The last time a team from the NFC North reached the Super Bowl was 2010. That season, the 10-6 Green Bay Packers won three straight road playoffs games and defeated Pittsburgh in Arlington to claim the franchise’s 13th NFL title and fourth Lombardi Trophy. Sound familiar? The Tampa Bay Buccaneers just turned that trick, with one of their four postseason wins at Lambeau Field. Now Aaron Rodgers and company must find a way to solve a Bucs’ team they lost to twice in 2020.
NOTE: 2020 win-loss records include playoffs
Green Bay Packers (14-4)
The club has finished 13-3 two straight years and each time advanced to the NFC title game. But both times, costly turnovers and a shaky defense derailed the team’s Super Bowl chances. Running back Aaron Jones is back and Joe Barry is the new defensive coordinator. But GM Brian Gutekunst could look for some offensive line help. Center Corey Linsley may leave via free agency and left tackle David Bakhtiari is on the mend.
Chicago Bears (8-9)
The club didn’t pick up the fifth-year option on quarterback Mitch Trubisky. He played well during the second half of 2020. Hence Matt Nagy’s club was able to overcome a six-game losing streak and reach the playoffs. Who will be the starting signal-caller in the immediate future? There have been Russell Wilson rumors via a trade vs. Seattle. Nick Foles is still on the roster. And could Trubisky actually come back for another try?
Minnesota Vikings (7-9)
Last April, general manager Rick Spielman and the team set a record with 15 selections in a seven-round draft. The majority of those were on defense and with last offseason’s departures, it was a year of growing pains for Mike Zimmer’s pride and joy. Minnesota allowed 475 points, the fourth-highest total in the league, and 49 offensive TDs. The club could lose free safety Anthony Harris to free agency and that’s an issue.
Detroit Lions (5-11)
New head coach Dan Campbell takes over a team with a combined 14-33-1 record the previous three seasons. The new quarterback will be Jared Goff, acquired from the Rams for Matthew Stafford in a deal with other considerations. But when you give up the second-most points in one season (519) in NFL history, defense is easily the franchise’s biggest concern. New GM Brad Holmes and coordinator Aaron Glenn will be busy.