The NFC North is one of the most intriguing divisions in football. Let’s fly.
Minnesota Vikings. You could make arguments for all four teams in this category but the Vikings have the most balanced offense in the division. A solid running game with the return of young star Dalvin Cook, though I worry about how he’ll bounce back from such a serious knee injury. The Vikings wideout depth is very good with two pro bowlers in Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen. Then you add in a quality weapon at QB in Kirk Cousins, who has his questions, yes, and you get a very high powered offense.
Minnesota Vikings. I mean it is hard to go any other way the defensive line is stacked with the addition of Sheldon Richardson. Pair him with Everson Griffin and you have one of the most potent run stopping duos in the league. Then you look at a linebacking core with Anthony Barr and Eric Kendricks and you see how already this is the best defense in the league. The secondary hosts Andrew Sandejo, Harrison Smith, Xavier Rhodes, Trae Waynes, and Terence Newman. That’s just a pro bowl roster of pass coverage. This team is stacked on defense and teeming with depth I would be shocked if they average more than 20 points allowed a game.
Mike McCarthy. This has been a long time coming. McCarthy has never been a great head coach, never maximized Rodgers surrounding talent, and has only won one Super Bowl with a hall of fame QB. If the Packers don’t make the Conference championship this year McCarthy will be fired. It is time for new lifeblood in Green Bay for the sunset of Aaron Rodgers prime.
Break out star
Kerryon Johnson. The running back out of Auburn joins a confusing Lions backfield. However he has awesome potential, he will most likely go 50/50 with Blount to start the year but I would I expect him to have most of the workload by the end of the year. Another candidate would be Bears wideout Anthony Miller who I believe will be the number one target in Chicago come week one.
The Lions will have a top ten offense and Matthew Stafford can win MVP. It isn’t crazy, the line is much improved over last year mainly due to the drafting of stud guard Frank Ragnow out of Arkansas. The wide receiving core is as deep as it gets in the division with the return of Kenny Golloday. Pair him with Golden Tate and Marvin Jones Jr. and you have a truly exciting wideout depth chart. Matthew Stafford is the most underrated top ten QB in the entire NFL. This is the best team he has ever had and if he can put up the stats he did through the Lions first five games last year he can be an MVP candidate.
Detroit Lions 11-5
Chicago Bears 11-5
Minnesota Vikings 10-6
Green Bay Packers 10-6
The Lions are going to have the year nobody sees coming and every year a division gets flipped upside down the NFC North is that division this year. Yes, the Lions have weaknesses in pass rush but outside of that their defense is sound and Matt Patricia has a track record of getting the most out of his players. The Bears, yes they could be an 8-8 team but I believe in the talent they have offensively and the fact they host the second-best defense in the division. The Vikings have an insanely tough schedule and I don’t one hundred percent buy into Kirk Cousins. Aaron Rodgers will bounce back from his injury fine, I wouldn’t be surprised if he was an MVP candidate but he can only carry a poor offense so far. If the defense does right by the Packers draft moves, they can win the division but I will believe that when I see it.