It’s just about that time of year; the time to ignore your significant other (or others for the luckier ones of us), put the kids in a playpen somewhere, and hunker down for with a 6 or 30 pack for 18 phenomenal weeks of regular season football. Over here at FansofFans we live and breath football, and with that being said, taking into account drafts, free agent signings, trades, notable additions and loses, we will rank where each team will finish in all 8 NFL divisions. Today we cover the NFC North.
Division Winners: Green Bay Packers
This one really wasn’t a difficult choice. To be honest, I tried to find any reason that, let’s be honest, only the Minnesota Vikings, could possibly knock them out of first place. And right now it doesn’t look like Minnesota actually did enough this off-season to challenge the Packers. Sure the lost of Davante Adams will hurt the team (you just can’t simply replace a talent like that), but the additions of WRs Christian Watson and Sammy Watkins will help slow the bleeding. And now younger guys like Allen Lazard and Amari Rodgers can step up and help to fill the void. And the additions of Quay Walker and Devonte Wyatt will help to sure up that front seven that allowed the Niners to do whatever they wanted in their divisional playoff game last year. But when all else fails, choosing the team that won the divisional crown the past 3 years doesn’t hurt either.
Second Place: Minnesota Vikings
It can honestly be said that the Vikings have a chance to take the division any year, with studs like Justin Jefferson, Adam Thielen, and Dalvin Cook. However they keep coming up short, and there’s a specific reason for that, Kirk Cousins. Cousins can put up some monster numbers to fill up a stat sheet, but stats don’t win you games (well they seem to for other QBs). Cousins can never seem to get it done when it counts, and his 7-26 record against winning teams with the Vikings proves just that. The Vikings need a serious shot in the foot, and maybe replacing that dinosaur of Mike Zimmer with former Rams OC Kevin O’Connell and GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah is the best way to get the ball rolling and make a run for that top spot in the NFC North.
Third Place: Detroit Lions
The Lions might actually be on the quietest rise for a team that notoriously does horribly in it’s division, and the league in general. While the Lions posted a measly 3-16-1 record in 2021, not every lose was a blowout. You could really see the fight in these guys, and it’s mostly because of then 1st year HC Dan Campbell. This guy just brings an energy and toughness that his players love, and they want to fight for him because of it. In 2021 we saw a few flashes in players like WR Amon-Ra St. Brown, OT Penei Sewell, and the RB duo of D’Andre Swift and Jamaal Williams. Couple that with new WR1 Jameson Williams from Alabama and the pairing of number two overall pick DE Aidan Hutchinson with Trey Flowers on the other side, and this Lions team might look like a real competitor in no time.
Last Place: Chicago Bears
Poor, poor, poor Justin Fields. Just when you think you get out of one crappy situation with head coach Matt Nagy and general manager Ryan Pace, new GM Ryan Poles hires a first time head coach in Matt Eberflus, traded star pass rusher Khalil Mack to the Chargers (while eating $24 million in dead money in 2022), released nose tackle Eddie Goldman, and allowed their best receiver to go to the Superbowl Champions. Now there’s word that LB Roquan Smith is requesting a trade, though that may be more a negotiating tactic than anything. It just looks like the Bears front office are going out of there way to say “hey, this isn’t our guy, we didn’t draft him”, which is a shame because Fields has a very high ceiling for where he can go, as he’s shown many times at Ohio State. The Bears year two retooling for Fields should’ve looked more like what the Jags did for Trevor Lawrence and what the Jets did for Zack “Mr. Take you mom’s bff” Wilson, rather than whatever it is the Seahawks are doing up in Seattle. And I know there are some potential studs on the team like wideout Darnell Mooney and RB David Montgomery, but now is the time to expand upon that core trio and build rather than sitting back and seeing what you got. A-Rod only has another year or two in him, and who knows what to expect with Cousins. Supporting Fields right now could really put this team in a position to possibly take the NFC North 2-3 years down the line.
What say you? Which NFC North team do you think will win the division in 2022? Let us know in the comment section below!