The Green Bay Packers have gained this division every of the final 4 seasons. They’re the one staff within the NFC North with a confirmed quarterback, and a latest historical past that features a great deal of successful. Once Brett Favre took over as beginning quarterback in 1992, the Packers’ decade-plus as an irrelevant franchise ended they usually reasserted their place as among the best franchises within the NFL.
They have been a perennial playoff staff for a lot of the final 30 years and have run roughshod over their division foes. The Chicago Bears, Minnesota Vikings, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers — for many who nonetheless bear in mind the NFC Central — have had their moments however this division has largely belonged to the Packers since Fox turned one of many NFL’s primary tv companions.
With no Davante Adams this season, and Aaron Rodgers partaking in psychedelics at practically 40 years previous, the Packers are nonetheless the clear favorites. When Rodgers shouted “I own you” to the Soldier Field crowd, the message was simply as related to the individuals on the Michigan/Canada border, and within the communities surrounding these 10,000 lakes in Minnesota.
There’s a powerful protection and operating recreation supporting Rodgers and the Packers’ reshaped receiving corps. They ought to stroll to a fourth-consecutive NFC North championship, except a younger quarterback decides that it’s his time to shine.
Surprise alternate end result: The Chicago Bears’ offensive line isn’t as dangerous as you suppose
That Cleveland Browns Week 3 recreation was terrible final yr. The Bears misplaced by 20, and it seemed just like the offense was fishing with pool noodles all the afternoon. They managed to achieve simply 48 yards of whole offense and put six factors on the board that day. That recreation, and the Week 7 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, had been disasters that made those that watched the Bears consider that the offensive line was ruining Justin Fields.
However, the unit was not practically as dangerous because it seemed in these two horror-flick-worthy performances. Per ESPN stats, the Bears’ offensive line was ranked eleventh in run-block win price and sixth in pass-block win price. Pro Football Focus ranked the Bears’ offensive line at No. 22, and the primary sentence of their rationalization was: “There had been video games this season through which the Chicago offensive line couldn’t block anyone, however total it wasn’t as dangerous as these low moments.
The phrase out of Bears camp is that Fields is far improved this yr and he confirmed it within the preseason, particularly within the last recreation in opposition to the Browns. Changes had been made to the Chicago offensive line with Lucas Patrick at middle — there’s a superb likelihood that he’ll begin Week 1 even after the thumb damage — additionally Teven Jenkins was moved inside to proper guard and rookie Braxton Jones will begin at left sort out. This group doesn’t need to be the perfect within the NFL but when it reveals enchancment from final season, Fields may look on Sundays just like the participant he was on Saturdays in 2019 and 2020 for Ohio State. If he will get sufficient assist to play like that, the 2018 No. 2 total highschool participant in America could possibly be in line for a Patrick Mahomes/Lamar Jackson sort of Year 2, and that might vault the Bears to the highest of the NFC North.