Drama often happens during the NFL’s offseason. But this year, there has been some surprising and unexpected drama coming from Wisconsin— the reigning MVP wants out of Green Bay. Aaron Rodgers has demanded a trade.
It is hard to imagine the Packers would be foolish enough to let him go. But with their quarterback of the future already on the roster (Jordan Love), the mountain of draft picks they could get would come in handy.
An Aaron Rodgers Trade Could Cause Chaos In The NFC North
The Lions are not going to win the Super Bowl or the NFC. Is it possible they improve this season and actually put up a fight? Yes. But there is no reason to think the Lions are going to improve so much that they may become the biggest long shot ever to win either.
However, the division race is a different story.
As the teams stand right now, it is hard to see the Lions pulling it off. With Aaron Rodgers behind center, the Packers are going to win the NFC North again. But if they decide to give him what he wants and they trade him—well, that is a different story.
Without Rodgers, it is not hard to see the Packers finish the season closer to 8-8 or 9-7. Minnesota will have a good offense if Dalvin Cook can stay healthy, but the defense will cause them to lose a few games this season (much like it did last year).
Chicago has a decent defense, but it is hard to get excited about an offense with minimal talent led by Andy Dalton. However, if the Bears end up starting Justin Fields, the story could change. Then again, it has been years since a star Ohio State quarterback succeeded in the NFL.
So, there is great potential with every other team in the NFC North. But each one could just as easily crash and burn if one thing goes wrong or if a few things do not go right. That is why there is a small window in which the Lions could emerge as legitimate contenders.
If they can improve, that is.
How The Lions Might Actually Win The NFC North
The Lions were not a good team in 2020, so the name of the game for them in 2021 will be ‘improvement.’ Jared Goff will need to make fans forget about Matthew Stafford. He will also need to remind them that there was a reason why the Rams made him the No. 1 pick in 2016.
It will be harder to do with the receivers at his disposal (they are not bad; just unimpressive), but not impossible if he can make the most of D’Andre Swift and Jamaal Williams. So, there is hope for the offense. But it is harder to see it for the defense.
If it gives up a league-high 32.4 points a game last season and over 400 yards of offense a game, it will not matter how well Goff plays. They drafted a few players that could make an impact early in the season, but they needed more.
Their best hope may be for guys like Jeff Okudah and Quinton Dunbar to step up (along with a few others) and start living up to expectations.
So, the recipe for the Lions to win the NFC North will include the following:
- Jared Goff can reemerge as a viable starting quarterback.
- His wide receivers live up to their potential and become a force to be reckoned with in the NFL.
- The Lions hit on every draft pick—especially on the defensive side of the ball.
- Guys simply have to play better.
If these things come to fruition for the Lions, they could play some good football this season. If they do and the other teams in the division struggle, the Detroit Lions might have a shot at winning a division title for the first time since 1993 (the NFC Central; they have yet to win the NFC North).
NFL Betting Recommendation
It is going to sound a little crazy, but the Lions are worth taking a flyer on to win the NFC North. Their chances will hinge on Aaron Rodgers getting traded, which is possible but unlikely (according to FanDuel).
If he does, the Packers will likely become a middle of the road team—much like the Vikings and Bears. So, for the Lions to have a shot, they will need to improve enough to at least win eight, nine, or ten games.
Last season, they finished with a 5-11 record. But four of their losses came by a touchdown or less, so they were close to being a 9-7 team last year. However, four of their losses came by less than a touchdown, so they could have just as easily been 1-15.
With all the coaching and personnel changes, it is hard to know just what we will see from the Detroit Lions this season. But if things go right for the Lions and they catch a few lucky breaks (while the Packers, Bears, and Vikings catch a few bad ones), they could have a break-through season.
Does that mean they are a good bet? Of course not! But at +2200 to win the division, there is value. So, skip your morning latte for a few days and put $10 down. If you lose, so you had to drink coffee from the office for a couple days.
But if you win…