Our preview of the 2019-20 NFL season continues today with a look at the other two divisions in the National Football Conference or NFC.

The Chicago Bears were a big surprise last season but their impressive run came to a halt on a missed field goal by Cody Parker. The New Orleans Saints were the best regular season team in the NFC but lost to the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC title game. This coming season, the Bears and Rams are favorites to win the NFC North and West divisions, respectively.

Baseball 2020 NFC North Division Winner

  • Chicago Bears +180
  • Green Bay Packers +185
  • Minnesota Vikings +225
  • Detroit Lions +1200

The Chicago Bears’ season ended in disappointment with Cody Parker’s double-doink but overall, it was a very good season for them, especially since it was just Matt Nagy’s first year as head coach. That said, there is a lot to be optimistic about in 2019. Chicago lost a key defensive player in safety Adrian Amos. But they picked up a cost-effective contract with comparable talent in  Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. The Bears also sent out tailback Jordan Howard but Iowa State’s David Montgomery may be an upgrade at the position. Chicago also plucked wide receiver Riley Ridley to help fill what was among their weakest positions.

After an injury-plagued 2017, the Green Bay Packers were glad to have Aaron Rodgers play under the center during the entire 2018 season. But they won just six games last season, their fewest in a decade. As a result, Mike McCarthy was fired as head coach and Matt LaFleur is set to coach his first NFL game next season. With veteran tight end Jimmy Graham, tailback Aaron Jones and a crew of talented young receivers, Rodgers has an offense that has enough talent for him to weave his magic.

The Minnesota Vikings went from preseason Super Bowl favorite to an 8-7-1 team that was considered as the most disappointing squad of 2018. But after suffering no significant damage in free agency, Minnesota should be in for a better 2019. There is plenty of talent on both ends of the field and rookie Garrett Bradbury should solidify their offensive line. But they may miss the playoffs again.

The Detroit Lions had their fewest wins since 2012 last season with six and it was a rough start to the Matt Patricia era. Detroit spent plenty of Dough to pick up edge-rusher Trey Flowers but he has never had a double-digit sack season in his career. Tight end T.J Hockenson at #8 in the draft is a good addition but one could argue that they have other needs which they could’ve filled. I’m not sure if Detroit will be any better this coming season. The NFL betting odds are saying they’ll finish at the bottom of the standings.

Prediction: Chicago’s defense should still be good this coming season but not as dominating as it was the last time out. On the other hand, a healthy Rodgers can make things happen for Green Bat. I’m going with the Packers to win the NFC North Division in 2020.

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Baseball 2020 NFC South Division Winner

  • New Orleans Saints -200
  • Atlanta Falcons +380
  • Carolina Panthers +725
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers +1000

The New Orleans Saints have almost the same look as the had in 2018. Sure, Mark Ingram and Max Unger are gone but they added Latavius Murray to fill in Ingram’s shoes. They also brought in Nick Easton and 2nd-rounder Erik McCoy to replace Unger. Jared Cook at the tight end position gives Drew Brees and extra weapon although the depth behind Michael Thomas is a question mark. The Saints were the #1 seed in the NFC before their heartbreaking loss to the Rams in the NFC title game so they didn’t have to make big changes.

Whether it was Devonta Freeman, Deion Jones or Keanu Neal, the Atlanta Falcons were riddled by injuries last season. With Jones and Neal hurt, the Falcons’ defense crumbled. Now that Tevin Coleman is gone, Freeman will be more important to them this season. The Falcons drafted two first round picks who are expected to improve the right side of their offensive line. Atlanta also has new coordinators after the team let go of both offensive and defensive coordinators during the offseason, so we’ll see what happens.

The Carolina Panthers‘ 2018 was a tale of two seasons. They started at 6-2 and looked like a Super Bowl contender but they won just one game in the second half of the season and it came during a week 17 game where the Saints rested their players. They said goodbye to Julius Peppers and they used their first-round pick to select an Athletic EDGE in Brian Burns from Florida State. Thomas Davis and Mike Adams are also no longer around and these veterans departures could leave questions, if not holes.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are one of the teams with a new head coach this season. But Bruce Arians isn’t new to the NFL and his aggressive offensive style may be a good fit for QB Jameis Winston. The Bucs lost Adam Humphries and DeSean Jackson but they still have plenty of talent on offense so that won’t be a big issue. On defense, it’s a different story and the Bucs may not have enough time to fix their problems on that end of the field.

Prediction: If it’s not broke, don’t fix it. That’s what the Saints did during the offseason and that was the right thing to do. They’re going to run it back again this year and hope they finish better. I’m picking the New Orleans Saints to win the NFC South in 2020.

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