NFC North Recap and Championship Games Predictions

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The 2022 NFL Regular Season is long complete and the NFC North shit the bed (except for the Lions kind-of due to low expectations). Let’s recap what happened and look at the Conference Championship Game Matchups.

Minnesota 13-4

Detroit 9-8

Packers 8-9

Bears 3-14

Vikings FLUKE CITY 13-4

The Vikings fluked their way to the NFC North title with crazy one score game wins (11-0 or some shit). Vikings DVOA was terrible (27th) but they were 8th in PPG offense, 30th in PPG defense (and fired DC Ed “Don’t Ask” Donatell).

Any good team they faced they got their teeth kicked in (Lions, Eagles, Cowboys). And then they lost at home to the lowly Giants in the Wild Card Round. Frauds for sure. Justin Jefferson is elite. Dalvin Cook is good (1,173 yards and 8 TDs). TJ Hockensen didn’t save them (519 yards and 3 TDs with Vikings). Cousins sucked this year (92.5 rating) and is due big guaranteed money.

Lions The Team That Can and Will 9-8

The Lions started 1-6 due to flukes and concentrated injuries. The team got much healthier and they won 8 of their last 10 games to finish 9-8 (WINNING RECORD IN A REBUILD). They won in Lambeau to Week 18 to knock the Packers out of the playoffs too (a banner will be raised) and got hosed by the refs in Seattle/Rams game to screw them out of playoffs.

If Detroit were healthier or didn’t blow a couple double digit leads earlier in the season (or give up 48 to Seattle losing 48-45), they would have been in and made a lot of noise. But if my aunt had a dick she would be my uncle. Lions will just use this for next year motivation and add talent to their 28th ranked PPG defense. Hopefully they can retain their DC Aaron Glenn, who interviewed with Colts and Cardinals and hopefully the Lions have extreme health in 2023 or more defensive talent/depth.

Detroit gained valuable experience with a young roster to make a run in 2023. The Lions had a top 5 offense and will retain their genius OC Ben Johnson with a big pay raise. Jared Goff had the best year of his career with 99.3 QB Rating 29 TDs and 7 picks. He will be the starter but the Lions have options with two 1st round picks (pick 6, thanks Rams for sucking and pick 18). Goff is elite at Ford Field and game manager on the road. The Lions have a ton of weapons and Jamaal Williams had over 1,000 yards and set the franchise record for 17 rushing TDS in a season. He is a FA and I hope the Lions bring him back.

The Lions defense showed their young talent with Aidan Hutchinson 9.5 sacks with consistent pressure and good run defense (plus 3 picks) and James Houston (8 sacks in like 6 games). Rookie Kerby Joseph (4 picks, 3 of Rodgers) is Aaron Rodgers daddy. Alim McNeil is a good DT but the Lions need much more at CB (Okudah was solid but then regressed and benched), safety (other than Joseph and Walker coming off achilles) and LB (rookie Malcom Rodriguez is solid). Detroit improved in second half of season but need more talent on defense. Offense is top 5 and special teams is good too. Detroit is in cap heaven, talent heaven and draft pick heaven (5 picks in top 100). Big offseason and an even bigger 2023 season. Can’t wait!

Packers Window just Shut 8-9

Aaron Rodgers lost his magic crystal power and had a 91.1 rating. Thumb injury came into play I’m sure plus having young receivers injured and learning as the year went along. Aaron Jones was good with 1,121 yards and 2 TDs (plus 5 receiving) but not the Aaron Jones of old that got the big contract.

Christian Watson came along big time in second half of the year, but it wasn’t enough (611 yards and 7 TDs). Lazard 788 yards and 6 TDs is a free agent along with TE Robert Tonyan (470 yards and 2 TDs in a down year). Other rookie Romeo Doubs added 425 yards and 3 TDs. Cobb 417 yards and 1 TD. There just was not enough fire power without Davante Adams (1,516 yards and 14 TDS with the Raiders). Packers were 14th in PPG offense at 21.8 and 17th PPG defense (when many expected top 5). Also Quazy Walker likes shoving trainers.

Green Bay has some cap hell and some questions with Rodgers future (trade?). Will they hit the reset button and trade Rodgers or try again in 2023 with much of the same roster for better results.

Bears I hope that was a tank job for your sake 3-14

Justin Fields is an incredible runner. Fields was seventh in overall rushing in the league with 1,171 yards and 8 TDs. The problem is he got hurt and he is a QB.  His 85.2 rating was actually an improvement from his rookie year (73 rating). Fields notched 17 passing TDS and 11 interceptions in 2022. The Bears need more weapons for him, better protection for him and upgrade at actual RB for him (Montgomery a FA). He can’t do it all.

The Bears defense was also 32 PPG and tanked by trading Mack (offseason to Chargers), Robert Quinn (to Eagles and they don’t even need him) and Roquan Smith (new 5 year deal with Ravens). The Bears have the number 1 pick in the draft and they earned it for sure. Bears have high draft picks and extreme cap heaven so should make some noise this offseason with GM Ryan Poles and HC Matt Eberflus.

Championship Games

49ers at Eagles 3 PM ET FOX

Stud defense against a good offense with good defense. Eagles are the team to beat but the 49ers forcing turnovers could get them back to the Super Bowl and back to first in all-time post season wins for a franchise. I don’t how Purdy is doing well but it shows having a good Oline, run game, weapons and defense can help any QB. Hurts is a MVP candidate and better act like one on Sunday. Boils down to Eagles run game having success in this one though for the Eagles offense to have any success. If the 49ers shut the run down, they should shut the Eagles down

49ers 21 Eagles 20

Bengals at Chiefs AFC Champ Game 630 ET CBS

Bengals with Burrow are 3-0 against Chiefs with Maholmes. Maholmes should be healthy but the Bengals offensive line is not. The Bengals had success against a good Buffalo defense last week though and Joe Burrow just figures out how to win and have success. Never count out Maholmes though. It will boil down to if the Chiefs can force 2 turnovers in this game to outshoot the Bengals.

Chiefs 31 Bengals 27