The dog days of summer can’t last forever and thank goodness for that because football is around the corner, and we are gearing up for the 2023 NFL season with our divisional previews. We will be going division by division, breaking down the biggest headlines, the new additions, and our predictions. Here’s our 2023 NFC North Preview.
The Minnesota Vikings were one of the biggest surprises in the league last season, putting together a 13-4 record and heading to the postseason thanks to a fun regular season which included the biggest comeback in NFL history. The Lions were another massive shock, finishing second in the division with a 9-8 record after winning eight of their last 10 games. They just missed out on the postseason, but they did keep out the Green Bay Packers by defeating them in the final game of the regular season which was a massive upset. Speaking of the Packers, it was a rough season which ended with the departure of Aaron Rodgers who will suit up in another conference in 2023. And the Bears sat at the very bottom, earning the first pick of the draft which was subsequently traded to the Carolina Panthers for a boatload of picks.
Favorite to Win in 2023
The Vikings return most of their roster except for a few key veterans in RB Dalvin Cook and WR Adam Thielen on the offensive side of the ball. However, the team upgraded their defense. Because we just haven’t seen enough of Jordan Love, I am listing the Lions as the second favorite to win the North. They had a great draft and they have so much young talent. A lot hinges on Jared Goff and how well he can replicate what he did a season ago, but I trust Dan Campbell and I think if the ball falls the right way, this could be a playoff team. It’d be tough to think that the Bears aren’t still a year away from competing at a high level, but maybe they can be the surprise team in the North this year.
Offensive Player to Watch: Jordan Love
It’s finally his time to shine and there will be a lot of criticism given that he is now following two Hall of Fame quarterbacks. This isn’t an easy job to have, and Packer fans likely expect immediate results as they have become accustomed to success over the last three decades with 22 playoff appearances while Brett Favre and Rodgers were under center.
Defensive Player to Watch: Andrew Booth Jr
The Vikings secondary must play better this season. Andrew Booth Jr. was taken in the second round a year ago but was able to play in just six games. A lot of fans are eager to see the former Clemson star and hope that he can stay on the field this time around.
I’ll go with the Vikings who have the best roster out of any team in the division and a Sean McVay disciple calling the shots who seemed calm and collected in year one. Record: 12-5