The NFL has always been known for its parity. It feels like we have teams surprising us every year, for better or worse. In fact, in 18 of the last 20 years, a team that finished in last place the year before won their division the next year! Hope springs eternal for all fanbases in August, when everyone still has zero losses.
While the New York Jets seem like the most obvious choice to go from worst to first thanks to Aaron Rodgers, the Chicago Bears just may be the team to surprise the NFL world this year. The NFC North hasn’t been this up-for-grabs in decades, with the Packers finally not entering a year with a future Hall of Fame QB under center. Justin Fields took the NFL by storm last year, and has shown immense ability as a playmaker. You can fairly argue that he’s the most dynamic QB in the division. In the offseason, the Bears traded for wide receiver D.J. Moore and added tight end Robert Tonyan to the fold. They will also have wide receiver Chase Claypool for an entire year. The biggest obstacle for the Bears may be their own defense. The defense was simply putrid last year. However, an optimist would say they can’t be much worse, and will probably be better in their 2nd year under head coach Matt Eberflus. The Packers are resetting with Jordan Love under center, the Vikings can’t go 11-0 in 1 possession games again like they did last year, and the Lions have their own horrible defense to figure out.
This is why the NFL is the most popular sport in America. Every team can feel like they have a chance to have a successful season if things go right. With only 17 games and the recent addition of a playoff spot in each conference, it doesn’t take a lot to be in wildcard contention for most of the season.
Week 1 can’t come soon enough!