Ranking Best Division in NFL
1. NFC North: Packers, Vikings, Lions, Bears
The NFC North is pretty similar to the NFC South in a lot of ways. Up top, the two Super Bowl contenders. The New Orleans Saints and Minnesota Vikings met in the playoffs last year and the Green Bay Packers and Atlanta Falcons met in the playoffs a year before.
The Vikings beat the Saints and upgraded at quarterback from Case Keenum to Kirk Cousins. However, the Falcons did beat the Packers and have had a smoother path to 2018 since then. Questions of Aaron Rodgers injury status and how good the team is beyond Rodgers have come about.
The Detroit Lions and Carolina Panthers seem to be in a similar spot. Both are led by their talented quarterback who is likely right under the tier of the elite. Both have some names on both sides of the ball but do not have complete units on either side. It leads to mediocre play and sitting between 8-8 and 10-6.
Therefore the NFC North has to get the edge because of the Chicago Bears compared to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Jameis Winston has proven more than Mitchell Trubisky, but he has also proven that he is a roller coaster of a quarterback with interception issues.
The Bucs likely have better skill players, but the Bears did major damage control to hedge that gap. In terms of offensive line, the Bears would get an edge, but the Bucs would likely get the slight edge on offense as a whole.
Next: Ranking the NFC North QBs
However, the Chicago Bears defense should be better than the Bucs at arguably every unit. On top of that, the retaining of Dirk Koetter came off as surprising, while the hiring of Matt Nagy felt like a major step forward.
Nagy is not proven, but Koetter feels like a low bar to start at and you can argue for the Bears in this area. It is close between the two, but top to bottom, the NFC North could be the best division in football.