3. The Division
The NFC North projects to be one of, if not the best division in the NFL going into 2019. The Bears would be improved, the Minnesota Vikings are coming off of a trip to the NFC Championship, and the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers have a chance if their franchise quarterbacks decided to show up and have MVP caliber seasons.
That turned out to be a bit of an overrated take. The Lions turned out to be a pretty bad team in the league, and did not have any of the results they were hoping for. The Packers defeated the Bears in week one and that was their crowning achievement of the season. Aaron Rodgers couldn’t even save them from terrible defense and he had a rough year by his standards himself.
The Bears were expected to be better than the season before, but most still pegged them to come in third place and possibly even last. When they lost to Green Bay in Week 1, it felt like more of the same was on the way. Losing against a division rival and letting Aaron Rodgers have a field day? We’ve been there before.
Well, that would not come to be true as the Bears would run the table against the division the rest of the way. Going 7-1 in total against the division they won the NFC North. By the time the season ended it was not much of a surprise.
The Vikings were a complete disappointment as many had them as a true Super Bowl contender, especially after adding Kirk Cousins as their big money quarterback. That didn’t really happen for them. Although they didn’t get eliminated until Week 17, they should have had a playoff spot locked up early based on projections.
So going forward, how much is this division going to be a problem for the Bears? It doesn’t seem like it will be much of one at all any time soon. The Bears were in the basement of the division for many years in a row, but we could be entering a world where the Bears are the kings of the North for many years in a row. Anything can happen in sports, but if all goes well, it is very possible.
The Vikings are going to rely on Kirk Cousins to be a franchise quarterback on a Super Bowl contending team and that is not likely going to happen. They have a good team and will probably be the team that the Bears need to lose next season in order to clinch the division, but they don’t seem like much of a threat as we stand right now.
The Packers have Aaron Rodgers and the Lions have Matthew Stafford. They have both shown they can be difference makers at any given moment, especially Rodgers who is one of the best to ever do it. With that said, they don’t have the level of elite talent surrounding them like Chicago does. If they Bears play well next season, they should cruise to a second straight division title and hopefully have a first round bye.
The division being on the weaker side is one of the reasons the Bears will be Super Bowl Champions next year. It will be up to them to make all these reasons come to fruition and end the season with the big win, and be on top of the football world for the first time since 1985.