Sean Picks the NFL Season: North Divisions

Sean's NFL Picks: North divisions
Sean Marshfield picks win-loss for the NFL's northern divisions.
AFC NorthVegas +/-Predicted recordReason why
Baltimore -22511.512-4Tough to tackle
Pittsburgh 3509.58-8Big Ben’s finale
Cleveland 5008.511-5Fully-armed arsenal
Cincinnati 25005.53-13Burrow’s in trouble
NFC North
Green Bay 180911-5Defense is older
Minnesota 16099-7No progression
Detroit 5506.57-9Stafford wants to be MVP
Chicago 37089-7Mitch over Foles

Now that we have gone to the south and west of the NFL, it’s time to visit the north before the winter cold hits. Can the Ravens figure out the postseason woes of late? Is Big Ben still a viable option? Can Baker Mayfield prove he’s worthy enough to be a franchise quarterback?

My NFL W-L predictions don’t vary too far from Vegas. Maybe take Green Bay and Cleveland on the overs, but I’m staying away from betting these divisions. I don’t Like the Ravens at only -225 to win the division, although I think they are probably a lock to win it.

Time to take a trip across the midwest. Bring your blankets and Irish coffees.

North Divisions

NFC

This is a division that is really up for grabs. I wouldn’t be shocked if any team over or under performs. Matt Stafford seems hungry to prove himself, but can he finally take the next step after 11 seasons in the NFL? 

The Vikings didn’t really improve much and lost some weapons for Kirk Cousins. Rival Packers weren’t better offensively last year, although Aaron Rodgers seems happier with his new coach. But, statistically they didn’t improve. While their defense was an early bright spot, the Packers fizzled out. San Francisco bullied Green Bay twice, thanks to its run game. If the Packers’ defensive talent grows a lot over the offseason, then they are my favorite for this division.

The Bears are starting Mitch Trubisky. It’s easy to kill them for that move and laugh at how bad he was last year. But, they went 12-4 just two years ago. They have improved as a team since then. Their defense should be able to bounce back on the turnover front after a terrible year last year. If Trubisky is serviceable and “Big Dick” Nick can step in for the playoffs, you just never know!

AFC

I think the Ravens easily run away with this division. The Ravens and Chiefs are the only two AFC teams I see making a push to the Super Bowl. Baltimore has a great all-around roster. If Lamar Jackson stays healthy and continues to improve in the passing game, everyone else is in trouble. They are good defensively, explosive, solid in the trenches and well coached.

Baker Mayfield and the Browns are the other bright spot in this division. They certainly have the talent to make a playoff push. But, is Mayfield ready to do it? He seemingly thrives after teams bench or cut him. Mayfield is a walk-on fighting to show he belongs. Well this off-season, the advertisements left him behind and now it’s his chance to show them they made a mistake. 

The Cincinnati Bengals — the worst team in the NFL — drafted Joe Burrow first overall this year. Is he good enough to turn them into maybe the second worst team in the league?

Mike Tomlin has underperformed with the amazing talent he’s had. However, I think he over performs with less talent and does not see losing records. I think this will be Big Ben’s last year. I do not trust that he’s fully healthy and imagine that he loved quarantine and not having a full off season and training camp. Maybe he will be heavy enough that no one can tackle him. But, I think this team will be relying heavily on their defense and Tomlin’s coaching ability.

NFL Playoff Outlook based on Win-Loss predictions

NFC:

Division Winners: Dallas, San Fran, Green Bay, New Orleans

Wild Cards: Seattle, Tampa Bay, Philly/Minnesota/Chicago

AFC:

Division Winners: Miami, Kansas City, Baltimore, Indianapolis

Wild Card: Cleveland, Tennessee, Buffalo

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