The teams in the NFC North are guaranteed to do one thing in 2014: they will throw the ball, and they will throw the ball a lot.
Of the four teams, the Green Bay Packers, Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, and Minnesota Vikings, all but the Vikings are going to chuck the ball all over the yard. That volume of passing attempts is going to create a lot of points and some high-scoring affairs. It is also going to create a whole lot of turnovers thanks to two men named Matthew Stafford and Jay Cutler.
With the 2014 season around the corner, we have to ask…Will Bears’ head coach Marc Trestman have enough pocket protectors to last him the season? What frightening athletic feat with Adrian Peterson perform this year? Will Jim Caldwell calm the hothead Lions down simply by making them bored? And can anybody even come close to rivaling Packers’ quarterback Aaron Rodgers, in terms of football skills as well as handsomeness? Those are just some of the questions as we embark on our NFC North Preview for 2014 here at Lightly Buzzed.
Author’s note: What is DVOA? You will note at the top of each team’s preview that their total, offensive, and defensive ‘DVOA’ are provided from the 2013 season. DVOA stands for “Defense-adjusted Value Over Average.”
Devised by the guys over at Football Outsiders, DVOA measures each play based on situation and quality of opponent. It then provides value for each team, with league average being 0%. It gives us a sense of which teams were good when it mattered over the course of the season. A positive offensive DVOA is good, and a negative defensive DVOA is good. For a full explanation, click here.
Some people are inclined to resist fancy, advanced statistics. Be not afraid of DVOA: think of it as a storytelling device. It is a tool to help us to tell the story of each team’s 2013 season. Because what is sports, if not for some great stories to be told, and what are stats, but another way to tell a story?