Post NFL Season Review of NFC North, 2022-23

Post NFL Season Review of NFC North, 2022-23
Fri 17th February 2023

After a thrilling season, the NFL is officially over for another year. So, the team at SportsTips thought it would be a good idea to go through every team in the NFC North, and have a look at the year that was!

Chicago Bears

The 2022 Chicago Bears open the season with two wins in their first three games to bring hope to football fans in the Windy City. But the Bears and first-year head coach Matt Eberflus tasted victory just once in their remaining 14 games to finish in the cellar of the NFC North with a 3-14 mark. Chicago also posted the worst record in the NFL to secure the first overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft for the first time since 1947.

Second-year quarterback Justin Fields blossomed into a dynamic playmaker and became the third signal-caller in NFL history to surpass 1,000 rushing yards. The former first-round pick also tossed 17 touchdowns and completed 60.4% of his passes. Another former first-round pick, linebacker Roquan Smith, was leading the league in tackles when he was dealt to the Baltimore Ravens in Week 9.

Chicago led the NFL in rushing with 3,014 yards as Fields tallied 1,143 yards to finish seventh despite missing two games. David Montgomery posted 801 yards, and Khalil Herbert added 731 rushing yards for a backfield that scored 18 touchdowns on the ground. Tight end Cole Kmet was the top pass catcher with 50 receptions and seven scores, and the Bears traded for former Pittsburgh Steelers wideout Chase Claypool at the trade deadline.

Linebacker Nicholas Morrow led the Bears with 116 tackles, while rookie defensive back Jaquan Brisker chipped in 104 tackles, a team-high four sacks, and one interception. Safety Eddie Jackson picked off four passes and was leading the team in tackles before suffering a season-ending foot injury in Week 12.

Detroit Lions

The 2022 Detroit Lions dropped six of their first seven games and appeared headed for another disastrous campaign under second-year head coach Dan Campbell. But a mid-season turnaround saw the Lions go 8-2 over their final 10 games to finish in second place in the division with a 9-8 record. 

Quarterback Jared Goff earned his third trip to the Pro Bowl in his second season in the Motor City. The former top overall pick threw for 4,438 yards and ranked fifth with 29 touchdown passes. Rookie wideout Jameson Williams missed the first 11 games recovering from a torn ACL suffered in college. The first career reception for the former first-rounder was a 41-yard touchdown, and the speedy receiver should be a significant offensive weapon for the Lions in 2023.

Running back Jamaal Williams surpassed 1,000 yards for the first time in his career and led the NFL with 17 rushing touchdowns. D’Andre Swift boasted 5.5 yards per carry and tallied 542 yards and five scores despite being limited to 99 rushes due to many injuries. Amon-Ra St. Brown led the team with 1,161 yards and six touchdowns on 106 catches.

Linebacker Alex Anzalone notched a team-high 125 tackles and also added 1.5 sacks and one interception. Rookie defensive end Aidan Hutchison, the second overall pick in last year’s draft, led the team with 9.5 sacks and picked off three passes. Another first-year player, safety Kerby Joseph, collected a team-high four interceptions.

Green Bay Packers

The 2022 Green Bay Packers rebounded from a season-opening loss to win their next three games and were tied atop the NFC North with the Minnesota Vikings. But the Packers had a 1-7 record over their next eight games before reeling off four consecutive wins to enter the final week of the regular season needing a home victory over the Detroit Lions to advance to the playoffs. However, Green Bay suffered a season-ending loss to finish third in the division with an 8-9 record.

Future Hall of Fame quarterback Aaron Rodgers posted 3,695 passing yards and 26 touchdowns in his 18th season, but the four-time NFL MVP has yet to decide on his 2023 plans. The 39-year-old will either return to the Packers, seek a trade, or hang up his cleats. 

Running back Aaron Jones tallied a career-high 1,121 yards while catching a personal-best 59 passes. The former fifth-round pick averaged more than five yards per carry for the fourth time in six years while scoring a combined seven touchdowns. AJ Dillon rushed for 770 yards and led the team with seven scores on the ground, while Allen Lazard had a team-high 60 receptions. Rookie receiver Christian Watson caught 41 balls for 611 yards and seven touchdowns.

Rookie linebacker Quay Walker led the team with 119 tackles, while Adrian Amos and De’Vondre Campbell tallied 97 and 96 tackles, respectively. Linebackers Preston Smith and Rashan Gary combined for 17.5 sacks. Preston finished with a team-best 8.5 sacks, while Gary had six, despite suffering a season-ending torn ACL during Week 9. Pro Bowl cornerback Jaire Alexander picked off five passes and helped the Packers rank sixth in passing yards allowed.

Minnesota Vikings

The 2022 season opened with a bang as the Minnesota Vikings rolled to an 8-1 record and cruised to their first NFC North title since 2017 with a 13-4 record. First-year head coach Kevin O’Connell’s squad won 11 games by one score but rallied for the largest comeback in NFL history in Week 14. The Vikings trailed 33–0 at halftime before earning a 39–36 victory in overtime. However, Minnesota suffered a 31–24 home loss to the New York Giants in the Wild Card round. 

The Vikings hired former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores as their new defensive coordinator. He replaces Ed Donatell, who was fired after Minnesota surrendered the most passing and total yards this past season. Wide receiver Justin Jefferson was named the 2022 AP Offensive Player of the Year at the annual NFL Honors ceremony.

Minnesota’s offense was a top-10 unit in points scored, passing yards, and total yards. Veteran quarterback Kirk Cousins finished fourth in the league with 4,547 yards while throwing 29 touchdowns. Jefferson led the NFL with 128 catches for a league-high 1,809 yards and has recorded 324 receptions, 4,825 yards, and 25 touchdowns in just three seasons. Dalvin Cook was the top rusher for the Vikings with 1,173 yards and eight scores.

Linebackers Eric Kendricks and Jordan Hicks led the team with 137 and 129 tackles, respectively. Pass rusher Danielle Hunter posted a team-best 10.5 sacks, and Za’Darius Smith added 10 quarterback takedowns. Defensive backs Harrison Smith and Patrick Peterson both finished with five interceptions.

Even though the season has finished, we’ve got you covered with all the latest information on the NFL! We keep you as up to date as possible, so you don’t miss any of the action this off-season.

Marvin is a self-confessed sports fanatic who is addicted to the NFL, MLB and CFB. He has a passion for Daily Fantasy Sports and absolutely loves gambling and making money on his favorite sports. He has been an avid Dallas Cowboys fan since the 1970s and has been writing about sports for more than three decades. Whether he is making prop bets or choosing which teams will cover spreads, he is thrilled to provide relevant information for all of our readers.