State of the Division: The NFC North

We’ve already taken a look at the offseason of the teams in the AFC West and NFC West. Logically, and not at all random, we are going clockwise through the cardinal directions, so we move to the NFC North. The NFC North is the home of two of the NFC frontrunners in the Vikings and Packers, an upstart in the Bears, and the Lions also exist as a team in the National Football League. What have the teams done this offseason to get ready for the 2018 season and draft? Let’s take a quick snapshot of each of the teams in the NFC North.

 

The Chicago Bears
The Chicago Bears are tied with the San Francisco 49ers for “Actually Bad team that is going to get way too far out over their skis due to overwhelming, undeserved hype.” Their offense will (hopefully) be legit because Mitch Trubisky (hopefully) takes a big step forward thanks to Matt Nagy’s tutelage (hopefully). They also went out and signed a bunch of weapons in Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel and Trey Burton to (hopefully) take that offense to the next level. The Bears have loaded up on a lot of stuff, and hopefully it pays off for them this year.

Current Status:

 

The Detroit Lions
The Lions really haven’t done a whole lot so far this offseason. Their biggest acquisition was LeGarrette Blount, which will fix their biggest offensive issue, but isn’t going to vault this team to the next level. All-in-all, they made a lot of moves without measurably improving their roster. Call me skeptical that snagging Levine Toilolo and Nick Bellore will put these Lions over the top. They’re third in the division at best, with no shot to jump into the top two. They have no shot at the playoffs, but will still end up 7-9 or 8-8 and be in the mix until the end. There’s just… nothing to get excited about here.

Current Status:

 

The Green Bay Packers
The Packers let long-time replaced long-time GM with human Scrabble board Brian Gutekunst. Gutekunst finally opened the piggie banks and signed free agents, something that Ted Thompson was seemingly physically incapable of doing. He went out and snagged Mo Wilkerson, Tramon Williams and Jimmy Graham. He also took a flier on DeShone Kizer, he of the many interceptions (can’t be worse than Brett Hundley, and it’s not like there are any other options out there or anything). Gutekunst jettisoned or otherwise let go several long-time Packers in Jordy Nelson, Jeff Janis and Richard Rodgers. That last part is what will keep Aaron Rodgers up at night. First Olivia, now Jordy. All his loves are leaving him.

Current Status:

 

The Minnesota Vikings
The Vikes were one game away from the Super Bowl last year, but very nearly didn’t make it that far. The Minneapolis Miracle staved off the pain, and the moves they made this off-season should find them playing multiple playoff games again this year. The biggest contributor to their potential 2018 playoff run will be the return of sophomore running back Dalvin Cook. That and a little thing called winning the Kirk Cousins Sweepstakes will propel their already powerful offense to the next level. Stealing Sheldon Richardson away from the Seahawks certainly won’t hurt the defense, either. They were already powerful and they added just enough to take them to the next level.

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