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NFC NORTH
Text by Don Banks
February 11, 2013
PROBLEM STAT
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February 11, 2013

Nfc North

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PROBLEM STAT

7.5% Attempts by QB Christian Ponder that traveled more than 20 yards in the air, lowest in the NFL. His 22.2% completion rate on those balls is also the league's lowest.

SOLUTION

Plenty of this is on Ponder, who let loose just 36 passes of 20 or more yards. The 24-year-old must grow if the offense is to ascend. But the Vikings can do him a favor by improving at receiver, and they have the cap money (about $16 million) to do so. Big-play free agents such as Dwayne Bowe or Mike Wallace should be in play here.

AND THEN? Hope that one of the draft's many aggressive linebackers falls to No. 23. If that happens, snatch one as a replacement for Jasper Brinkley, a pending free agent who didn't do enough in 2012 to justify a starter's salary.... Find a better option at defensive tackle. Letroy Guion struggled in '12, and the draft is loaded with alternatives.... Get WR Percin Harvin's ankle healthy, and keep the all-around threat happy with an extension and new schemes that free him up.... Re-sign RT Phil Loadholt.

PROBLEM STAT

29.6% Catchable balls that Kellen Davis dropped, highest among tight ends who were targeted at least 40 times.

SOLUTION

Davis is a competent blocker, but his unreliable hands severely limited QB Jay Cutler's options. (Hence the Brandon Marshall Show.) The Bears need to sign one of the several pass-catching TEs who could be free agents: Martellus Bennett, Anthony Fasano or Fred Davis.

AND THEN?

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