The Detroit Lions have been the favorite to win the NFC North for quite some time. Following them currently is the Minnesota Vikings at +250 per DraftKings.
The Vikings just released one of the best offensive weapons in running back Dalvin Cook last week. As of right now, Alexander Mattison is his replacement.
Mattison has done well spelling Cook when needed. But to count on him to replicate Cook’s production over a full season would be foolish.
Minnesota became a worse football team last week. There’s no way of arguing against that.
And with Chicago along with Green Bay still trotting out shaky options at quarterback, the answer to who will challenge the Lions for the division title has become more clear. And that answer is no one.
The Vikings releasing Cook makes the expectation for Detroit that much more certain. The Lions have to win the division in 2023 or the season is a disappointment.
Who is Going to Challenge Them?
There is not one other team is their division that you can muster up a solid argument for. The NFC North is one of the weaker divisions in the NFL.
We just discussed Minnesota getting rid of one of their best players. Now they drafted Jordan Addison to replace Adam Thielen but he’s still a rookie. And he still has Kirk Cousins throwing him the ball.
Their defense isn’t expected to be elite either. Danielle Hunter is a stud and bringing in Byron Murphy at cornerback should help. But they lack multiple star players on that side of the ball.
Chicago is in a similar boat. They lost their best running back as well. Except there guy is now on the Lions.
DJ Moore, Chase Claypool and Darnell Mooney are a solid trio of receivers but again, look who is throwing the ball to them. I might be one of the few that is still holding out some hope for Justin Fields, but even my patience is wearing thin.
The Bears did bolster their defense by bringing in linebackers TJ Edwards and Tremaine Edmunds. Those guys will definitely help. I’ve seen worst defensive back groups as well.
But their defensive line isn’t good at all. They do not have a pass rushing threat I’m worried about. If you can’t get to the quarterback then you’re already in trouble.
Green Bay has the roster I really don’t mind. They have a solid defense and a good rushing attack. Even their young receivers Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs showed promise last year.
But unless Jordan Love gets a lot better this off-season, I can only put their ceiling so high. They are not that good at other areas to make up for a below average quarterback.
The Division is Theirs
All of that is an indication that the Lions should win the NFC North, no questions asked. Who in the division is realistically going to win more games than them this season.
I see some of your comments saying you hope they make the playoffs. Hope they make the playoffs? The only way the Lions shouldn’t make the playoffs is if their whole team trades places with the Michigan Panthers.
Short of that or Jared Goff missing most of the season, the playoffs should be a sure thing. Because I don’t see how they don’t win this division.
Get ready for a home playoff game Detroit.
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