Bleacher Report has picked the Minnesota Vikings to win the NFC North in 2020.
The Minnesota Vikings are in luck, at least on paper.
A panel of five Bleacher Report contributors voted on the winner for each NFL division in an article posted by the site today. Around the league, the group selected the Bills, Ravens, Texans, Chiefs, Eagles, Saints, and Seahawks to win their respective divisions.
As for the NFC North, 60 percent of the panel selected the Minnesota Vikings as the frontrunner to win the division. One member selected the rival Packers, another [oddly] went with the Bears.
Citing reasonable facets of the upcoming chase for the division crown, the Packers’ failure to surround quarterback Aaron Rodgers with adequate pass-catching talent was paramount. Green Bay’s offseason was dominated by the chatter of rookie Jordan Love’s draft selection, a true head-scratcher for most.
What challenges will the Vikings encounter in their quest for the NFC North title?
The Vikings are not a rubber stamp, though, to win the NFC North. The team must combat coronavirus-related hurdles. Run-stopper Michael Pierce will not play at all in 2020. The team’s cornerback room resembles a nursery more so than it does Pro Bowl trophy case. A dent in the depth chart was created when fan-favorite Stefon Diggs was traded to the Buffalo Bills. And, we still do not positively know if Dalvin Cook will play football. The soon-to-be 25-year-old tailback is engaged in a contractual standoff with the Vikings front office.
The other mysterious aspect of this NFL season for all teams is the impact of home-field advantage. The working theory is that most venues will have a severely-limited number of bodies at games–or none at all. Will home-field advantage even matter? How much is home-field advantage related to uproarious crowd noise? If crowd noise is factually a keynote factor in home-field advantage, no teams will experience it. If they do, it will be artificially funneled in as the NBA has implemented.
The NFL season kicks off on Sept. 10 when the Kansas City Chiefs host the Houston Texans, a bittersweet playoff rematch for Houston.
The Vikings and Packers meet at U.S. Bank Stadium meet three days later on Sept. 13 for a Week 1 divisional match-up.
As for Bleacher Report, the panelists made absolutely no mention of the Detroit Lions in their lengthy piece. Which is both sad and hilarious.