How the NFC North was won

Sonja Greenfield, Senior NFL Reporter NFC North, NFC East

By Sonja Greenfield //@Mom23RN

Week 17 is done, and the playoffs are upon us!  I’m always excited because that usually means stress-free football for me. Nothing quite like watching games and not being stressed out. Though, to be honest, this season didn’t stress me so much.

But let’s recap the NFC North and how they got to where they are now. Because outside of the Detroit Lions, it was all pretty interesting.

.Green Bay Packers:  I guess drafting quarterback Jordan Love was all the pressure that QB Aaron Rodgers needed. He and the Packers had a monster season.

They started off by scoring 85 points in their first two games and got off to a 4-0 start. There really were no bumps in the road this season until week 17, when offensive lineman David Bakhtiari ended up on the IR with an ACL injury.  Wide receiver Davante Adams, who broke WR Sterling Sharpe‘s record for team receptions this season, was Rodgers’s go-to all season. And then to round out the run game, running back Aaron Jones had another stellar regular season.

This team pretty much ran away with the division, and there was no doubt about their position.  It was a historic regular season. Now, they prep for a deep playoff run. And what were Rodgers’s final words to the team before they left?  According to Ryan Wood on Twitter, they were, “Don’t get COVID”

Chicago Bears: Talk about a roller coaster of a season. Starting in the offseason when they didn’t extend QB Mitchell Trubisky’s contract to bringing in QB Nick Foles. People were not too high on the Bears going into the season, but no one told the Bears that.

They started off with a 5-1 record and people were surprised. Despite this, they switched quarterbacks from Trubisky to Foles, after Trubisky started 3-0. They won two more games but went on a 6 game losing streak, which included a heartbreaking loss to the Detroit Lions.  Also, injuries to key players such as RB Tarik Cohen didn’t make things too much easier.

The Bears were able to get things back on track and were able to, despite a week 17 loss, get into the playoffs, having won 3 of their last 4 games of the season. Going back to Trabisky helped to right the ship, but there’s still work to be done in the off-season. But for now, they’ll head to New Orleans to take on the Saints in their wild-card game.

Minnesota Vikings: As a Lions fan, this team is always one that I keep my eye on. They usually have pretty quiet, but good seasons. This season, you expected more of the same, but unfortunately, that wasn’t the case.

After starting out 1-5, they then won 5 of their next 6 games, to get to a 6-6 record. And the way the NFL is set up, they still were very much in the playoff hunt.  Rookie WR Justin Jefferson was outstanding this season, along with RB Dalvin Cook.  But, they couldn’t get the job done having lost 3 of their last 4.

This was a younger, inexperienced team, that had some questionable coaching decisions.  However, if this coaching staff stays, and Jefferson keeps developing, and their rookie cornerback Jeff Gladney continues to improve, it could be trouble for the rest of the division next season.

Detroit Lions:  This team had a very tumultuous season. They couldn’t hold a lead in their first two games of the season, and then they beat an Arizona team on the road. They were able to get to .500 record, but then the bottom fell out.

They got shut out by the Carolina Panthers and had an embarrassing game on Thanksgiving. That was when they fired both their GM and head coach. The Lions ended the season on a 4 game losing streak, having given up a historic amount of points. And that’s how the Lions got to the cellar this season.

But what next season will bring, no one knows. This team could look 100% different come next opening day, with possible losses of QB Matthew Stafford and WR Marvin Jones.

So, that, in a nutshell, was how the NFC North was won.

Let’s see how the playoffs playout for the Bears and the Packers!

 

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