The Lions really have the best odds to win the NFC North? They ended last season on fire and the team has high expectations this season trying to make their first post-season since 2016.
Here are the odds and mini previews for all of the NFC North teams.
The Lions ended last season winning eight of their last 10 games and narrowly missing out on making the playoffs. Jared Goff was lights out in the second half of last season and has a lot of pressure to show that he is a top tier QB and can lead his team to the playoffs. Amon-Ra St. Brown has been great in his first two seasons and the WR duo of Marvin Jones and Denzel Mims were added in the off-season. The team shocked many by taking Alabama RB Jahmyr Gibbs with the 12th pick in the last draft and he and fellow newcomer David Montgomery will man the backfield duties.
The team is legit up front on defense but the secondary struggled last season, which is why the Lions revamped the unit in the off-season. The team does not have the toughest schedule but their first two games are facing the Chiefs and Seahawks and in their last three games face the Vikings twice as well as the Cowboys.
The Vikings won the NFC North last season with a slew of close game W’s but flamed out losing in the first round of the playoffs. Kirk Cousins, who is in a contract year, remains an enigma putting up solid numbers but not leading his team far in the post-season, yet again. He has, arguably, the best WR in the season in Justin Jefferson, who led the league in receiving yards last season, and while Minnesota let Adan Thielen go, they drafted Jordan Addison in the first round. RB Dalvin Cook, who had four straight +1,000 yard seasons, was a salary cap loss and Alexander Mattison is now the lead back.
The secondary was one of the worst in the league last season and while they made a few additions to that unit that is still the main defensive concern. The Minnesota early season schedule is tough facing the Eagles, Chargers, Chiefs, and 49ers in four of their first six games.
Is Jordan Love the answer? That is the main question for the Packers with Aaron Rodgers now in the Big Apple with the Jets. Love will finally get game-time action and this season will show if he is worth the first-round draft pick the team used on him. Green Bay went with a youth movement moving on from some veteran WRs and they drafted three of them as well as well as two tight ends. Green Bay does have a good RB duo in Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon and they will help take the pressure off Love, who has a lot of it.
The Green Bay D should be in the middle of the pack again after ranking 17th last season in points allowed. Getting off to a good start will be key, and in the Packers first six games they do not face one team that made the playoffs last season.
The Bears dealt the #1 pick in the draft, as they feel Justin Fields is their QB. While he broke the record last season for the most rushing yards by a QB his pass stats have not been impressive. However, he has not had a legit WR and that changed in the off-season with the team adding D.J. Moore and the team is hoping Chase Claypool can stay healthy. The team added RB D’Onta Foreman and while Khalil Herbert is the main returning back, he failed to crack over 10 carries in five games last season.
No shock the Bears have the worst odds to win the NFC North, as they ranked dead last in the NFL last season in passing yards and their D was bad. They made some good moves to improve the defense but Fields has to show he can do it with his arm for Chicago to have any shot. The Bears host the Packers in the season opener but then three of their next four games are on the road with two of them facing teams that made the playoffs last season.