The NFC’s tundra division has seen its share of roller-coaster seasons over the past between the Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, and Minnesota Vikings. The foundations of potential have found their place on all four teams within the division, but despite an abundance of talent for several of them, none has managed to achieve anything close to resembling a Super Bowl title in that time frame.
Injuries have played a role, as they always do, but more often the issue is simply a lack of execution in major moments. This problem rings true across the division despite the addition of major talent upgrades for most of its teams over the past five seasons. Last year, the Packers rode an improved defense to a 13-3 record, claiming the division title in convincing fashion. And yet, as has continued to be the case in the Aaron Rodgers era, a strong season ended short of a Super Bowl berth yet again as the Packers fell to San Francisco in the NFC Championship Game.
The Vikings continued to disappoint its lofty aspirations, failing to take advantage of a talented offense and a top-five scoring defense. As they continue into 2020, the question will continue to be asked: was Kirk Cousins worth the money? Is he the man to lead them forward and hopefully reach playoff success, or is he simply another stepping stone to the future of the franchise?
The Bears and Lions both continue to show a lack of organizational strength as both injuries and talent questions derailed the seasons of both teams. Moving forward, a substantial change in culture may be needed for both franchises; some will lose their jobs, and new faces will be brought in sooner rather than later.
On that note, let’s take a look at how the NFC North will look in 2020. We’ll look at what should hold over from last season, how they can improve this year, and what the schedule may hold in store.