If I’m going to talk about the good, I have to mention the bad. I was pretty good in in the divisions I’ve already talked about in win totals. Now prepare yourselves for where I wasn’t so great.

Enter the NFC North as my first culprit. I thought the Bears would be better, while the Lions would take a step back. That didn’t turn out so well. Will I have better luck this year? Let’s find out.

Here’s my look at the NFC North. Last year, I went 1-3 in over/under predictions for the NFC North.

Chicago Bears

Over/under 5.5 (+120 o/-150 u)

Oddsmakers are predicting the under based on good reason. This team doesn’t have a lot going for it on paper. The quarterback and best wide receiver are gone. And that defense still doesn’t move the needle with its personnel.

But this team isn’t as bad as it record indicated last year. The offensive line’s interior was widely considered the best in the NFL last year, and losing Jay Cutler is actually a blessing for a franchise needing a new culture. Mike Glennon can win games, and even without Alshon Jeffrey, there are a few weapons he can utilize, including Jordan Howard out of the backfield.

That leaves the defense as the biggest question mark. The defense went through a ton of injuries in 2016, so I’ll assume that doesn’t happen again for 2017. I trust John Fox in creating solid defenses and winning games with marginal talent. He has failed to win at least seven games in a season only three times in his career, with the last two coming in Chicago.

That won’t happen for a third straight year. I’m putting my faith in Fox to go over the total in this one. — Verdict: Over

Matthew Stafford is a possible bust for 2017. Flickr

Detroit Lions

Over/under 8 (-110 o/-120 u)

My basic rule of thumb is to never trust the Lions after a good season.

The Lions have made the playoffs three times since 2011 (including last year). In the year after, those teams have won four and seven games respectively (and the year they won seven in 2015, the team began the year 1-7).

Last year, the Lions went to the playoffs and won nine games. So naturally, that means we should expect a letdown.

There’s nothing extraordinary about this Lions team. The defense ranked in the bottom half of the NFL in 2016, while the offense was knocking on the door as a bottom-10 unit. What Detroit did really well in 2016 was win close games.

Before losing their season’s final four games, Detroit won eight of its nine games by one score. That won’t happen again in 2017. I can’t believe this number is so high. Book the under. — Verdict: Under

Green Bay Packers

Over/under 10.5 (-105 o/-125 u)

Oddsmakers love setting these numbers where it’s difficult to predict. Green Bay will likely be good again. It’s tough to pick against Aaron Rodgers.

But, I’m not sure the Packers are doing their best in making it easy on the best quarterback in the NFL. Ty Montgomery is the starting running back and the tight end is a player who didn’t really make much of a mark on New England, home of the place where tight ends go to succeed.

The receivers are the same, with Jordy Nelson being good, but Randall Cobb coming off a down year. Davante Adams was a nice surprise, but can he catch the ball well enough to be the dominant force on the outside?

That’s just the offense’s problems. We haven’t talked about a defense that couldn’t stop teams at times last season. I believe Green Bay will be in that 10-win window, but I’ll take the safe bet and go with the under. — Verdict: Under

Minnesota Vikings

Over/under 8.5 (-105 o/-125 u)

I’m bullish on the Vikings. Last year’s team was the best squad in the NFL for the first quarter of the year before injuries absolutely derailed their season.

If the injury bug doesn’t bite as hard this season, the Vikings should be in the neighborhood of a 10-win team. The defense will be stellar again this season, and the offensive line can’t possibly be any worse than last season. The quarterback position should be interesting, with possibly a healthy Teddy Bridgewater returning to a team he led to the playoffs the last year he was healthy.

I like Mike Zimmer as a head coach, so his health issues have me a bit concerned. However, it’s not enough for me to step back from the Vikings easily going over eight wins. — Verdict: Over

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