The NFL season is finally upon us and do you know what that means? It’s time to overreact to Week 1! Each year, terrible teams start off with a win and then end up as a top-five pick. Just look at the last two years. The worst team and eventual first-overall pick won in Week 1!
The NFC North is no different. It’s a new era in the division and we are ripe with overreaction. Will we see a repeat champion? Is there a new sheriff in town? What will fans expect to find in an NFL Sportsbook review?
Green Bay Packers: Aaron Rodgers Who?
Only two NFC North teams took home wins in Week 1 but the Packers won on the road in a divisional matchup against their hated rivals, the Bears. In a performance that made fans forget about their former quarterback, highly rated Jordan Love showed out and looked good.
Love threw for 245 yards and found the end zone three times. He will have to get his completion percentage up a bit but his first start of the 2023 season looked promising. He looked poised and didn’t make any of the mistakes you’d expect a new starter to make. On one particular play, he fumbled a low snap, picked it up, composed himself as he rolled right for the leak concept, and found his tight end wide open down the field. In the future, he’ll want to make sure to put the pass right on Musgrave so that he can catch and take off rather than fall down short of the goal line.
Chicago Bears: Is it Fields or the Bears?
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On the flip side of that game, oh boy did the Bears look rough. It seems the ownership of the Bears did not revert back to Chicago with the departure of Rodgers and instead was passed along to Love.
This ugly loss had more questions than answers. The largest being whether or not Justin Fields is the answer. Last year, he led the Bears to an exciting Week 1 win en route to the worst record in football. However, this overreaction may just be that.
The Bears overhauled its offense in the offseason so there is an acclimation period. The offensive line had not played together to this point and the communication was off. Fields, on the day, finished with 216 yards and a touchdown while completing just under 65% of his passes. He had the troops rallying in the second half but he ended up throwing a back-breaking pick-six that was the final nail.
Detroit Lions: Playoff-Bound From the NFC North
How about those Lions!? Everyone was looking at the season opener at the Super Bowl champion Chiefs as a sacrifice to the gods of football. Instead, Detroit took advantage of every KC misstep and actually came out on top. In the process, they look better than they did in 2022 where they narrowly missed the playoffs.
Jared Goff led the way with his 253 passing yards and one touchdown. On the ground, David Montgomery surprised with 21 carries as compared to Jahmyr Gibbs’ seven carries. Considering how the Lions spent their 11th-overall pick on Gibbs, it was expected that they were going to utilize him a little more than nine total touches.
Even without Travis Kelce, the Chiefs have a high-powered offense. Detroit holding them to 20 points is impressive. Overreactions aside, Detroit could be the best team in the division, depending on if the Packers can keep riding high. A Wild Card seems like the floor for this team.
Minnesota Vikings: 2022 Frauds, 2023 Non-Factor
Finally, last year’s division champ is falling fast. To start the year, Minnesota was the odds-on favorite to take the division again. Considering the offense with Justin Jefferson, first-round rookie, Jordan Addison, and the newly-incredibly-rich, T.J. Hockenson, they were going to make Kirk Cousins look good.
To kick off the year, the Vikings lost to the Baker Mayfield-led Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This was a team that many thought was vying for the Caleb Williams sweepstakes. The worst part? Minnesota outgained Tampa Bay, 369-242. The Vikings did turn the ball over three times and did not force any.
One game does not make a season. However, that’s the best part of overreacting to Week 1. The Vikings have plenty of what makes a fraud in 2023 and they’ll have to limit mistakes moving forward.