NFL Win Totals Predictions – NFC North

07 / 29 / 2022 By Ally Mielnicki

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The Packers have dominated the NFC North in recent seasons, but with the departure of WR Davante Adams, there is a major hole that must be filled on the Green Bay offense – even if Aaron Rodgers is signed for the long haul.

Outside of Adams leaving the division, it was a relatively busy offseason in the North. The Lions drafted DE Aiden Hutchinson with the No. 2 overall pick, the Bears bid farewell to LB Khalil Mack and WR Allen Robinson, and the Vikings hired new head coach Kevin O’Connell.

Though Green Bay will undoubtedly be favored to repeat as division champions, the competition has tightened as all 3 teams will look to dethrone the Pack. So which teams do we like to go over their projected win total or under it? Let’s break down the division.

Chicago Bears

Win Total Over/Under: 6.5 (+130/-150)

Prediction: Under

When the Bears traded up to draft Justin Fields in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft, all the hype surrounded the young QB to be their franchise starter. After a less than stellar rookie season, Fields faces high expectations. However, the Bears did little to help their young gunslinger. Chicago watched their top wideout Allen Robinson sign with the Rams. They traded away for N’Keal Harry from the Patriots, but he has turned in consecutive disappointing seasons since being drafted by New England. 

On defense, Chicago decided to move on from LB Khalil Mack, sending the edge rusher to the Chargers for multiple draft picks. They also released LB Danny Trevathan after several injury-plagued seasons. 

Perhaps the biggest offseason move the Bears made was firing Matt Nagy and hiring former Colts DC Matt Eberflus. It was a perplexing hire, given the priority to develop Fields, opting to go with a defensive-minded head coach. 

The Bears’ success will depend on Fields’s progress in his second season. If Fields can progress in his second season and take his play to the next level, Chicago will take strides this season. However, I don’t have much faith in this team, and Fields has yet to give me any sense of confidence that he is the Bears’ future. Going Under. 


Detroit Lions

Win Total Over/Under: 6.5 (-115/-105)

Prediction: Over

At first glance, a 3-13-1 record may seem like a season worth forgetting. In actuality, it was a rebuilding season in which the Lions found themselves in several close games against top-tier opponents (Ravens, Rams) and discovered talent in unlikely players (Amon-Ra St. Brown) that bodes for a promising future.

Entering the offseason, the Lions needed to majorly upgrade the defense, which ranked second to last in yards allowed. They did that by drafting hometown product DE Aidan Hutchinson out of Michigan. They also upgraded their receiving corps on offense by signing former Jaguars wideout DJ Chark and selected Alabama WR Jameson Williams 12th overall.

The offense should be vastly improved from last season now that Jared Goff has more weapons. While the defense could still use work, the Lions benefit by having one of the easier schedules in the NFL, with non-conference opponents such as the Jets, Giants, the Seahawks, and the Jaguars. It may seem like a reach to predict Detroit will more than double their win total from last season, but it’s not all that farfetched. With a full year under their belts in the Dan Campbell system, this team has enough talent to take it to the next level. This team could be a sleeper for a Wild Card berth. Over


Green Bay Packers

Win Total Over/Under: 11 (-110/-110)

Prediction: Over

What a difference a year makes. Last season, there was no question that the Aaron Rodgers- Davante Adams duo was the best in the division. Now, Adams is a Las Vegas Raiders member, leaving behind a sizable void in the receiving corps. In response, the Packers drafted Christian Watson in the 2nd round of the NFL Draft and added the oft-injured Sammy Watkins to the roster. It will be a challenging year for Rodgers having to acclimate to his new targets, but he still has veteran Randall Cobb and Allen Lazard, who emerged as a reliable options last season.

Let’s not forget, however, that the Packers backfield tandem of Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon is one of the best in the league. Count on Jones to be used more in the passing game and for Dillon to get more touches than your typical 3rd-down back. The defense, too, should remain solid as they ranked in the Top 10 last year in yards allowed per game.

Rodgers remains a perennial favorite to be the MVP from year to year, and if he can take this team to an NFC Championship game or better, there is no question he will be in talks to win the award. All eyes will be watching this team, and for once, the question will divert from whether or not this is Rodgers’ last season in Green Bay, given the extension he signed in the offseason. It will be quite the test for Rodgers and Matt LeFleur’s offense given the absence of a bonafide No. 1 receiver, but the Packers are still the top team in their division and should repeat as champions. They collected 13 wins last season, and while they may not be as good on paper as last year, they play in a much easier conference than the AFC and will be in contention for a bye come playoffs. Over.


Minnesota Vikings

Win Total Over/Under: 9 (-115/105)

Prediction: Over

The Vikings were much better than their record indicated last season (8-9). Of their 9 losses, 8 came by one score or less. It was enough, however, to cost HC Mike Zimmer his job as the Vikings inked Rams OC Kevin O’Connell to take over.

On paper, this is one of the better teams in the NFC. The wide receiving duo of Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen ranks as one of the top tandems in the league, along with Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison manning the backfield. This offense, though, operates on the effectiveness of Kirk Cousins. If Cousins plays up to his talent, the team thrives. If he has an off week, the team suffers.

Yet, Cousins is not the lone member of the team to blame for their losses. The Vikings’ defense was atrocious last season, ranking 7th-worst in points allowed and 3rd-worst in yards allowed. However, the Vikings did make upgrades, notably to their secondary, by signing former Packers EDGE Za’Darius Smith in the offseason. They also netted LB Jordan Hicks and retained LB Danielle Hunter.

It may not have been one of the flashiest offseasons for the Vikings, but this squad was already a borderline playoff team last year. With a new offensive-minded head coach who worked wonders with the Rams the past few seasons, the Vikings should find themselves right back in the Wild Card race and may even challenge Green Bay for the division title. Take the Over.


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