The NFC North is going through some serious changes this offseason. The Green Bay Packers lost Davante Adams. Both the Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings fired and hired new general managers and head coaches. Players who have long dominated the division, like Khalil Mack, Eddie Goldman, and Anthony Barr, no longer reside in the NFC North.
Meanwhile, the Detroit Lions are just quietly building. Detroit managed to hang onto their entire coaching staff, making minor tweaks at offensive coordinator and linebackers coach. They didn’t lose any significant pieces from their roster last year, and they managed to add some potential blue-chippers in the 2022 NFL Draft, one on each side of the ball.
There’s a sense around Detroit that there could be a changing of the guard in the NFC North somewhat soon. With Aaron Rodgers’ future very much up in the air beyond 2022, the division will soon be up for grabs. And Lions fans clearly think they’ve got a leg up on the rest of the competition.
Last year, the Lions won two divisional games: a walk-off victory over the Minnesota Vikings at home, and the season finale against the Packers, in which Green Bay played their backups for the second half (although Detroit was leading at halftime). Detroit came close on two other occasions, losing to last-second field goals to both the Vikings and Bears.
On Monday, we asked Pride of Detroit readers to predict how many division games the Lions will win in 2022, and the results are pretty surprising.
Over half of you (58 percent) believe the Lions will finish with at least a 4-2 record in the division. A whopping 93 percent of Lions fans think they’ll be no worse than .500 in the division. That’s a pretty confident fanbase for a team that hasn’t won three divisional games in a season since 2017. Here’s a look at the team’s divisional record in the past four seasons:
But if there’s a year the Lions could take a big jump in the division, this certainly seems like an apt year to do it. Detroit is looking to build upon some late-season improvements, while Minnesota and Chicago hit the reset button and Green Bay is hoping to perhaps make a final run with Rodgers.