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Sunday open thread: Predicting the NFC North final standings

Now that we know a little more about the division, how do you think it will play out?

Minnesota Vikings v Detroit Lions
DETROIT, MI - NOVEMBER 23: Quarterback Matthew Stafford #9 of the Detroit Lions greets quarterback Case Keenum #7 of the Minnesota Vikings after the Vikings defeated the Lions 30-23 at Ford Field on November 23, 2017 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Week 6 has a chance to be drastically important for all the teams in the NFC North. While the Detroit Lions have the week off, the other three teams are in action this week, and the future of the division may depend on how each team performs.

No teams has it particularly hard, as the Bears take on the Dolphins, the Vikings host the Cardinals, and the Packers face off against the 49ers on Monday night. But given how each team has played thus far, an upset is not out of the question. And with how tight the division has been through five weeks, one slip-up by a team could end up costing them the NFC North title.

So with this week in mind—and the 11 weeks that lie ahead—let’s reset our expectations. Today’s Question of the Day is:

How do you think the NFC North will play out in 2018?

My answer: This is an extremely tough question, because I can see pretty much any team winning this division, but I can also make a good argument for any team finishing last. Each team is so very clearly flawed, but each has a strength good enough to carry them the entire way. The Packers have Aaron Rodgers, the Bears have arguably the best defense in the league, the Vikings have the strongest roster (if it ever gets healthy enough), and the Lions’ offensive line makes them the most balanced offense in the division.

But, ultimately, I tend to fall back on the team’s biggest weaknesses to predict how things will fall. The most well-rounded team is the Vikings, and while their offensive line will continue to give them problems, but we’ve seen that offense keep its head above water with poor talent on the front five before. The Lions, on the other hand, have shown little progress on the defensive side of the ball, and it’s going to frustrate the team and its fans all year.

So here are my predicted final standings:

1. Vikings
2. Bears
3. Packers
4. Lions

Your turn.

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