NFC North Prediction – The Vibes Version 

NFC North Prediction – The Vibes Version 
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Rushing quarterbacks
There’s a plethora of exciting, young talent in the NFC North, but how will it pan out this season?

The NFC North promises to be the most fascinating division in the NFL in 2023. There are two young and exciting quarterbacks and contrastingly, two older, experienced quarterbacks. Kirk Cousins and Jared Goff have had more than their fair share of criticism since they arrived in the league but they both have winning records. Neither seems to be as poor as their critics would have you believe. 

It’s also the home of some of the most productive running backs in the league and the most exciting, young, wide receivers. All that and defences that promise to be four of the toughest in the NFL. But who’s going to win the whole thing? Only a fool would try to predict something so hotly contested, so here goes nothing. 

A Return To NFC North Glory For Da Bears 

Exciting QB? Check. Monstrous defence? Check. The addition of DJ Moore and how they used him in the screen game in the first preseason game suggest da Bears are back baby! Moore’s only reception against the Titans was a 62 yard touchdown reception. Justin Fields only threw three passes, but they all resulted in completions and he ended the game with 129 pass yards. With the caveat that preseason means nothing and is just an opportunity for youngsters to earn a job, that’s still pretty good. 

After a first year where his team were both he and his team were in a “transitional phase” Matt Eberflus now has the personnel to run his preferred defence. And Yannick Ngakoue, TJ Edwards, Tremaine Edmunds and Eddie Jackson evoke memories of the “Monsters of the Midway”. 

Technically the Bears won the division in 2020, but they ended that season 8-8, so nobody really won that season.

Another Tantalising NFC North Campaign For The Lions 

Physical run game + ball hawking defensive backfield = yes please. Ok then, a really, really physical run game. And CJ Gardner-Johnson, Cam Sutton, Emanuel Mosely and Brian Branch flying around in the backfield are all going to be problems. Particularly for the inexperienced quarterbacks and young receivers in the division. 

The suspension of four Lions players for breaching the NFL’s seemingly incomprehensible betting regulations is a bit of a mood killer for the start of their season. That combined with Jameson Williams (one of those suspended) suffering a hamstring injury seems to have dampened the previously sky high expectations. With Williams and Amon Ra St. Brown the Lions have one of the most complete passing attacks in the league. Without him they will have to rely on Denzel Mims or 33-year-old Marvin Jones Jr, to step up. 

A Bit Of A Fall From NFC North Grace For The Vikings 

The team is formed entirely in the image of Kirk Cousins. They’re very good but erratic when the pressure comes on. And this division is going to be a pressure cooker from day 1. Justin Jefferson is arguably the best receiver in the league and new addition Jordan Addison is attracting plenty of love already. No Dalvin Cook and an offensive line who let Cousins get sacked 46 times last season seems concerning. These Vikings are sort of where the Bengals were when they drafted Ja’Marr Chase instead of a left tackle. Is Kirk Cousins Joe Burrow though? Not really, apart from anything he’s nine years older and those sacks are going to hurt a lot more. 

A Rough NFC North Season For The Packers 

Jordan Love has the unenviable task of stepping into Aaron Rodgers shoes. Not only because Aaron Rodgers chiseled out a Hall of Fame career in Wisconsin but also because Love now has to deal with the Packers’ eternal conundrum. Should they run their offense through the two Pro Bowl running backs they have? Or should they turn it over to the quarterback to weave his magic? And Jordan Love can do some magic, whether he’s allowed to, or if his offensive line can provide him with the time remain to be seen. 

The Packers defence had a season of two halves last season too. For the first 12 games of the season, they conceded 23.6 points per game. But after Joe Barry managed to get a hold of the situation they tightened up, conceding just 17.6 per game for the rest of the season. But that wasn’t enough to make the playoffs. With Kenny Clark, Preston Smith, Devondre Campbell, Quay Walker and Jaire Alexander they should be the defence who turned up for the last five games. 

Keisean Nixon was the Packers wildcard last season. His kick returning ability provided their offence with shorter fields to work with and even scored a touchdown against the Vikings in week 16. How the new touchback rule impacts his effectiveness and how many teams will risk him taking one to the house will be interesting to see. 

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