By Charles Collier
I have compiled a list of my predictions for the NFC North.
- Lions-The Detroit Lions stunned the Kansas City Chiefs last night in the NFL opener. The Lions beat the Chiefs in Kansas City 21-20. The Chiefs are 31-7 at home when Patrick Mahomes starts at Quarterback. The Lions were led by Jared Goff, he completed 22 out of 35 passes for 253 yards and threw one touchdown pass. The offensive line was dominant. David Montgomery and the Lions rushing attack were instrumental in the Lions upset win.
In previous years, Detroit fans have had little to cheer about. Over the last 15 seasons the Lions have been atrocious. The Lions have the distinction of being only one of four NFL franchises to have a win-less season. In 2008, Lions’ fans cried in their beer as the Lions finished the season 0-16. There have been great players who have graced the sidelines for Detroit, Barry Sanders, Calvin Johnson, Dick “Night Train” Lane and the great Alex Karras, to name a few. However, they have been few and far between. This year, the Lions have good coaches and good players, expectations are high. Jared Goff is finally playing at a level worthy of being the first pick of the 2016 NFL draft. Aiden Hutchinson, the Lions best pass rusher always seems to make something good happen and wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown is a consistent play maker. Detroit has all the intangibles to be a much-improved team. The Lions will make the playoffs this year for the first time since 2016 and they will finish the season 11-6.
- Vikings-The Vikings are a good team and will finish the season 9-8. The absence of Aaron Rodgers leaves the NFC North up for grabs. The Vikings will miss the production of former running back Dalvin Cook current starting running back Alexander Mattison will have big shoes to fill. Time will tell if he is ready. Vikings QB Kirk Cousins and 3-time Pro-Bowl selection Justin Jefferson will form one of the highest scoring offenses in the NFL. Justin Jefferson’s first three seasons have been superb. He finished 2022 with league-leading 128 receptions for 1808 yards, and nine touchdowns. Jefferson requires double coverage on every play. Opposing defenses will have to figure out a way to slow down Jefferson if their team is to have any shot at winning.
- Packers-The Packers will go as far as Jordan Love will take them. The Packers have a tough schedule and will face the Lions and the Saints in the first four weeks. Young Packers’ coach Matt Lefluer needs to be patient with Jordan Love and allow Love to develop. The Packers will finish the season 7-10.
- Bears-The Bears have a great young Quarterback in Justin Fields. The Bears front office has not surrounded him with the proper players for him to win consistently. The signing of big play wide receiver D.J. Moore will provide a go to receiver for Fields. The Bears will finish the season 7-10.