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Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers casually annihilates the rest of his NFC North division with a single locker room comment — but he’s not wrong.
Every year the same begins in the cold NFC North.
Fans in Detroit, Chicago and the Twin Cities are huddling around the television, hoping this year will finally be their year.
And this year, each of those teams has good reason to be optimistic.
Anyone can root for the “Detroit vs. everyone mentality displayed on “Hard Knocks,” as well as this season’s cast of accomplished Lions players.
The Minnesota Vikings have undergone a complete administrative overhaul, with general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and coach Kevin O’Connell bringing out the best in their staff.
And the Chicago Bears, playing on a newly renovated field owned by their NFC North rival, enter the season with all of their projected offensive starters healthy and ready for action. A new coach in Matt Eberflus and another year for quarterback Justin Fields give Chicago fans hope that this year will be different.
Aaron Rodgers doesn’t think so.
From his locker room in Green Bay, Rodgers offers his own projection for 2022: The NFC North is full of losers who will remain unhappy in the face of Green Bay’s continued dominance.
You can’t help but notice Rodgers’ sly smile as he mimics NFC North fans saying, “This is our year to win the North.” Not with Rodgers in the division it isn’t.
Fact Check: Is Aaron Rodgers Really the King of the NFC North?
Aaron Rodgers said that during his time in Green Bay, seeing any other NFC North team have their year “hasn’t really been the case.”
For the most part, it’s pretty accurate. The first three seasons under Rodgers’ watch (2008-2010) saw the Vikings win the division in 2008 and 2009, followed by the Chicago Bears in 2010. But even though the Bears won the division in 2010, they lost the NFC Championship to… the Packers. Aaron Rodgers went on to win his lone Lombardi, so that season can be written off as one for Rodgers.
In the following decade (2011-2021), the Packers have surrendered the North only three times. The Vikings won the division again in 2015 and 2017, and the Bears won in 2018. The division has been dominated by Rodgers and Green Bay every other season.
Technically, the NFC North has been clinched by the Vikings four different times during Rodgers’ tenure, but the first two seasons were tenuous for the young quarterback and his team. Capturing the North seven times in the last decade—and stomping over the Bears en route to Super Bowl victory—gives Mr. Rodgers is mostly right.
And what about the lions? Detroit has not won the division since 1993, bringing their division wins total to three. The Lions haven’t won in so long that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers actually have a more recent NFC North title (1999), back when it was known as the NFC Central. The Bucs left the division for the NFC South back in 2002.
Rodgers’ point has merit when we examine past seasons, but what about the NFL season ahead? Considering Rodgers is coming off a lucrative signing, two consecutive NFL MVP seasons and the ayahuasca trip of a lifetime, it seems he wants to continue his ruthless reign in the North.