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NFL

NFL 2022: Green Bay Packers seeking fourth straight NFC North title

The Packers have won the NFC North for the past three seasons, but the Vikings will look to take the division crown from them in 2022.

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GREEN BAY, WI - SEPTEMBER 16: Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers gets sacked during the first quarter of a game against the Minnesota Vikings at Lambeau Field on September 16, 2018 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.   Joe Robbins/Getty Images/AFP
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Joe RobbinsAFP

Since 2011, the Green Bay Packers have won the NFL’s NFC North division eight times, and the last three have been consecutively thanks to Aaron Rodgers. However, this dominance will come under pressure in 2022.

Rodgers must adjust to life without Adams

Rodgers will not have the best WR in recent years because the team traded Davante Adams to the Las Vegas Raiders and with that in mind, the Packers preferred to reinforce the defence with the two first-round picks they had in the Draft, with LB Quay Walker and DT Devonte Wyatt arriving in Green Bay.

Vikings offence looks stronger in 2022

Meanwhile, the Minnesota Vikings’ offence looks more powerful with a more experienced Justin Jefferson, a healthy Dalvin Cook and Kevin O’Connell as the new head coach following the firing of Mike Zimmer. The most important thing is that quarterback Kirk Cousins can take care of the ball when punished by offensive line deficiencies.

The Vikings’ Achilles heel in 2021 was their defence and management took care of that by hiring pass rusher and former Packer Za’Darius Smith to pressure on the opposite side of Danielle Hunter, and by bringing in Harrison Phillips to anchor the defensive line. And the secondary defence was not forgotten, as with their first two Draft selections they picked up safety Lewis Cine and cornerback Andrew Booth Jr.

Lions could be surprise package

The Detroit Lions are poised to be the surprise of the season after finishing with the second-worst record in the 2021 season. Dan Campbell will be entering his second season as Lions head coach and believes his team could emulate what the Cincinnati Bengals did last year.

Many of Detroit’s opponents look beatable; indeed, they have the fifth easiest schedule. The Lions could win three of the first five games of the season as they face the Eagles, Commanders, Vikings, Seahawks and Patriots. Another advantage of the schedule is that they will play both New York teams and the Jacksonville Jaguars in the second half of the season.

Bears not expected to challenge

The team with the worst projections is the Chicago Bears. Although they have the same win over/under as the Lions (6.5), the Bears have a +14400 odds of winning the Super Bowl with Justin Fields and Matt Eberflus as the QB-coach duo in 2022.

Chicago will have to focus their offence on the running game because Fields’ main targets are Byron Pringle, Darnell Mooney and Equanimeous St. Brown. Therefore, David Montgomery will have the opportunity to surpass a thousand rushing yards for the second time in his career.

Predicted final standings in NFC North

TeamWinsLosses
Green Bay Packers116
Minnesota Vikings116
Detroit Lions89
Chicago Bears611

See also: Rams vs Bills video preview

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