At the rate Red is going here, the NFL season will be well into its first week before he finishes his predictions. That’s cheating just a little bit – but not too much.
Red has traditionally hated picking the NFC North. This year is no exception. It seems every team in this division is worse than last year.
Green Bay Packers
Led by tired old Aaron Rodgers, the Packers will likely stumble to another division title despite adding a grand total of almost zero new receiving targets (with apologies to Devin Funchess) for the venerable QB. The Packers will not (repeat will not) get close to the near miraculous 13-3 record of last year. There were a few key pickups – LB Christian Kirksey to replace Blake Martinez and OT Ricky Wagner to replace Bryan. But it still looks like running back by committee with second-round pick A.J. Dillion added to a run-first team with Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams. Fortunately, for the Pack the competition in the NFC North is lacking if not downright weak. Packers make it to 10-6 and win this division again.
In typical Viking style, Minnesota threw about half of their defensive starters overboard on the voyage to 2020. Leading WR Stefon Diggs was shuffled off to Buffalo and Dalvin Cook is holding out (still?) – Red didn’t have time to check. Not that it matters with the Kirk “Kissing” Cousins at the helm. On the bright side DE Danielle Hunter has a legitimate shot at Defensive MVP if he improves even slightly from his 2019 campaign with 14.5 sacks and 3 forced fumbles. Red is still trying to figure out how the Vikings ousted the Saints in the first round of the 2019 playoffs on the road against what was arguably the best regular season team in the NFC in the Saints. Don’t expect such heroics this season. Vikings are 9-7 and miss out on a Wildcard slot by a tie-breaker.
Bears coach Matt Nagy must wake up every day and wonder if he wouldn’t be better off selling used cars in Evanston. He has a quarterback in Mitch Trubisky that he doesn’t trust and that is clearly holding the team back. The cure for that was to go get Nick Foles who lasted about 5 minutes as the starter for the pathetic excuse for a professional football team that was the Jacksonville Jaguars last year. Okay, Foles did return but then deservedly lost his job to the rookie Gardner Minshew. In fairness to Mitch he basically had one target in Allen Robinson II. The addition of tired old Jimmy Graham and tireder older Ted Ginn, Jr. won’t likely help much -nor will the lack of a consistent banger in the backfield. The Bears still sport a defensive unit that is solid enough to keep the team close in games against mediocre competition. The Bears are lucky to start with weak sisters Lions and Giants, but expect Foles to get a shot when the going gets tougher. Bears will be competitive but not competitive enough at 8-8.
The ghost of Bobby Layne still wanders wondering when the Lions will ever win another championship. Sorry Bobby – not this year. The Lions will not be the worst team in the NFL this year but it won’t be for lack of trying. Lions are 4-12.