Former Green Bay Packers wide receiver James Jones knows how competitive the NFC North can be. After winning four straight division titles with the Packers from 2011 to 2014, Jones and the rest of the NFL have watched each team win at least a share of the league crown since 2015.
In seven of the past 10 seasons, the division has sent multiple teams to the postseason, a trend Jones said has a good chance to continue on NFL Network:
I’m gonna go to the division that l play with and that’s the NFC North. I love the Green Bay Packers, I love the Minnesota Vikings and then you get a Nick Foles-Chicago Bears team in there who has a very good defense and you get a guy that’s going to come in there and take shots down the field and this offense will be more explosive. I think the NFC North when it’s all said and done is going to have three teams coming out and making it into the playoffs.
As bad as it hurts me to say the Bears and the Vikings are gonna make the playoffs, I think both these teams are talented enough to get it done and this is oging ot be a tough division. These games are going to come down to the fourth quarter, it’s going to be a very tough division at the end.
Last season the Packers won the division, while the Minnesota Vikings claimed a wild card berth into the postseason. Jones predicted both teams to contend along with the Chicago Bears, leaving the Detroit Lions as the odd team out.
The NFL changed its playoff format in March to now include two more teams, expanding the playoff field from the top 12 teams to 14. Both the AFC and the NFC will have seven playoff entrants and allow just the top seed to have a first-round bye. That’ll make conference and divisional games even more important in 2020, per ESPN’s Ian Rapoport.
— This likely makes regular season games more important for all, with top teams fighting for the one by per conference.
— Had this been adopted in 1990, just 1.6% of teams would have had a losing record. A bunch more 10-win teams would’ve gotten in. https://t.co/mspFzj7zXL
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 31, 2020
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Division Bolsters Two of the Most Playoff Appearances in History
Professional football celebrated its 100th year this past season dating back to the American Professional Football Association in 1920. The Packers are tied with the Dallas Cowboys for the most appearances (33).
The Vikings ranked fifth with 30 playoff appearances despite playing in 40 fewer seasons than the Packers. The Vikings and Cowboys were part of the 1960 expansion, while the Packers are an original franchise from 1920. The Bears, also an original team, have 26 playoff appearances, followed by the Detroit Lions’ 17 postseason appearances since 1930.
All four NFC North teams will look to add another notch in their postseason berth counts, including the Lions who, despite public opinion, are a sleeper in the division, per PFF.
The Lions are who you should bet on to win the NFC North pic.twitter.com/FyQdnZRFPV
— PFF (@PFF) June 26, 2020
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