The NFC North division should be an interesting race this season. Last season, the Green Bay Packers wound up winning its last six games to win the division crown for the 18th time in the franchise’s history.
Green Bay, Minnesota, and Detroit all have an argument in this race though.
For the Vikings, if they stay healthy, their argument will be a dynamic defense that is one of the best in the entire league. To add-on, Minnesota has an underrated offense and have added more weapons to bolster that side of the football.
With that, here is how I rank the Vikings’ NFC North opponents.
1. Green Bay Packers
The Packers have won the division in five out of the last six seasons. The only blemish is 2015, when the Vikings took home the division crown.
Green Bay can be very streaky at times. Last season, the Packers struggled to get things going after their bye week.
The Packers picked things up towards the end of the season, though, and got hot at the right time.
Aaron Rodgers is still the same old Aaron Rodgers of old. He is still one of the smartest and most lethal quarterbacks in the league and continually makes his team better.
The receiving core also got better, as the Packers signed free agent Martellus Bennett from the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots.
Bennett is a big-time performer and will limit the pressure put on the shoulders of wide receivers Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb – two of Rodgers’ most frequent targets.
For Minnesota, the biggest threat in this division race is going to be the team that has dominated it for the last decade.
2. Detroit Lions
The Lions were the only team to defeat the Vikings twice last season. In both games, the decision was decided in the waning moments as well.
Detroit is an interesting team and – just like Green Bay – can be streaky. At one point last season, Detroit won eight of nine games, before dropping its last three games of the season.
Matthew Stafford returns for his ninth season and is coming off a season where he finished with the fewest amount of interceptions thrown since becoming a starting quarterback. Stafford had 10 interceptions last season.
On offense, the Lions are very underrated. Detroit has a pair of excellent receivers, in Golden Tate and Marvin Jones, and a very talented tight end, in Eric Ebron.
Detroit has a scheme that the Vikings are not very good at beating and a lot of talent to back it up. Both matchups between these two teams this season should be two good ones yet again.
3. Chicago Bears
The Bears are not a problem at all. Chicago is in a rebuilding phase, and are without Jay Cutler leading the pack at quarterback.
One thing for Chicago, though, could be its underrated defense.
Chicago’s defense is solid, but it can only do so much. The offense is a major question mark, besides running back Jordan Howard – who will carry most of the load.
I expect the Vikings to handle the Bears easily in both meetings this season.
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