For eight of the past 11 seasons, the NFC North has belonged to the Green Bay Packers. Over that span, the Packers have averaged 10.7 wins and had a losing record just twice. In each of the past three years, they’ve won 13 games under coach Matt LaFleur.
Meanwhile, the Detroit Lions are in just the second year of a rebuild with a new coach and general manager. The Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings both have a new coach and general manager this year. Everyone is overhauling their franchise in an effort to catch the Packers and finally make this a competitive division again.
Is it too soon to believe that changing of the guard could happen in 2022?
Like just about every team, the NFC North fanbases are feeling pretty good about themselves these days. Lions fans are encouraged by what is perceived to be a fantastic coaching staff and a front office determined to build the right way—no matter how slow the process. Vikings fans are both celebrating the end of what turned out to be a toxic era of Mike Zimmer and what appears to be a “guru” type of hiring in Kevin O'Connell. The Bears look the least confident of the group, but even an exciting quarterback like Justin Fields provides hope among a roster that is still a work in progress.
So who will win the NFC North? Can anyone challenge the Packers this year?
Our staff makes their predictions, as our 2022 NFL season preview continues.
Previous staff predictions: Offensive MVP, Defensive MVP, Rookie of the Year
John Whiticar: Packers
If you read my NFC North preview series, you’ll have learned that the Packers boast an incredible defense from top to bottom. Even without a proven receiving corps, the offense will remain dangerous as well. Chicago has imploded, Minnesota is treading water, Detroit is still growing, and no team seems ready to challenge Green Bay for the North.
Ryan Mathews: Packers
The Green Bay Packers will win the NFC North because Aaron Rodgers is still their quarterback, Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon are one helluva duo, in the backfield, and the defense is flying under the radar—it could very well end up being a top-5 defense in the league.
Hamza Baccouche: Packers
2022 is a race for second place in the NFC North, and it’s wide open. The Bears are a hot mess with a stellar talent at QB, and the Vikings, while usually steady, are anything but a safe bet with star dual-threat David Blough under center. I’m kidding, of course, but in all seriousness, I always hold my breath on a new regime until I see something concrete. The Packers have continuity under one of the best offensive minds in the NFL and Aaron Rodgers is playing out of his mind, both literally and figuratively. I hate to say it, but I expect the Pack to run away with the division in 2022.
Jerry Mallory: Vikings
I guess this can be my hot take. Green Bay has had a stranglehold on the division the last few years but the Vikings will narrowly pass them up this year by a game or two. The Vikings roster is still talented. Last year seemed to be a combination of injuries and a need for a change at the top. They have a new GM and added a highly sought-after first-time head coach in Kevin O’Connell which should give them enough positive change to win the division.
Jeremy Reisman: Packers
While I think there has been some legitimate hype out of Vikings camp lately, it’s the Packers and it’s not particularly close. When you’ve got a defense that good and a Hall of Fame quarterback, you don’t need much else when everyone else in the division is in some stage of a rebuild. In retrospect, a much more interesting question would be “who finishes second?” My b.
Mike Payton: Packers
As much as I’d like to say the Lions, I just can’t at this point. I will say that the NFC North is weak enough that it could possibly happen, but as long as Aaron Rodgers is around, I have to go with the Packers winning the NFC North again. The clock is ticking for them though.
Morgan Cannon: Packers
Green Bay Packers: It pains me to admit this, but Green Bay’s roster is still one of the best in the NFC. Losing All-Pro wide receiver Davante Adams hurts, but they still have Aaron Rodgers at quarterback (for now, until he permanently moves to Peru), and big-time playmakers on the defensive side of the ball.
Erik Schlitt: Packers
I hate it but this is the state of the division right now. The Lions are improving but probably not quite ready, the Bears are clearly rebuilding, the Vikings are pretending not to rebuild, and the Packers are the most complete team with the reigning league MVP under center. Green Bay has experience and talent—even though they lost some superstars this past offseason—so look for them to win the division, host a playoff game… and lose to the 49ers in the Divisional round.
Chris Perfett: Packers
You will hate it, but your hate is irrelevant to the cold matter of it all. I expect the Vikings to look improved, but I cannot trust a first-year head coach just yet. The Bears are trash. The Lions will improve, but not enough to win the NFC North.
The news of the Packers demise is premature. Just because Davante Adams left does not undo that offense, which was actually more run-focused than passing last year. Aaron Jones and AJ Dillion are lightning and thunder.
You will bear it, Lions fans, if only just for a year longer.
Who will win the NFC North in 2022?
This poll is closed