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Hub Arkush previews the NFC North with the guys of Sports Central

Dec 29, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler (6) and Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) meet at midfield after the game at Soldier Field. The Green Bay Packers win 33-28. Photo: Image by Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Hub Arkush previews the NFC North with the guys of Sports Central

By Matt Trebby. CREATED Aug 29, 2014

Hub Arkush covers the NFL for ChicagoFootball.com, as well as an analyst for a few publications in Chicago, and a sideline reporter for Westwood One.

Needless to say, he is very in touch with the NFC North and the NFL in general.

Arkush joined Sports Central on Friday night to preview the NFC North, and made it clear that the Packers are the team to beat.

"If Rodgers is healthy, the Packers are definitely the class of the division," Arkush said. "The Bears were 5-5 with Cutler and 3-3 with McCown."

"I think it'll be the Bears that'll be chasing them, but I definitely think the Packers are still the team to beat and the class of the division," Arkush added.

The Bears improved their offensive line last season through free agency and attempted to do the same this off-season.

Arkush thinks the Bears will be able to win their fair share of shootouts, but doesn't see them on top of the NFC North with the moves they've made.

"I don't think all the free agent moves they've made on defense are going to show the kind of dramatic improvement that the same formula showed for them of the offensive line last year," Arkush said.

There was a big change in Detroit, where Jim Caldwell replace Jim Schwartz as the Lions' head coach.

While the man in charge might have changed, Arkush sees similar issues on defense and in the team's personnel as there were under Schwartz.

"I think that the early signs are that Nick Fairley...is probably as screwed up and less motivated as he ever was under Schwartz," Arkush said.

Arkush has the Vikings finishing second in the division, noting the team's capable defense and promising offensive weapons.

"I think this is the team we may all be sleeping on," Arkush said, adding, "Mike Zimmer should've been a head coach 10 years ago."

Listen to the rest of the interview in the audio player above.