NFC North preview: Bears, Lions, Packers and Vikings

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NFC NORTH

CHICAGO BEARS

Coach: Matt Nagy (fourth season in Chicago, 28-20 in the regular season, 0-2 in the playoffs).

Last season: 8-8 (second in the division)..

Key additions: QB Andy Dalton, QB Justin Fields, CB Desmond Trufant, OT/OG Elijah Wilkinson, DE Angelo Blackson, LB Jeremiah Attaochu.

Key subtractions: CB Kyle Fuller, QB Mitchell Trubisky, OT Charles Leno, OT Bobby Massie, DT Brent Urban, KR Cordarrelle Patterson.

Looking ahead: After tripping over Mitchell Trubisky for four years, the Bears moved up to draft Justin Fields and signed Andy Dalton in case Fields needs time, and Nick Foles still looks like a career backup. They have a 1,000-yard rusher in David Montgomery but not much of a running game. Their defense, like most, pivots on the pass rush, which ranked 17th last season. They need a threat besides Khalil Mack.

DETROIT LIONS

Coach: Dan Campbell (first season in Detroit)

Last season: 5-11 (fourth in the division).

Key additions: QB Jared Goff, Quinton Dunbar, S Dean Marlowe, TE Darren Fells, DT Michael Brockers, DT Levi Onwuzurike, LB Alex Anzalone, K Randy Bullock.

Key subtractions: QB Matthew Stafford, G Oday Aboutshi, LB Reggie Ragland, DT Danny Shelton, S Suron Harmon, LB Christian Jones, WR Marvin Jones, Jr., RB Adrian Peterson, K Matt Prater, Dalvin Tomlinson, OT Cameron Fleming, G Kevin Zeitler.

Looking ahead: QB Jared Goff must prove his two Pro Bowl years with the Rams weren’t just a product of system and supporting cast. Former Dolphins interim head coach Dan Campbell must prove he can make good in-game decisions, not just gush rugged masculinity. Although nobody would mind if Campbell rubs off on the defense, which gave up the second-most points in NFL history, or a Lions offense that hasn’t run consistently since Barry Sanders darted into retirement.

GREEN BAY PACKERS

Coach: Matt LaFleur (third season with Green Bay, 26-6 in the regular season, 2-2 in the postseason)

Last season: 13-3 (first in the division), lost in the NFC Championship Game to Tampa Bay.

Key additions: CB Eric Stokes, C Josh Myers.

Key subtractions: C Corey Linsey, OT Rick Wagner, RB Jamaal Williams, LB Christian Kirksey

Looking ahead: “Jeopardy” tryout host Aaron Rodgers decided against starting his Hall of Fame clock ticking, so there’s probably just one shot left for another Super Bowl for Rodgers in Green Bay. On the way, expect many shots to WR Davante Adams. A team with 19 starters returning feels it’s Super Bowl or suckage. The defense doesn’t overwhelm you with impact plays, it just doesn’t let you move.

MINNESOTA VIKINGS

Coach: Mike Zimmer (eighth season in Washington, 64-47-1 in the regular season, 2-3 in the playoffs).

Last season: 7-9 (third in the division).

Key additions: DT Dalvin Tomlinson, OT Christian Darrisaw, CB Mackensie Alexander, CB Patrick Peterson, S Xavier Woods, DE Stephen Weatherly, G Mason Cole .

Key subtractions: TE Kyle Rudolph, S Anthony Harris, DT Jaleel Johnson, DE Ifeadi Odenigbo, T Riley Reiff, DT Sheldon Richardon, DT Shemar Stephen, LB Eric Wilson.

Looking ahead: The Vikes, the model of consistency in the 1970s and 1990s, now make the playoffs every other year. Don’t blame QB Kirk Cousins or RB Dalvin Cook for last season, especially after October. Blame the defense that ranked in the mid-20s or worse in several categories. Defense is the head coach’s motherland, so only five starters remain from last year’s mess and this year’s emphasis should be stopping the run.