It’s finally the lead-up to week one of the 2018 NFL season, and you know what that means: power rankings are back.
The Green Bay Packers missed out on the playoffs last year thanks mainly to Aaron Rodgers’ broken collarbone, but that isn’t dampening the view of the franchise overall heading into 2018. With a healthy Rodgers, a revamped defensive scheme under Mike Pettine, and many new and promising faces on the 53-man roster, the arrow appears to be pointing up for the Green and Gold.
In SB Nation’s week one rankings from Tuesday, the Packers sit in seventh place, behind three teams in each of the other two conferences. Not surprisingly, the defending Super Bowl champion Eagles claim the top spot, followed in second place by the team they defeated 38-7 in the NFC Championship Game: the Vikings. Rounding out the top six in order are the Patriots, Rams, Jaguars, and Steelers. That puts the Packers ahead of three NFC playoff teams from last year, all of whom are in the NFC South and all of whom show up between the 8th and 11th slots.
NFL.com’s Elliot Harrison is back with his power rankings as well, and he has the Packers in ninth place on his list. He has the Saints much higher, however, slotting them third overall. In fact, Harrison’s list is very high on NFC teams, as they occupy the top four spots and six of the top nine.
Meanwhile, the NFC North has no team lower than 20th on either list, with the Chicago Bears suddenly getting vaulted into the top half of the league. The Khalil Mack trade clearly is the reason for the latter’s shift up the board, as Harrison moved them up nine spots from his previous rankings, which came out between the Hall of Fame Game and week one of the preseason.
Here’s a look at the division in its entirety:
NFC North Rankings
Vikings — SB Nation: 2nd; NFL.com: 4th
Packers — SB Nation: 7th; NFL.com: 9th
Lions — SB Nation: 20th; NFL.com: 18th
Bears — SB Nation: 13th; NFL.com: 15th