Josh Frey’s NFL Standings Prediction: NFC North

Kirk Cousins / Aaron Rodgers
Sep 15, 2019; Green Bay, WI, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) greets Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) on the field following the game at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

If you’ve been following this series, there’s probably one division you’ve been wanting to see more than any other: the NFC North. Well, today is the day where we will finally discuss my NFL standings predictions for the NFC North division and go over the Minnesota Vikings and all of the division rivals. Here is how I see the NFC North stacking up at the end of the 2022 regular season.

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1. Green Bay Packers (12-5)

Jan 22, 2022; Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) and running back Aaron Jones (33) in action against the San Francisco 49ers during a NFC Divisional playoff football game at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

At the end of the day, you can take as many receivers out of Green Bay as you want, but as long as Aaron Rodgers sticks around, the Green Bay Packers will be competitive. This team has a strong offensive line and running game along with a terrific defense. They don’t even need their passing game to be great, and they’ll still likely end up being a playoff team in the NFC. For the sake of dramatics, when I went down each schedule, it turned out that the Packers/Vikings game in Lambeau on New Year’s was the deciding game for the NFC North title.

2. Minnesota Vikings (11-6)

Nov 14, 2021; Inglewood, California, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) flexes to the crowd after hanging on to a complete pass for a first down in the first half against the Los Angeles Chargers at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The Vikings might not be able to eclipse the Packers for the NFC North title, but they will rejoin the playoff picture in 2022. Their schedule is a much friendlier slate than 2021’s, and Kevin O’Connell seems to have rejuvenated the locker room. Mix in a few big free agency acquisitions like Za’Darius Smith, and this Vikings team should be a strong group in the NFC North.

3. Detroit Lions (6-11)

Oct 3, 2021; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff (16) passes in the second half against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports

The Kardiak Kitties are going to make games close enough that they may get a few sneaky wins here and there. That said, they are not the playoff team that many people are touting them to be after watching this year’s edition of Hard Knocks. I like Dan Campbell as much as the next guy, but he is not a Sean McVay type of mind that is going to take a Jared Goff-led team and turn them into a playoff contender.

4. Chicago Bears (4-13)

Dec 12, 2021; Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields (1) warms up before game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Thoughts and prayers to Justin Fields in 2022. The Bears offensive line is in shambles, and their wide receiver group was banking on N’Keal Harry to be a big producer until he went down with an injury. The defense has been stripped of much of its talent as well. Chicago is in for a full rebuild, and the only question left is whether or not Fields will actually be a Bear by the time 2023 rolls around.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho with a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing as well as minors in History, Human Biology, and Journalism. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh can often be found training for a marathon, playing video games, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. For more of his takes, NFL and otherwise, check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken