Predictions for the 2020 NFL Season: NFC North

The NFC North hasn’t had a repeat champion since 2014. It’s time to look at whether or not that will remain the case in 2020.

NFC South

4. Chicago Bears

The Bears finished the 2019 season 8-8 and third in the NFC North, but fans should be gearing up for an even more disappointing 2020.

QB Mitchell Trubisky has not been the leader the team needs and a competitive offense starts from the top. During free agency Chicago added veteran QB Nick Foles to put some fire under him but expectations are low.

The team missed their opportunity to go after then free agent QB Cam Newton, who has since signed with the Patriots. If the Bears had signed Newton, their chances of a run at the NFC North and potentially Super Bowl would’ve been higher as his play style fit in better with the offense.

A positive outlook on Chicago is that the defense still looks solid.

Even though some key players were lost, a huge addition came with former Dallas Cowboys DE Robert Quinn. Both Quinn and OLB Khalil Mack will be causing serious pressure towards offenses.

3. Detroit Lions

The Lions draft class is one of the reasons they have a better shot this season than the Bears.

Detroit picked up RB D’Andre Swift from Georgia in the second round. Add Swift into the mix with RB’s Bo Scarbrough and Kerryon Johnson and you have a young, talented offensive pool.

Defensively, the addition of CB Jeffery Okudah of Ohio State will be a huge asset for tying up loose ends in the back. This defense on paper looks to be much more cohesive than last year’s squad.

How well the team does this season rests heavily on whether or not QB Matthew Stafford can stay healthy. Last season, Stafford threw for 2,500 yards and 19 TDs before he went down with a back injury.

If coaching can play their cards right, the Lions could climb up in the NFC North.

2. Green Bay Packers

The Packers are the NFC North’s current reigning champions, but they may not make it consecutive.

During the offseason, Green Bay did nothing to plug up some holes in regards to the obvious needs. No offensive skill and no additions to improve the defense.

The team drafted QB Jordan Love of Utah State in the first-round but made no significant moves for the team afterwards. RB AJ Dillon was picked up in the second-round but doesn’t seem to add any weapons for QB Aaron Rodgers.

The Packers took a big hit after T Bryan Bulaga left to pair with the Los Angeles Chargers. OT Ricky Wagner, formerly of Detroit, was added in an attempt to fill in the void.

Although the team went 13-3 in 2019, the lack of catching talent for Rodgers may bring Green Bay down a notch.

1. Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings finished second in the division at 10-6 last season and clinched a Wild Card Spot. Minnesota traveled to New Orleans and inched out a win 26-20 in overtime before falling to the San Francisco 49ers 27-10 in the Divisional.

Coming into 2020, this isn’t the same team that we saw last season.

During free agency the Vikings lost many players, but nothing was as big as trading WR Stefon Diggs to the Buffalo Bills.

However, with the loss of Diggs comes the rise of a, hopefully, healthy WR Adam Thielen. From 2017-2018 Thielen was able to surpass 1,250 yards each season but injuries held him back in 2019.

Offense also drafted WR Justin Jefferson of LSU. With a run-first approach, QB Kirk Cousins could utilize Jefferson as a new favorite target.

Defensively, the team has a few holes to patch. However, it’s not unlikely that head coach Mike Zimmer accounted for the recent losses and already has a game plan rolling.

Photo: (Mike Roemer – AP Photo)

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