Heading into the 2023 season, the NFC North is as unpredictable as ever. All four teams were active in the offseason, and each seem to believe they have a strong shot to win the division.
The Green Bay Packers' quarterback change was the most significant development of the past few months, and the Detroit Lions and Chicago Bears also left their mark during both free agency and the draft.
Additionally, the Minnesota Vikings appear conflicted about whether they should retool or double down with their current core. No matter what they decide, they have the talent to compete for the playoffs as well.
With these four franchises having the same goals, the battle for the North will be hard-fought. Divisional showdowns will be more intense than usual, which could lead to some surprising results.
With this in mind, here are four bold predictions on how the NFC North will shake out.
Packers strength comes on offense
The Packers were inconsistent on both sides of the ball last season, but only their offense underwent a major offseason shakeup.
The obvious change comes with Jordan Love stepping in at quarterback, and the team also made additional changes by drafting several pass catchers.
Because of Love's inexperience, the youth of the receiver room and the major shift caused by losing Aaron Rodgers, many are expecting the Packers to struggle in the immediate future.
But some forget Green Bay has plenty of established offensive forces already on hand. The backfield duo of Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon is one of the best in the NFL, and the team also boasts a talented offensive line that should finally be fully healthy come September.
If Matt LaFleur leans on this aspect of the offense, he'll take the pressure off Love in his debut year as a starter. Love and his group of pass catchers would benefit from a run-first offense, as it'd allow them to play through their mistakes at a consistent rate.
Striking such balance would allow Green Bay to establish an efficient offense going forward. While there may not be as many highlight-reel-worthy plays without the former MVP, that doesn't mean the Packers can't move the chains.
And while the team's defense has plenty of continuity, there are still some issues. With key cogs like Eric Stokes and especially Rashan Gary coming off major injuries, there are question marks.
The team's run defense likely will continue to be an issue unless several players make noticeable strides. Finally, Joe Barry's return as defensive coordinator raised eyebrows after a disappointing season for his unit.
As such, the Packers' offensive attack could outshine a mostly unchanged defensive approach.