NFC North Breakdown

Well, here it is. A breakdown of the NFC North, arguably the most exciting division in the NFL. The Green Bay Packers, Chicago Bears, Minnesota Vikings, and of course, my Detroit Lions. The reason that this particular division is so exciting is the parity coming up from last year and coming into this year.

The Vikings were by far the best team in the division with a 13-3 record, followed by the Lions with 9-7, Packers at 7-9, closed out by the Bears at 5-11. This upcoming season looks to be a big boost for the Lions. They have by far made more changes than any other team within the division. New coach, new and aggressive RB’s, upgraded O-Line, a stud WR core, and a QB in Matt Stafford who’s rated as the 3rd QB in the division. With Kirk Cousins at the helm for the Vikings, that has yet to be proven true. Cousins is an enigma when it comes to the position. He’s a feast or famine guy, coming off a career year and got paid handsomely for it when he hit the free agent market. Look for Cousins to be a real pleasure to watch this season.

Aaron Rodgers is back! The highest rated QB in the league according to ESPN for yet another year has returned from injury. Rodgers lost a key pass catcher this off season when the Cheese Heads cut WR Jordy Nelson, who found a home in Oakland. There is no question that Nelson will be missed by Rodgers, but he didn’t get to where he is by being sentimental and unfocused. Rodgers will carry the Packers, however it will look different. Randall Cobb and Davante Adams will be familiar faces, along with new TE Jimmy Graham, who signed with the team in March 2018. Does Graham still have anything left in the tank? Only time will tell, but he’s an aggressive tight end who’ll fight for the ball. With a solid and accurate QB in Rodgers, this may be the change of scenery Graham needed in his career. Let’s see if he’s worth that $30 million.

Da’ Bears!!! Chicago is looking to bring it up the rear again this year, but I don’t expect them to be as bad as they were last year. Mitch Trubisky is coming into his sophomore season and has been handed the keys to the car. There is a serious lack of major star power on this team. Allen Robinson looks to be the #1 target for Trubisky. The defense doesn’t really look like it’ll be lighting up offenses, so the Bears will have their share of challenges.

Now we come to the Detroit Lions. They have by far upgraded and changed the most withing the division. They get a boost in the running game by signing LeGarrette Blount and drafting Kerryon Johnson. Ameer Abdullah has been a complete bust as of today. They signed a new head coach in Matt Patricia, who will bring a defensive minded focus to the team. The Lions also have the strongest WR core within the NFC North. Golden Tate will be the anchor, while new TE Luke Willson will will bring a solid blocking/catching ability to the offense. Detroit beefed up the o-line by adding rookie Frank Ragnow, he’ll play alongside veterans such as Taylor Decker and Pro Bowler T.J. Lang. Matt Stafford will be criminally underrated this season. Look for the biggest surprise in the NFL this year to be the Detroit Lions.

Projected Rankings

  1. Detroit Lions 11-5
  2. Green Bay Packers 10-6
  3. Minnesota Vikings 8-8
  4. Chicago Bears 6-10

Bold??? You bet your a** it is. The Lions have been the laughing stock of the division for years and haven’t won anything in the Super Bowl era (Thanks a lot Bobby Layne) but they’re due. The team seems to be gelling really well, and the new look Lions will be a force this year. The Packers will be on their heels, but the lack of weapons Rodgers has to throw to will hurt. Rodgers needs a few of his WR’s to step up and push the envelop, but the defense is going to bail them out this year.

Written By: Wayne McAlister