preview

A division that looked like one of the surer things in the 2015 NFL became very unsure in week two of the NFL Preseason.  When Green Bay wide receiver Jordy Nelson went down with a season-ending injury, the Packers’ advantage over their three division rivals went with him.  Now, this division is an open race, and all four teams could stay in contention through Thanksgiving.  The PiRate Ratings for the Packers will change between this entry and the opening week of the season, as Nelson is almost as valuable to the green and gold offense as Aaron Rodgers.

Detroit now becomes the co-favorite in the old “Black and Blue” division with a rifle-armed quarterback in Matthew Stafford and two all-pro receivers in Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate.  But, a running attack that has no star will allow defenses to key on Johnson and Tate.  Losing Ndamukong Suh will affect the defense.

 

Minnesota is the tiger in the tall grass in this division.  The Vikings are on the verge of becoming relevant again with an improving defense and more consistent offense.  The return of Adrian Peterson should allow Teddy Bridgewater to have more holes in pass defense coverage to locate new receiver Mike Wallace.  Our PiRate Ratings have a pre-set automatic improvement with this team if the Vikings start the season 3-0 like we think they have the chance to do.

 

Chicago is at a crossroads.  The Mark Trestman era was a short-lived failure, and the John Fox era begins after Fox left Denver following a lackluster blowout loss to Indianapolis, in which the Broncos did not act like they were happy to be there.  The Bears start over on defense with the switch from 4-3 to 3-4.  Jay Cutler lost his favorite receiver in Brandon Marshall.  The Bears could go either way this year.  Fox could bring the Monsters of the Midway back to respectability and challenge for a 9-7 season, or the Bears could sink to the bottom of the NFC, effectively ending the Cutler era in the Second City.  As the Vikings’ schedule gives them a shot at starting 3-0, the Bears are looking at a tougher start and could begin 0-3.

CHICAGO BEARS

Bears Starting Lineup
Offense
WR Alshon Jeffrey
WR Eddie Royal
WR Marquess Wilson
TE Martellus Bennett
LT Jermon Bushrod
LG Matt Slauson
C Will Montgomery
RG Kyle Long
RT Jordan Mills
QB Jay Cutler
HB Matt Forte
H-B Dante Rosario
   
Defense
DE Ego Ferguson
NT Jay Ratliff/Eddie Goldman
DE Jarvis Jenkins
LB Pernell McPhee
LB Shea McClellin
LB Christian Jones
LB Jared Allen
CB Kyle Fuller
S Antrel Rolle
S Brock Vereen
CB Alan Ball
N5 Ryan Mundy
   
Special
Kicker Robbie Gould
Punter Pat O’Donnell
KR Marc Mariani
PR Marc Mariani
Chicago Bears
Head Coach John Fox
Off. Coordinator Adam Gase
Def. Coordinator Vic Fangio
2014 W-L-T 5-11-0
Pts 19.9
Opp 27.6
   
Ratings  
PiRate 95.8
Mean 95.1
Bias 95.8
Average 95.6
   
Grades  
Running  C
Passing  C-
Vs. Run  C+
Vs. Pass  C
Special Teams  C
Coaching + Intangibles  A-
   
Predicted W-L 6-10-0
Division Rank 4
Conference Rank 14
Overall Rank 26
Postseason No

 

DETROIT LIONS

Lions Starting Lineup
Offense
WR Calvin Johnson
WR Golden Tate
TE Eric Ebron
TE Brandon Pettigrew
LT Riley Reiff
LG Laken Tomlinson
C Travis Swanson
RG Larry Warford
RT Cornelius Lucas
QB Matthew Stafford
HB Joique Bell
FB Mike Burton
   
Defense
DE Darryl Tapp
DT Haloti Ngata
DT Tyrunn Walker
DE Ezekiel Ansah
LB Tahir Whitehead
LB Stephen Tulloch
LB DeAndre Levy
CB Darius Slay
S James Ihedigbo
S Glover Quin
CB Rashean Mathis
N5 Josh Wilson
   
Special
Kicker Matt Prater
Punter Sam Martin
KR Jeremy Ross
PR Jeremy Ross
Detroit Lions
Head Coach Jim Caldwell
Off. Coordinator Gunther Cunningham
Def. Coordinator Teryl Austin
2014 W-L-T 11-5-0
Pts 20.1
Opp 17.6
   
Ratings  
PiRate 102.9
Mean 101.8
Bias 103.4
Average 102.7
   
Grades  
Running  D
Passing  A
Vs. Run  C
Vs. Pass  C
Special Teams  D
Coaching + Intangibles  C
   
Predicted W-L 9-7-0
Division Rank 2
Conference Rank 5
Overall Rank 10
Postseason No

 

GREEN BAY PACKERS

Packers Starting Lineup
Offense
WR Randall Cobb
WR Davanbte Adams
WR Andrew Quarless
TE Richard Rodgers
LT David Bakhtiari
LG Josh Sitton
C Corey Linsley
RG T. J. Lang
RT Bryan Bulaga
QB Aaron Rodgers
HB Eddie Lacy
FB John Kuhn
   
Defense
DE Letroy Guion
DT B. J. Raji
DE Mike Daniels
LB Clay Matthews
LB Sam Barrington
LB Nate Palmer
LB Julius Peppers
CB Casey Hayward
S Morgan Burnett
S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix
CB Sam Shields
N5 Micah Hyde
   
Special
Kicker Mason Crosby
Punter Tim Masthay
KR Ty Montgomery
PR Micah Hyde
Green Bay Packers
Head Coach Mike McCarthy
Off. Coordinator Edgar Bennett
Def. Coordinator Dom Capers
2014 W-L-T 12-4-0
Pts 30.4
Opp 21.8
   
Ratings  
PiRate 108.5
Mean 107.5
Bias 109.1
Average 108.4
   
Grades  
Running  B
Passing  A
Vs. Run  C
Vs. Pass  C+
Special Teams  C
Coaching + Intangibles  A-
   
Predicted W-L 9-7-0
Division Rank 1
Conference Rank 1
Overall Rank 1
Postseason Yes

 

MINNESOTA VIKINGS

Vikings Starting Lineup
Offense
WR Mike Wallace
WR Charles Johnson
WR Cordarrelle Patterson
TE Kyle Rudolph
LT Matt Kalil
LG Brandon Fusco
C John Sullivan
RG Michael Harris
RT T. J. Clemmings
QB Teddy Bridgewater
HB Adrian Peterson
FB Zach Line
   
Defense
DE Brian Robison
DT Linval Joseph
DT Sharrif Floyd
DE Everson Griffen
LB Anthony Barr
LB Audie Cole
LB Chad Greenway
CB Terence Newman
S Robert Blanton
S Harrison Smith
CB Xavier Rhodes
N5 Josh Robinson
   
Special
Kicker Blair Walsh
Punter Jeff Locker
KR Cordarrelle Patterson
PR Marcus Sherels
Minnesota Vikings
Head Coach Mike Zimmer
Off. Coordinator Norv Turner
Def. Coordinator George Edwards
2014 W-L-T 7-9-0
Pts 20.3
Opp 21.4
   
Ratings  
PiRate 100.5
Mean 97.4
Bias 101.9
Average 99.9
   
Grades  
Running  A
Passing  C-
Vs. Run  B
Vs. Pass  B
Special Teams  C
Coaching + Intangibles  C+
   
Predicted W-L 9-7-0
Division Rank 3
Conference Rank 9
Overall Rank 18
Postseason No

 

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