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Predicting The Outcome Of Every Division - NFC North

There’s two favorites to win the division, but not a lot of separation between each team.

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Buffalo Bills Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

To help pass the time between now and the start of training camp, I thought it would be fun to do a regular season and playoff simulation of the 2023-2024 NFL Season until a Super Bowl winner is crowned. I divided the teams into their respective divisions and I will be posting a new article each day for each division, plus each round of the playoffs. That amounts to 12 articles that I can milk out of one idea in the dead of the offseason, which makes my job so much easier. I’ll be sure to link my previous predictions below.

Previous Predictions

AFC East

NFC East

AFC West

NFC West

AFC South

NFC South

AFC North

So without further ado, here are my predictions for every division. Continuing with...

The NFC North

2023 may be Kirk Cousins’ last hurrah in Minnesota. The Vikings have been hesitant to extend Cousins, who turns 35 in August. They also drafted BYU QB Jaren Hall in the 5th round, who could end up being a draft day steal if the Vikings give him a chance to start in the post-Kirk era. As it stands currently, the Vikings have the NFL’s best WR in Justin Jefferson and an elite tight end in T.J. Hockenson. They also added former USC and Pitt WR Jordan Addison with the 23rd overall pick and hired Brian Flores to be their defensive coordinator. However, there are still questions surrounding the future of Danielle Hunter with the team. Heading into Kevin O’Connell’s second year as head coach, the Vikings are a slightly above average team.

Dan Campbell has done something that several other coaches in Detroit have failed to do. Create a positive culture and have the players buy into it. That alone deserves credit. After cock-blocking the Packers out of a playoff spot at Lambeau Field, it feels like the Lions have some positive momentum they can carry over into this season. Even though they were criticized for overdrafting some players, they’re still the most improved team in the NFC North. They bolstered their defense by signing C.J. Gardner Johnson and Cameron Sutton, and drafted arguably the best ILB in this year’s draft in Jack Campbell. Expect the Lions to be better than they were last year.

Everyone in the NFC North, including Packers fans are glad that Aaron Rodgers is finally gone; albeit for different reasons. Packers fans are excited for the Jordan Love era to start, and the rest of division is happy because they get to pretend that the Packers are way worse than they actually are. In all seriousness, the Packers have too good of a defense to simply wither away in the background while the rest of the division fights for NFC North supremacy. If Jordan Love can be slightly above average, then Green Bay will be firmly in the mix for the division title.

This is a make or break year for QB Justin Fields. The Bears had the #1 overall pick and could’ve selected Bryce Young or C.J. Stroud if they wanted to. Instead, they traded down and added WR D.J. Moore to a wide receiver room that includes Darnell Mooney, Chase Claypool and Velus Jones Jr; along with a bounty of picks from the Carolina Panthers. The Bears also made it a priority to fortify the offensive line by drafting OT Darnell Wright out of Tennessee with the 10th overall pick and signing OG Nate Davis. Other notable free agent additions include LB Tremaine Edmunds, LB T.J. Edwards, and DE DeMarcus Walker. Now that Fields finally has some weapons on offense, it’s put up or shut up for the former Ohio State quarterback.

The Projected Standings

1. Vikings: 12-5

2. Lions: 12-5

3. Packers: 9-7-1

4. Bears: 5-12

Next up: Wild Card Round