Next up in our series of Daniel's NFL record predictions for the 2021/22 season, he's taking a look at the NFC North.
Green Bay Packers:
This goes without saying, but this prediction evidently comes with a warning that all prognostications herein become null and void, should Aaron Rodgers change teams at any point before the season begins (or during).
That being said, it’s easy to imagine quite a high ceiling for the Packers, should the current MVP return to Green Bay. Besides games against elites foes such as Tampa Bay, Green Bay should be able to handle Tennessee and even San Fransisco. Or else, what’s the point of constantly drafting defensive players, Gutekunst?
We don’t know who the Dr. Jekyll and mister Hyde Saints will be this year, so that’s a little bit of a wild card... but besides that, their schedule isn’t terribly hard, even if you factor in the flukey divisional games against the Bears and Vikings.
I won’t waste your time pretending the Lions are a threat... but anyways, with somewhat of a Seattle vibe (in that they regularly produce stellar winning records during the regular season and melt during the playoffs) there’s still enough talent on this roster to expect something close to last years results.
I think it’s safe to say there’s a best case scenario of 14-3, and a worst case scenario of 11-6
With Kirk Cousins still at the helm of this franchise, it’s always up to the skill position players to elevate their team. With a solid draft that added some youth to both sides of the ball, there’s reason to be optimistic this season. The cherry on top, is that the Vikings seem to have lucked out and avoided any elite competition (besides the ever-lurking Green Bay, twice...).
They’ll have to put on their big-boy pants and not shit the bed against Indy or Seattle, which figure to be two losses, in my humble opinion. And as for Tampa Bay, they will probably be ref-balling up and down the league by the time the Vikes meet up and go toe to toe, but I’ll give them the Saints on Christmas Day. Unless something catastrophic happens to Dalvin Cook, this team should be able to ride his talent enough to let Kirk manage the game with success.
It obviously falls apart if Justin Jefferson takes a step back... but why fear the worst when for once, there seems to be a legit opportunity at a playoff berth in a cagey division, if only on paper.
The best case scenario that Minnesota fans can hope for is 13-4, but the worst case scenario definitely has them missing the playoffs at 7-10.
Justin Fields! Justin Fields! Justin Fields!
There. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s be clear there’s no chance he starts the season. That means that Andy Dalton, the Red Rifle himself, will be under center for at least the first 3 if not 6 games.
This could actually turn out to be good news, considering the very manageable schedule that the NFL has provided them. It’s almost like the NFL really doesn’t want Green Bay to run away with it again and make things uncompetitive... So if the Bears front office does decide to put their rookie passer in (most probably after their Bye Week) it will only be due to a “disastrous start” that eliminates them from any realistic hopes of post-season contention, and will then provide the soft landing that young quarterbacks need to grow.
But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Mack is there, they can definitely sweep the Lions, split with Minnesota and maaaybe steal one from Rodgers... after all, the Trubisky years are finally behind them, what’s not to love? As always, it comes down to not missing their shots against middle-of-the-pack teams and finishing strong. There’s a good chance this team comes into January on a hot streak, but they have to put the “collapse-bug” behind them.
Best case scenario is 11-6, worst case scenario is 4-13
Man, the Lions never seem to get a break...
After a rough opening slate, the tail end of the season might provide some relief for Jared Goff and his buddies, but it doesn’t seem like this is going to be their year.
It was already hard enough to get any traction with Stafford futilely gunning away each week, and we all know what happens when Goff doesn’t get elite protection... So playing the Bears and Vikings will be tough to watch.
Turns out Golladay was a smarter man than we realized.
Okay, okay I’m joking. Look, it’s not all doom and gloom! There’s always Thanksgiving, and the accompanying short spurt of relevance that they clobber together every fall! What can I say?
Detroit’s an easy city to be down on, especially after pushing Barry Sanders and Megatron into early retirement, not to mention wasting Stafford, so I don’t want to beat a dead horse and predict something too severe.
A best case scenario is right around 9-8, whereas the worst case scenario is all the way down at 5-12. And for real, at least they’ll always have a cool logo... unlike the “Washington Blueskins” who erased one of the last (and only) positive representations of Native Americans in popular culture, under the guise of “wokeness”.
How Do You Feel About Dan's NFC North Predictions?
What are your predictions for the NFC North? Do you agree with Daniel's predictions, or do you feel like he's away off the pace here?
Let us know your thoughts on the upcoming NLF season by tweeting us @theSFjournal.
Dan Bernardini wasn't always the camouflage-clad shadow he is today. No, once upon a time he had it all. Six-figure hedgefund gig, designer suits, luxury car... And boy did he love his Sundays by the pool, splashing around with the wife and kids. It was a great life, until the illuminati took it all away. When the financial crisis hit, Dan was suddenly left holding the bag. "Could have happened to anyone" the lawyers lamented, as the feds seized it all...