By: Dennis Fithian @dennisfithian
Detroit Lions: Who will Matt Stafford throw the ball to other than wide receiver Calvin Johnson? Last year, it was Nate Burleson who had 73 receptions for 757 yards and three touchdowns. Rookie Titus Young totaled 48 grabs for 607 yards and six scores. Young will now have a full off season heading into the 2012 season. Megatron continues to get his crazy numbers and attention from opposing defenses. This should free up Young to overtake Burleson as the number two wide out on the Lions.
Green Bay Packers: Aaron Rodgers took home the NFL’s MVP award leading Green Bay to a 15-1 regular season record. Along the way, Rodgers threw 46 TD’s, spreading the ball around to a host of receivers. Jordy Nelson (15), Greg Jennings (9), Jermichael Finley (8), James Jones (7) and the dancer Donald Driver pulled in six scores last season. A few other Packers grabbed one or two touchdowns. Who will be the number one wide out this year for Rodgers? Western Michigan’s Greg Jennings looks to be the best bet. Jennings is still the number one target for ARog. Nelson (68) only had one more reception than Jennings, even though Jennings missed three games due to injury. Both should have good years but if you have the choice on which WR from the Pack to pick this year. Go with Greg Jennings over Jordy Nelson.
Chicago Bears: The key to the Bears offense in 2012 will hinge on how good the reunion of Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall goes. In 2007, while both where both were playing for the Broncos, Marshall caught over a hundred balls for 1,325 yards and seven touchdowns. The next year the two were together in Denver, Marshall had over a hundred catches again and totaled 1,265 yards and six TD’s. Last year the Bears top three wide receivers Johnny Knox (37), Roy Williams (33) and Devin Hester (25) combined for 95 receptions. With a running game and his old quarterback getting him the ball – expect big things from Brandon Marshall in 2012.
Minnesota Vikings: Since being drafted by Minnesota with the seventh pick overall in the 2007 the Vikings offense has revolved around running back Adrian Peterson. However, a late season knee injury and an offseason spent rehabbing rather than working out makes “Purple Jesus” a question mark heading into 2012. Peterson is trying to get back for the opener (He says he’s 200%) but a week five return sounds about right. Peterson still hit the end zone 13 total times in 12 games played last year. Still a top five back, the tricky part is trying to guess when he’ll be back in the starting lineup