The NFC North has been the most talked about division in the NFL this offseason. The Packers loss of Davante Adams. Minnesota adding Za’Darius Smith. The Lions having the best 2022 NFL draft class. The Bears new General Manager already making assumptions of not giving the division back. All of this has occurred and it is not even training camp yet. For a football fan, this is everything you wish the offseason was about. There is definitely going to be some changes in the division this season. Let’s talk a look at five predictions that will happen in the NFC North this season:
The Minnesota Vikings Will Not Win The NFC North
Za’Darius Smith has been extremely vocal about the Packers since his arrival to Minnesota. There is quite of tension from him, and rightfully so. Smith was a great addition to the Vikings, who were in the market for an edge rusher. However, the defense is still very injury-prone. Danielle Hunter has a history of injuries. Smith coming off a back injury. And Harrison Smith is entering his 10th season in the league. One other nugget to remember: Kirk Cousins is still at quarterback. With the talent that the offense has, Cousins has easily underperformed at the position. With an inefficient quarterback and a questionably healthy defense, the brakes need to be pumped on the Vikings’ claim to the division title.
The Green Bay Packers Will Sweep the NFC North For The Second Time in Four Years
The loss of Davante Adams is a major blow to the Packer offense. They are not going to have that type of production out of any their wide receivers this season. But, they are going to be a more balanced offense with targets to throw to. Additionally, Green Bay still has the tandem of Aaron Jones and AJ Dillion. What really separates the Packers from the rest of the division is the improvements made on the defense. The re-signings of De’Vondre Campbell and Rasul Douglas were absolutely critical in keeping the defense in tact. I truly think that they have the best defense in the division and will wreck havoc on opposing offenses. Needless to say it is going to be a challenge to run and pass against this new and improved Packer defense.
The Chicago Bears Will Take Last Place
The Chicago Bears have regressed badly this offseason. They lost their best offensive and defensive players in Allan Robinson and Kahlil Mack. On top of that, they have a new head coach and general manager. And, they had a very questionable draft at best. The offense is going to rely heavily on David Montgomery and Darnell Mooney. I am not sure what Chicago’s plan is, but it is one that not going to help Justin Fields improve from a sub-par rookie season. If Fields cannot show signs of progress and if the defense cannot hold their own, it is going to a miserable year for Bears’ fans. I do not think that it is far off to say that the Bears will be slated for a top five pick in the 2023 NFL draft.
The Detroit Lions Will Post An Eight Win Season
The Detroit Lions took the NFL by storm in the 2022 NFL draft. They took the best defensive player in the draft in Aiden Hutchinson. They also moved 20 spots to grab the best receiver as well. These types of moves are what helps a second year head coach and inconsistent quarterback move in the right direction. Dan Campbell is a players’ coach and has built the right culture in Detroit to see major steps of improvement. It is unclear when Wlliams will be ready to play, but they will be okay in his absence. Their two wins at the end of last season was a sign positivity for this franchise. With so much hype, I believe Detroit will post eight wins this season, the most since 2017.
Matt LaFleur Finally Wins NFL Coach of The Year
The NFC North has not had an NFL Coach of The Year winner since Matt Nagy in 2018. Matt LaFleur has been on the ballot every year since he took over in Green Bay, but has yet to win. With all the distractions that he has dealt with, I fully expect another outstanding season. Perhaps this would be all it would take to finally get over the hump? It is absolutely mind-numbing that he has not won this award yet, and he has certainly done enough to be considered. With how competitive this division might be in 2022, winning this award would be a positive boost forward for the NFC North.
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