The Division Red loves to hate. Red will keep it short here.
Green Bay Packers – The class of this division for a long time having won 8 of the last 10 division titles and only missing out on the playoffs in 2017. A-Rodg has proved himself to be pretty much an A-Hole in taunting the Packers over the off season – not to mention his vaccination deception of past seasons. But fortunately, Mr. Rodgers neighborhood is not exactly populated with teams likely to beat out the Packers in 2022. But there is no doubt the Packers are in a rut. They are a fantastic regular season team that chokes in the playoffs. Mr. Double MVP could not manage to rally his offense to score more than 10 points against a decent 49ers squad while the Packers defense turned in their performance of the year in limiting the 49ers to 13 points. Thirteen points should never win an NFL playoff game unless there is a blizzard or you are playing the Cowboys. This is Green Bay’s last shot at glory with Rodgers in the hold. Don’t hold your breath in Wisconsin. Green Bay still wins the North with a 12-5 record.
Detroit Lions – Red is really way out on the limb with this one. The Lions were bad at the beginning of last season with 8 straight losses to begin the Dan Campbell era. A 3-5-1 record to finish was an improvement and the Lions have made some upgrades over the off season. Goff settles in with a new offensive coordinator and maybe the best two-way back in the league with D’Andre Swift. If their run defense is as good as it has been in the pre-season, the defense will be able to tee off on opposing QB’s with edge rushers Hutchison and Harris. The key for the Lions will be winning games at home. Other than the Packers, the Lions only play three playoff teams from last season – Bills, Eagles and Cowboys. With a soft early schedule, the Lions could be 4-1 when they waltz into Arlington on October 23 after a bye week. If they knock off the Cowboys, people will start talking. Detroit goes 10-7 and makes it in as a wildcard.
Minnesota Vikings – Red hears that there is a team somewhere near Canada that plays football – but not very well. After a tumultuous off-season in which both Head Coach Mike Zimmer and GM Rick Spielman were shown the door (replaced by Kevin O’Connell and Kwesi Adofo-Mensah), it seemed that major roster upheaval would follow. Well, not really. All the major pieces are still in place. A few bright spots (Dalvin Cook and Justin Jefferson on O and Safety Harrison Smith in the backfield) are surrounded by a lot of mediocrity and Red knows mediocrity having watched the Texans play for over 20 years now. The Vikings are mediocre again at 8-9.
Chicago Bears – Who cares? Certainly not Red. Bears are going nowhere and not in a particular hurry. Its a gloomy 6-11 season for the Chicago faithful.