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The 2022 All-NFC North Team: Offense

With the season entering its latter stages, it is a good time to highlight some of the NFC North’s top performers. Who would you put on the All-NFC North Offense?

NFC North

As we head into the final six weeks of the season, we’ll be forming our All-NFC North team. This will be a three-part series, with a look at the best 11 starters for offense, defense, and special teams being posted weekly.

Criteria: Stats Plus Impact

While statistics are important when evaluating a player’s season, one must also look at the overall impact of a player on his team. The players chosen for this list represent the best at their respective positions, relative to the other players in the NFC North specifically.

Speaking of choosing players, here’s a special shout-out to the NFC North writers at Stadium Rant. Big thanks to my colleagues here who collaborated on this list with their ideas and expertise regarding the NFC North. Make sure you give these guys a follow on Twitter and then check out all of their great content on Stadium Rant.

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John Boyd

Zachary Simmons

Eli Kuphal

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Justin Hecht

Michael Phillips

Without further ado, here are the 11 offensive starters on our 2022 All-NFC North team.

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Quarterback

Kirk Cousins – Minnesota Vikings. Kirk Cousins has to be the starter on the All-NFC North squad. Kirko Chains has led the Vikings to a 9-2 record, and they have all but locked up the NFC North title. While the national media and the casual fan may look primarily to all of his flaws, there can be no debate regarding his clutch, late-game throws that have helped the Vikings go 8-0 in one-possession games.

For the season, Cousins leads all NFC North quarterbacks with 2,760 passing yards. And although his QB rating is not the highest, his late-game drives have been clutch. He has bounced back well from his in-game mistakes and is proving that he can make any throw his team needs him to make.

Honorable mention: Justin Fields of the Chicago Bears. The Bears are going nowhere this season, but I do believe they have found a franchise quarterback. If I’m building for the future, I am choosing Fields over every other quarterback in the NFC North. He is second behind Dalvin Cook for total rushing yards, so if he continues to grow as a passer? Watch out!

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Runningback

Aaron Jones – Green Bay Packers. With an impressive 821 yards rushing on a 5.3 yards per carry, Aaron Jones has been one of the more consistent bright spots on the Packers’ offense this season. While his total rushing yards are third in the division behind Dalvin Cook and Justin Fields, he has also contributed 43 receptions for 304 yards. His ability in the passing game was on full display in Week 12 when he made a play that any wide receiver would be proud of.

His ability to get open for his quarterback to make this catch downfield is one of the many facets of his well-rounded game. In a season of ups and downs for the Packers, Aaron Jones has been the star of the Green Bay offense, and he has earned the right to be the best RB in the NFC North for 2022.

Wide Receivers

Justin Jefferson – Minnesota Vikings. This was the easiest decision on the list. Jefferson has been lights out all season, from a statistical standpoint, as well as when you measure his impact on team success. While it’s true he has had three games with less than 50 receiving yards, he has still already eclipsed 80 catches and 1,200 yards. In those three games, mind you, the Vikings lost two, and they were games in which the offense lost the game in the trenches. So, in part, those three games with fewer than 50 yards speak further to his impact on the team’s success. When Jefferson goes off, the Vikings usually win. And, of course, we have to mention this catch again.

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Amon-Ra St. Brown – Detroit Lions. With 65 catches, St. Brown is second-only to Jefferson in receptions within the division, and no receiver on either the Bears or Packers has hit 50 catches. And while he’s on pace for over 1000 yards receiving, it’s not the stats that impress me about St. Brown. He has become an extremely reliable target for Jared Goff, and I can tell he has played through various injuries throughout the season. This Lions’ receiving corps could very well be on the path to greatness, with him leading the way.

Adam Thielen – Minnesota Vikings. Some would say Adam Thielen has lost a step, but for my money, he’s still a great number-two wide receiver. He is third in receptions in the NFC North with 54, and also has 553 receiving yards. While he may not have the splashy numbers, he is always ready when needed to make a clutch catch. He has yet to drop a pass in 2022, and I am terrified as I write this for fear of jinxing my guy from Minnesota.

Tight End

T.J. Hockenson – Minnesota Vikings. One of the best trade deadline moves this season has to be the Vikings’ acquisition of T.J. Hockenson from the Lions. He came in right away and had nine catches for 70 yards against the Washington Commanders in his first game in purple. He has since added at least five catches in each of the three games after and scored his first Vikings touchdown on Thanksgiving against the Patriots.

