Early NFC North Predictions: Where will the Vikings finish?

Justin Jefferson
Justin Jefferson / Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

The NFC North is looking like it will be highly competitive during the 2024 NFL season. The Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers are looking to return to the postseason while the Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings hope to fare better than they did last season.

Looking around the league, it appears this division will have one of the toughest routes to the postseason for any of the four-team groupings in the NFL. Each of these teams will face each other six times, and each of those games should be intensely fought.

Predicting how the division will shake out is extremely tough. Injuries, regression, or new arrivals can have a massive impact on how the Vikings and the other teams in the division will finish the year and if they will make the postseason.

Early NFC North Predictions: Where will the Vikings finish?

Now that schedules have been released, you have likely seen game-by-game predictions for every team emerge from most sports media sources.

1. Detroit Lions (projected record: 12-5)

Not too much changed for the Detroit Lions this offseason. They extended some of their key pieces and replaced their exiting free agents well while adding some interesting talent through the draft. Under head coach Dan Campbell and offensive coordinator Ben Johnson, there is no reason to believe Detroit will regress this season.

If they can continue to move the ball on offense and tighten up their No. 27 ranked pass defense, the Lions could be an even scarier team to face this season than they were last year. And that's not a good thing for Vikings fans.

2. Green Bay Packers (projected record:10-7)

The Green Bay Packers have taken an offense that had low expectations with Jordan Love at quarterback. Last year. they had a top ten pass defense but gave up a lot of yards on the ground to opponents.

Green Bay will look a little different on offense this year now that they have replaced Aaron Jones with former Raiders running back Josh Jacobs and have moved on from longtime left tackle David Bakhtiari. However, that shouldn't take anything away from their ability to move the ball.

3. Minnesota Vikings (projected record: 8-9)

Last year was a total disaster for the Minnesota Vikings. Injuries swept through the team's key contributors and they ended up losing quite a few winnable games because of silly mistakes throughout the year.

Kirk Cousins has exited the Vikings and is set to be replaced by J.J. McCarthy as soon as he is ready. In the meantime, Sam Darnold will have an opportunity to lead Justin Jefferson, Jordan Addison, T.J. Hockenson, and the rest of the Minnesota offense.

4. Chicago Bears (projected record: 8-9)

The Chicago Bears are a team that is moving in the right direction. They have a new franchise quarterback in Caleb Williams and some great weapons to catch his passes. Defensively, they gave up the fewest rushing yards last year and should be good in that area again.

Although Chicago will be better this year and have added some interesting pieces to the mix, they still need to put it all together and find a way to win more games. How you view the Bears could heavily depend on how you view head coach Matt Eberflus' ability to direct this talented young roster.