The Inexperienced Bay Packers have received this division every of the final 4 seasons. They’re the one crew within the NFC North with a confirmed quarterback, and a latest historical past that features a great deal of successful. As soon as Brett Favre took over as beginning quarterback in 1992, the Packers’ decade-plus as an irrelevant franchise ended and so they reasserted their place as among the finest franchises within the NFL.
They’ve been a perennial playoff crew for a lot of the final 30 years and have run roughshod over their division foes. The Chicago Bears, Minnesota Vikings, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers — for individuals who nonetheless bear in mind the NFC Central — have had their moments however this division has principally belonged to the Packers since Fox grew to become one of many NFL’s important tv companions.
With no Davante Adams this season, and Aaron Rodgers partaking in psychedelics at almost 40 years previous, the Packers are nonetheless the clear favorites. When Rodgers shouted “I personal you” to the Soldier Area crowd, the message was simply as related to the individuals on the Michigan/Canada border, and within the communities surrounding these 10,000 lakes in Minnesota.
There’s a powerful protection and working recreation supporting Rodgers and the Packers’ reshaped receiving corps. They need to stroll to a 4th-consecutive NFC North championship, until a younger quarterback decides that it’s his time to shine.
Shock alternate end result: The Chicago Bears’ offensive line isn’t as unhealthy as you suppose
That Cleveland Browns Week 3 game was awful last year. The Bears lost by 20, and it looked like the offense was fishing with pool noodles the entire afternoon. They managed to gain just 48 yards of total offense and put six points on the board that day. That game, and the Week 7 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, were disasters that made those who watched the Bears believe that the offensive line was ruining Justin Fields.
However, the unit was not nearly as bad as it looked in those two horror-flick-worthy performances. Per ESPN stats, the Bears’ offensive line was ranked 11th in run-block win rate and sixth in pass-block win rate. Pro Football Focus ranked the Bears’ offensive line at No. 22, and the first sentence in their explanation was: “There were games this season in which the Chicago offensive line couldn’t block anybody, but overall it wasn’t as bad as those low moments.
The word out of Bears camp is that Fields is much improved this year and he showed it in the preseason, especially in the final game against the Browns. Changes were made to the Chicago offensive line with Lucas Patrick at center — there’s a good chance that he will start Week 1 even after the thumb injury — also Teven Jenkins was moved inside to right guard and rookie Braxton Jones will start at left tackle. This group doesn’t have to be the best in the NFL but if it shows improvement from last season, Fields could look on Sundays like the player he was on Saturdays in 2019 and 2020 for Ohio State. If he gets enough support to play like that, the 2018 No. 2 overall high school player in America could be in line for a Patrick Mahomes/Lamar Jackson type of Year 2, and that could vault the Bears to the top of the NFC North.