Madden NFL 16 Player Ratings continue with a division-by-division look at team and player ratings. Up next: the NFC North.
The Packers let a golden opportunity to go to the Super Bowl slip through their fingers. Can they right their wrongs?
GREEN BAY PACKERS (TEAM 90 OVR)
Green Bay is coming off an NFC Championship Game appearance, and loaded with returning veterans. With reigning MVP QB Aaron Rodgers (99 OVR) throwing to WRs Jordy Nelson (93 OVR) and Randall Cobb (91 OVR), and handing off to HB Eddie Lacy (90 OVR), the division looks like a lock. On the offensive line, LG Josh Sitton (97 OVR) and RG T. J. Lang (92 OVR) are pillars of strength.
Key defensive players include MLB Clay Matthews (90 OVR), LOLB Julius Peppers (88 OVR), CB Casey Heyward (85 OVR), and second-year FS Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (81 OVR).
DETROIT LIONS (TEAM 83 OVR)
The Lions finished just a game behind the Packers last year, didn’t improve muchin the offseason. QB Matthew Stafford (84 OVR) returns alongside HB Joique Bell (80 OVR) and a pair of standout receivers in Calvin Johnson (95 OVR) and Golden Tate (88 OVR).
Defensively, DT Haloti Ngata (92 OVR) will be tasked with replacing All-Pro Ndamukong Suh. Other stars include ROLB DeAndre Levy (93 OVR), FS Glover Quin (90 OVR), and MLB Stephen Tulloch (87 OVR). RE Ezekiel Ansah (88 OVR) will need to take the next step in his third season.
MINNESOTA VIKINGS (TEAM 77 OVR)
A healthy and effective HB Adrian Peterson (95 OVR) can run the Vikings right into the playoffs. With defenses focusing on AP and vertical threats like WRs Mike Wallace (86 OVR) and Cordarrelle Patterson (73 OVR/90 SPD), QB Teddy Bridgewater (82 OVR) has a good chance at breaking out in his second season.
The Vikings secondary is a strength, with FS Harrison Smith (93 OVR), CB Xavier Rhodes (86 OVR), and SS Robert Blanton (86 OVR). RE Everson Griffen (89 OVR) and DT Sharrif Floyd (87 OVR) are solid on the D-line.
CHICAGO BEARS (TEAM 75 OVR)
The Bears were a disaster in 2014, but new head coach John Fox could right the ship. Despite the loss of Brandon Marshall, QB Jay Cutler (79 OVR) has talented targets in TE Martellus Bennett (90 OVR), WR Alshon Jeffery (90 OVR) and rookie WR Kevin White (78 OVR). The versatile Matt Forte (90 OVR) also returns.
New additions LOLB Pernell McPhee (87 OVR) and ROLB Jared Allen (79 OVR) should help improve a defense that ranked dead 30th in 2014. Keep an eye on second-year CB Kyle Fuller (78 OVR) and third-year MLB Jon Bostic (75 OVR).