Packers Will Still Reign Supreme in NFC North in 2020
Green Bay Packers came out of somewhat nowhere to win the NFC North division in 2019. After two losing seasons and a new head coach, the expectations were somewhat low in Year 1. Maybe make the playoffs, lose in the first or second round would be seen as a success. Green Bay did so much more with a 13-3 record and a trip to the NFC Championship. It is not surprising that people will see Green Bay as vulnerable to repeat their success in division. NFL.com’s Gil Brandt ranked the Packers’ least likely out of anyone else. While Brandt is a complete legend, he’s off on this one.
It’s easy to forget, but the Packers’ road win over the Bears to kick off the 2019 season was seen as a slight upset at the time. Green Bay spent the entire year proving naysayers wrong, culminating in a 13-3 record and an appearance in the NFC title game — where the Packers were outclassed by the San Francisco 49ers. Having a year under their collective belts in coach Matt LaFleur’s offense should help, but I’m skeptical that the roster has been upgraded enough this offseason to put the team over the hump. Another concern: The dynamic between two-time MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the man who was drafted in the first round to ostensibly replace him, Jordan Love, could play out in a variety of ways, potentially impacting team success. Oh, and I almost forgot: The Vikings have the makings of a playoff team again, and the Lions will be better with a healthy Matthew Stafford under center.
Let’s start with the rest of the division, can we point out that no one got better in the NFC North? Brandt mentions the Vikings as a playoff team, but did he see what they did this offseason? They lost Stefon Diggs and their entire secondary. Vikings seemed to take a step back with many missing pieces. Lions have won four and three games with Matt Patrica as their head coach. I know Matthew Stafford is back, but this team has a culture problem. If Nick Foles works well with the Bears offense, I could see that being the team to make a push towards the top. Regardless, the Packers are the clear favorite.
Should fans expect 13-3 next year? Hell no. Could they expect to at least win 10 games? Probably. That is reasonable. And they should also think of themselves as the class of the NFC North.