2019 NFC North Preview

1. Chicago Bears– I really didn’t know what to expect from them in 2018. A new head coach, Mitchell Tribusky was the full-time starter and in September, the Bears made a move that changed the outlook of the entire season when they acquired Khalil Mack from the Oakland Raiders. I would’ve thought you were crazy if you said the Bears would win 12 games, but they did just that. There’s a lot to take away despite the season ending in heartbreaking fashion. In 2019, the Chicago Bears want to show everyone that last year wasn’t a fluke. They return a large chunk of their roster from last season with a few new pieces. Jordan Howard was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles. The Bears also had a good draft in April. This is the team to beat in the NFC North this year entering the 2019 season.

2. Minnesota Vikings– After the Kirk Cousins signing last March, the Vikings were expected to make another run at the postseason. Things didn’t pan out the way many thought it would. They could never sustain consistency. Kirk was paid a lot of money to win games. He can beat the struggling teams; he can’t beat teams with a winning record. That’s the issue. This team can be a lot better than what they showed in 2018. They have a consistent group of receivers, a running game that can punish a defense and their defense will always be mentioned as one of the best units in the league, especially with Coach Zimmer’s defensive background. They didn’t really have too active of an offseason. It will be interesting to see what 2019 has in store for the Vikings.

3. Green Bay Packers– 2017 was a disaster when they saw Aaron Rodgers go down with his collarbone injury. 2018 had to be better, right? Not necessarily. When you thought they were about to go on a run following a win, they lost, sometimes it’d be back to back losses. Things got so bad that they decided to fire long-time head coach, Mike McCarthy after a shocking loss to the Arizona Cardinals who happened to be the worst team in football last season. No matter how good Aaron Rodgers is, he can’t cover up many of the glaring holes this team has. The Packers decided to hire Matt LaFleur as their new head coach, an offensive minded guy at that. One thing I noticed is they had an active offseason which is uncommon for them. To improve their defense, they signed pass rushers Za’Darius Smith and Preston Smith and signed safety Adrian Amos. The Packers have missed the playoffs the last two seasons.

4. Detroit Lions– There’s always some type of optimism surrounding them when the season begins. The issue with the Lions is how they can remain in games until the fourth quarter. They struggle to hold a lead it seems. Year one of the Matt Patricia era was interesting. One of the bright spots they had all of 2018 was the emergence of Kerryon Johnson. He came in and gave the Lions offense balance, something they haven’t seem to have in years. I really try to give Matt Stafford a chance. He just hasn’t cut it for me. The Lions defense was also up and down in 2018 but should be better hopefully in 19. They shocked me with their first draft pick when they decided to take T.J. Hockenson from Iowa with the eighth overall pick.

2019 Predictions

1. Bears (11-5)

2. Packers (9-7)

3. Vikings (7-9)

4. Lions (5-11)

I like the Chicago Bears to win the NFC North for the second consecutive season. I see Matt Nagy keeping his team confident, Tribusky will look to take that next step, the offense could possibly surprise some people and the defense will be the backbone of the team once again. Their defense was labeled the best in the league last season and I see them reclaiming that title again. They have a tough stretch of games where they face the Saints, Eagles and Chargers in three straight weeks, all playoff teams from a year ago.