Predicting each NFC North team's record for the 2019 NFL season
With Training Camp nearly upon us, it's time for me to make my final record predictions for the only remaining division, the NFC North. But before I jump into record predictions, let's assess what each team can bring to their respective tables, going into the 2019 season.
The Packers certainly surprised many by making a splash in free agency, adding players like pass rushers Za'Darius Smith and Preston Smith, along with safety Adrian Amos. The Vikings still have one of the league's most stout defenses, especially after being able to convince star linebacker Anthony Barr to return, just after he had committed to the Jets.
Detroit made sure they weren't left out of the free agent frenzy, by adding cornerback Justin Coleman and star pass rusher Trey Flowers. Meanwhile, it seems to be business as usual for the Chicago Bears, as they still have one of the NFL's most prominent defenses, with Khalil Mack leading the way.
Based on everything mentioned, this could be one of the tougher divisions going into this season. Here's how I believe every NFC North team will fare, record-wise, in 2019!
#1 Chicago Bears: 11-5
Last season, NFL offenses took center stage and gave fans an abundance of performances that no one will forget in a trice. With star players such as Patrick Mahomes and Andrew Luck creating personalized highlight-reels on a weekly basis, the idea of having a dominant defense seemed to be put on the back-burner fairly quickly. Well, unless you were the Chicago Bears, that is. Behind this proponent group of players with Khalil Mack, Leonard Floyd, Roquan Smith, Kyle Fuller and others, they made sure the phrase 'dominant defense' went from being irrelevant, to relevant in a matter of weeks.
This was a defense that no one wanted to play, as they quickly climbed their way to becoming what many believed to be the scariest unit in the entire league. Behind now former DC Vic Fangio, Chicago's defense ranked 1st in points allowed per game with 17.7, 3rd in total yards allowed per game with 299, 7th in passing yards allowed per game with 219.7, and 1st in rushing yards allowed per game with 80.0.
The quality play and numbers for this defense last season is about as conclusive of evidence as you need to see. They are no laughing matter. And I haven't even mentioned the offense and its major improvements behind first-year head coach Matt Nagy. I have no concerns with this Bears' defense. I do, however, have yet to see Mitchell Trubisky take that 'next step' in becoming THE guy for Chicago. Now, that's not on an indictment on his potential. Trubisky's 24:12 TD:INT ratio and 95.4 QBR is pretty good, if you ask me. I would personally like to see that improve over time. And I think it will.
Here's the other thing, too, Trubisky doesn't have to be perfect. Where he lacks in arm strength he makes up for in mobility. The weapons on offense are in place, and the defense is arguably the best in football. It's simple: All Trubisky has to do is utilize what he's been given to his advantage, and the Bears could be legit Super Bowl contenders this season.
That said, I think there are other teams that currently are better suited at the quarterback position. Even still, I'm critical, not stupid. Picking the Bears to win their division is a foregone conclusion. They may not be the NFC's top seed, but look for them to win 11 games this season and still be one of the tougher teams to beat as well.