The NFC North is probably the most wide open division in the NFC. Last season, the Chicago Bears won the NFC North by a wide margin with a record of 12-4 primarily behind the play of their defense that lead the NFL in points allowed. The Minnesota Vikings, who finished in second in the division going just 8-7-1, with quarterback Kirk Cousins in his second season with the team and a fully healthy Dalvin Cook. Also, the Packers will look to improve over what was a down season last season with head coach Matt Lefleur in his first full season with the team. Lastly, the Detroit Lions made some key additions this offseason that will help improve their offense and veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford. With all this being said, which of these teams will win the NFC North division? Only one way to find out let’s get to it!
Chicago Bears: 12-4
Winning the NFC North division for the second year in a row will be the Chicago Bears. The Bears arguably have the best defense in the NFL led by arguably the best pass rusher in the NFL in Khalil Mack. In addition to Mack, the Bears defense is deep with pro bowlers Akiem Hicks, Eddie Jackson, and Kyle Fuller; veteran defenders Danny Trevathan, Prince Amukamara, and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix; young defenders in Roquan Smith and Bilal Nichols. On offense, quarterback Mitchell Trubisky in his third season following a pro bowl appearance last season as well as All-Pro running back Tarik Cohen who is in his third season. If these players can mature and develop building off their production last season along with their elite defense, the Bears will surely be in contention for a Super Bowl appearance this season.
Green Bay Packers: 10-6
After finishing 6-9-1 last season and missing the playoffs for the second straight season, I have the Packers bouncing back going 10-6, finishing second in the NFC North and competing for a NFC Wild Card spot in the playoffs. As previously mentioned, the Packers have moved on from former head coach Mike McCarthy moving forward with coach Matt LeFleur. Under the leadership of their new head coach, Aaron Rodgers leading their offense and a majority of young players leading their defense, I believe the Packers will have a bounce back season and will contend for a spot in the NFC Wild Card. The key for the Packers will be the young, inexperienced defense of the Packers ability to make the necessary to get the opposing offense off the field.
Minnesota Vikings: 9-7
Claiming third place in the NFC North will be the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings will go into the 2019 season with quarterback Kirk Cousins for the second season looking to bounce back from what was a disappointing season. I have the Vikings finishing third because they have struggled to remain healthy with running back Dalvin Cook missing numerous games due to injury in his first two seasons. So far, Dalvin Cook has only played 15 games in his career after suffering an ACL tear in his rookie season. If Cook and the rest of the Vikings are able to remain healthy in the 2019 season they could possibly finish with a better record, but as for now this is how I have the Vikings finishing.
Detroit Lions: 7-9
Finishing last in the NFC North for the second season in a row is the Detroit Lions. The Lions made some solid offseason additions on offense adding running back C.J. Anderson and wide receiver Danny Amendola. Ultimately, I don’t see these additions helping them enough to make them contenders as they are still at best average. Out of all the teams in the NFC North, the Lions have the least amount of talent on both sides of the ball. Their defense is very average to below average and their offense is carried by Matthew Stafford and not effective enough to make up for their defense. For these reasons, the Lions will finish last in the NFC North.