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He has quickly become one of Kirk Cousins’ more reliable targets over the middle of the field and has shown what a valuable player he can be in this league. Not to mention, he was already having a solid season for the Lions at the time of the trade. He had close to 400 yards receiving after his last game with the Lions in Week Eight.

Offensive Line: Tackle

Christian Darrisaw – Minnesota Vikings. In his second year, Christian Darrisaw has cemented himself on the left side of the Vikings’ line. He has represented a long-awaited improvement to a Vikings squad that has struggled to roll out competent offensive lines over the past decade. Now, they have one of the best tackles in the league to solidify this line.

The Vikings have also learned how much more difficult winning can be when he is not on the field. Darrisaw is as impactful as anyone on this list.

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Penei Sewell – Detroit Lions. The much-maligned Lions have spent most of the season with one of the worst defenses in the league, and yet they have been competitive in almost every game, losing only two of their games by more than one possession. One of the reasons why is their offense, which ranks eighth overall in yards per game. Sewell is a huge reason why, as he is as effective as he is consistent, playing on 100% of the Lions’ 2022 offensive snaps.

It’s not the flashiest highlight I could have found for Penei Sewell, but I liked the Tweet too much. He is a great player and a great competitor.

Offensive Line: Guard

Elgton Jenkins – Green Bay Packers. As a Vikings fan, I didn’t know how fortunate we were when he missed our Week One matchup, as he has been solid all year for the Pack. Aside from his two missed weeks, he has logged every offensive snap and has contributed mightily to the Packers’ top-15 rushing offense. He also did this recently…

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Jonah Jackson – Detroit Lions. One of three players from Detroit on this list, he is a gem at the guard spot. He has followed up his 2021 Pro Bowl selection with another solid season, making key blocks for the Lions’ running game. I also love a good Mic ‘d-up moment, so take a listen as he describes Detroit as “… a Vegas in the cold, low-key!” Can any of my Detroit people confirm this?

Offensive Line: Center

Frank Ragnow – Detroit Lions. Lions players now officially make up 60% of my list at the offensive line position, and it’s for good reason. A fellow Minnesotan, Ragnow has played in 59 career games for the Lions and has been a consistent anchor to this offense. Games in the NFL are won or lost in the trenches, and teams that can run and protect their quarterback have a chance at success. The Lions as a whole are tied for the second-fewest sacks allowed this season, and Ragnow himself has only allowed one.

If we refer back to the sacks allowed chart, it supports the idea that we have three Lions linemen on this list. The Bears are one of the worst offensive lines in this regard, and both the Vikings and Packers have had their struggles. Detroit is building something with their offense, and these core linemen are a huge part of that.

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NFC North Offensive Rookie Of The Year

Christian Watson – Green Bay Packers. Perhaps coming on just a bit too late in the season, Christian Watson is still making his mark in his first NFL season. The narrative started poorly after his Week One drop against Minnesota, but he has come back in a huge way.

Over his last three games, Watson has 12 catches for 265 yards and six touchdowns. He is quickly becoming a deep threat that defensive coordinators have to scheme for, and is doing his part to keep the Packers’ season alive.

I know he was wide open on this play, but I’m very impressed with his ability to get to the outside and win the race to the endzone. As the tweet mentions, this was his sixth TD in his last three games, and that has led to this unreal stat.

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The NFC North, and the whole NFL, is now on alert. If I weren’t a Vikings fan I would say I’m excited to see how he finishes the year and carries the momentum into next season, but…

The All-NFC North Offense Is Complete

Who did I miss? Who would you rather see on this squad? Let me know on Twitter, and make sure you stay on Stadium Rant for all of your NFL content.

Stay tuned for next week as I fill the defensive side of the ball with the best of the NFC North. In the meantime, have a great Week 13!

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Written By

I am a lifelong Vikings fan who ascribes to the maddening cliche, "There's always next year." As an eternal optimist I fully expect the Vikings to win the Super Bowl each and every year, so that should give you some understanding as to the level of my delusion. This delusion may, at times, sneak into my articles. If that's bothersome, my apologies. I am also a passionate husband, father, and teacher, and I enjoy writing about the Vikings for Stadium Rant!

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