A year ago, the Minnesota Vikings ended the Green Bay Packers’ three-year stranglehold on the NFC North by capturing their first division title since 2017. Meanwhile, Matt LaFleur’s club not only failed to reach the playoffs but fell below .500 for the first time under his command.
Arguably the team within the division that was playing the best football at the end of the season was the Detroit Lions. After a miserable 1-6 start, the club regrouped and won eight of its final 10 outings. The crowning achievement was knocking the Packers out of the playoffs in the NFL season’s finale, and at Lambeau Field no less.
Then there were the Chicago Bears. Under first-time NFL head coach Matt Eberflus, the team got off to a 3-4 start and then dropped its final 10 games.
All four clubs have done their due diligence to date when it comes to upgrading their rosters this offseason. What questions still loom for the Vikings, Lions, Packers, and Bears?
Can the defense rebound from a horrific showing in 2022?
First-time NFL head coach Kevin O’Connell led a club that won 13 games and a division title this past season and gave up more points (427) than it scored (424). The Vikings finished next-to-last in the league in total yards per game and passing yards per game allowed. There have been numerous changes to last year’s disappointing unit, the biggest being new defensive coordinator Brian Flores replacing Ed Donatell.
Is Aaron Glenn’s defensive unit prepared to take a big step forward?
The 2022 Lions seemed to be making strides on defense after a few rough years. Of course, then came a forgettable afternoon in Charlotte in Week 16 which Aaron Glenn’s unit allowed a whopping 320 yards on the ground and 570 total yards in an ugly 37-23 loss. A pair of rookies, linebacker Jack Campbell (1b-Iowa) and safety Brian Branch (2b-Alabama), will be counted on to make an immediate impact for this unit.
Ep 119: Patrick Mahomes' Top 5 List
by Full Press Coverage on May 27, 2023 at 7:49 pm
Green Bay Packers
Will the team’s ground game carry the load while QB Jordan Love develops?
Under head coach Matt LaFleur, the Packers have put a bigger emphasis on running the football than his predecessor Mike McCarthy. Aaron Jones has emerged as one of the better running backs in the league and burly A.J. Dillon can be a big-time factor at times. The Packers will need even more of that kind of offense, especially early in the season as the team adjusts to a new starting quarterback in Jordan Love.
Around Full Press Coverage
NFL OPINION: Morten Andersen: The Toughest Place To Kick? For Me, It Was This Place
NFL: Joe Klecko: How Fate Changed My Life … And Sent Me To Canton
NFL DRAFT: 2023 NFL Draft Profile: QB C.J. Stroud
FULL PRESS HOCKEY: Arizona Coyotes Arena Deal Rejected by Tempe Voters
PODCAST: According To Who? Ep 2: Top 5 Super Bowls Of All Time
WANT MORE PODCASTS? Check Out Some Of The Latest From Around The FPC Network
Can the offensive line keep QB Justin Fields out of harm’s way?
Only three teams in the league allowed more sacks than the Bears (58) in 2022. Now consider how bad things could have been for Justin Fields (sacked 55 times) if he hadn’t set an NFL record for most rushing yards in a season (1,143) by a quarterback. Hence, first-round pick Darnell Wright (Tennessee) and free-agent pickup Nate Davis (Titans) figure as the team’s new right tackle and right guard, respectively.
Leave a Reply