Since 2007, either the Green Bay Packers or Minnesota Vikings have won the NFC North every season but twice. It’s quite likely that trend continues in 2020.
Green Bay has easily the best quarterback in the division in future Hall of Famer Aaron Rodgers and won the North at 13-3 last season, but the Pack are +157 second-favourites on the NFL odds behind the Vikings (+149). Minnesota was a Wild-Card team last year and looks for its first North title since 2017.
Chicago won the 2018 division title but regressed in 2019 to an 8-8 record and is the +403 third-favourite, while the Detroit Lions were again a last-place team a season ago and are +536 long shots.
NFC North NFL Preview
The Vikings (9.0 wins at Sports Interaction) appear to have the best all-around roster in the division and their defence got a lot better recently with the trade for ex-Jacksonville Jaguars Pro Bowl end Yannick Ngakoue. There may be no better pair of defensive ends in the NFL than Ngakoue and new teammate Danielle Hunter. Running back Dalvin Cook is coming off his best season and threatened to hold out in camp for a new contract but didn’t. He’s hugely motivated for another big campaign to cash in this winter.
As usual for the Vikings, it comes down to trusting quarterback Kirk Cousins. He had a career-high rating of 107.4 last year, but Cousins can never seem to beat the good teams – the Vikes were 0-2 vs. Green Bay, for example, in 2019. And, amazingly, Cousins is 0-9 in his career in Monday night games.
The Packers (9.5 wins) might have been more lucky than good in 2019 in winning the division as they were an almost impossible 8-1 in one-score games – by statistical models, they really should have won 10 games and not 13. Being that good in one-score games is simply not sustainable, and history has shown the Pack will not be close to that fortunate in 2020.
However, don’t bet against Aaron Rodgers. When Green Bay traded up in Round 1 of this year’s draft to take raw Utah State quarterback Jordan Love instead of getting Rodgers a badly-needed receiver … well, let’s just say the two-time NFL MVP is playing with a house-sized chip on his shoulder this season. It could Rodgers’ last in a Packers uniform.
This could also be the last season with the Bears (8.5 wins) for QB Mitchell Trubisky, coach Matt Nagy and GM Ryan Pace. They were all the toast of the Windy City in 2018 but now are on major hot seats after the Bears took such a huge step back in 2019. Trubisky might not start another game for the team as most believe trade acquisition Nick Foles will win the job. This offence looks like the division’s worst, especially with top running back David Montgomery perhaps missing a few games with a strained groin. The division’s best defence will keep the team in most games, though.
Do you remember what you were doing in 1993? That’s the last time the Lions (6.5 wins) won a division title, easily the longest drought in the NFC. Matt Patricia is the Sports Interaction favourite to be the first coach fired, and if the Lions start slowly he absolutely will be – especially with a recent change in the ownership structure. QB Matthew Stafford was off to a career-best start in 2019 before suffering a back injury that sidelined him the rest of the way. Detroit lost its final nine games.
NFC North Odds Tracker
NFC North Predictions
The Vikings finish first at 10-6 (over win total), the Packers second at 9-7 (under), Bears third at 7-9 (under) and Lions fourth at 6-10 (under).