There is plenty of offensive fire power in the NFC North with one of the best lines in the league residing in Green Bay. Of course if you go 3 hours south, you find one of the weakest ones in the league as well. Talented players can move an offense like the Chicago but when those players go down then the line becomes even more important as proven in their second half collapse. I will breakdown the NFC North offensive lines in this breakdown.
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LT- J'Marcus Webb
LG- Chris Spencer
C- Roberto Garza
RG- Lance Louis
RT- Gabe Carimi
Back-ups - T Chris Williams, G Chilo Rachal, C Edwin Williams, G Ricky Henry
Overview- This line really struggled last season and yet they did not nothing to upgrade this unit. Matt Forte and Jay Cutler were able to cover-up the holes but when both of those guys went down with injuries there was nothing they could do. Chicago thinks that Coach Mike Tice can turn this unit into a decent one but that is a mistake. The Bears added more weapons for Cutler but if he takes the pounding he did last season he will be injured once again resulting in another lost season.
LT- Jeff Backus
LG- Rob Sims
C- Dominic Raiola
RG- Stephen Peterman
RT- Gosder Cherilus
Back-ups - T Riley Reiff, G Dan Gerberry, C Dylan Gandy, G Jacques McClendon, T Corey Hilliard
Overview- This team returns all of five starters from last year's team that led the league in pass attempts and was one of the better pass blocking units around. The Lions used a first round pick on Reiff to help for the future which is has been a key to other teams when having a reliable offensive line year to year. The age of this line is a concern as they are getting a little long in the tooth but they should be able to keep it together another year. Some improvement in the running game blocking would be a great help but the biggest issue will be staying healthy with the aging veterans.
LT- Marshall Newhouse
LG- T.J. Lang
C- Jeff Saturday
RG- Josh Ritton
RT- Bryan Baluga
Back-ups- T Derek Sherood, G Evan Dietrich-Smith, C Sampson Genus, G Ray Dominguez, T Herb Taylor
Overview- This team is one that just re-loads instead of rebuilding. The Packers did lose Chad Clifton and Scott Wells this off-season but have plenty of your guys who fill-in and brought in the age-less Jeff Saturday to lead this group. Newhouse and Baluga should just continue to get better with even more game experience under their belt. The running game does need to get better and they are hoping that either James Starks, Cedric Benson or Alex Green emerge as a reliable option in the running game.
LT- Matt Kalil
LG- Charlie Johnson
C- John Sullivan
RG- Brandon Fusco
RT- Phil Loadholt
Back-ups - T Demarcus Love, G Chris DeGeare, C Joe Berger, G Geoff Schwartz, T Patrick Brown
Overview - Kalil was a Top 5 draft pick would should step right in and allows Johnson to move inside to his natural position at guard. The Vikings did lose Hutchinson which hurts but he was not the same player he was in the past. This unit does a decent job in run blocking but will need to improve in pass protection. Chrisitan Ponder does need to learn to get rid of the ball as it makes the line look even worse along with his issue of taking too many hard hits. Kalil's development will be a big key in how this unit plays this season.
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