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NFL Reacts: Packers fans think the Lions are the team to beat in the NFC North

The consensus opinion is that the Bears still suck.

Detroit Lions v Green Bay Packers Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

We have another set of fan polls to share with you this week, including an interesting quarterback comparison from the national polling. As a reminder, scroll down to the comments and share your thoughts on the polls, if you’re so willing. Let’s get into it.

First, let’s talk about the national result. Three-quarters of respondents believe that Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa will have a better season in 2023 than Green Bay Packers quarterback Jordan Love. Personally, I’m more optimistic that Love is a long-term answer for Green Bay than Tagovailoa is for Miami. With that being said, the Dolphins did pick up Tua’s fifth-year option while the Packers opted to go with a one-year extension that fell short of the fifth-year option’s guarantees, so maybe we shouldn’t be surprised by these results.

I want to talk about these two data points in tandem, because I think it tells an interesting story. First of all, two-thirds of Packers fans believe they’ll see more growth on the offensive side of the ball this year, which shouldn’t come as a shock as Love and the pass-catchers are very young.

What’s interesting, though, is the juxtaposition to the next poll, where nearly three-quarters of Packers fans stated that they believe that Green Bay will win games because of the defense in 2023. If Packers fans believe that they’ll see more growth on offense but the defense is going to win them games, that all points back to people thinking that the defense is already closer to competing at a high level — despite their poor overall metrics in 2022. There’s no doubt in my mind that this all comes back to the perception of the current goat on the team: defensive coordinator Joe Barry.

Four-fifths of Packers fans think the door has closed on a potential return of kicker Mason Crosby, despite the team giving the potential of a reunion some lip service. If this is it, I hope Crosby has a happy future — be it with another team or in retirement — and am excited to see him eventually added to the Packers Hall of Fame in a few years.

Despite the fact that the Minnesota Vikings won four more games than the Detroit Lions last season, the majority of Packers fans think the Lions are the team to beat in the NFC North this year. Of course, a season-long record doesn’t tell the whole story here. The Vikings won a lot of close games, which typically even out over time, while the Lions started 1-6 in 2022 before going on an 8-2 run to finish the season.

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