Contenders or Pretenders: The 2015 Minnesota Vikings.
Let's be honest, the Green Bay Packers have a stranglehold on this division.
Even with a banged up Randall Cobb and without Jordy Nelson, the offense should still be explosive.
The NFC North is a mystery.
The Chicago Bears have easily the worst roster in the division.
They lost Brandon Marshall in the off-season, and the rookie they drafted to replace him, Kevin White struggled in camp before a stress fracture in his lower shin took him out for the season. Meanwhile the closest thing their defense has to a star is Jared Allen, a washed up shadow of himself.
The Lions are interesting. They've still got the Stafford to Calvin Johnson connection, and between Bell, Abdullah, and Riddick taking carries in the backfield, the offense is still pretty potent. But on defense?
The losses of Suh and Fairley took away their biggest strength on defense, and again, a washed up Haloti Ngata isn't going to change much.
That just leaves the Vikings...
Many people believe that Teddy Bridgewater is one of the very best young quarterbacks in the entire league.
While he was statistically inferior to Derek Carr, he ended the year on a very high note, tossing for 1,598 yards, 11 touchdowns and 7 interceptions over his last 6 games. Not bad for a rookie.
He's got decent mobility, a reliable arm, and incredible vision. If he continues to develop at a consistent rate, he should be a very good starter in this league.
It only gets easier from there for the Vikings.
They've got a solid offensive line, a couple speedy receivers in Mike Wallace and Cordarrelle Patterson, and an extremely underrated tight end in Kyle Rudolph.
Oh, and some guy named Adrian Peterson. He's okay too.
And then on defense, they're littered with young stars.
Sharrif Floyd, Anthony Barr, and Xavier Woods are all on the way up, and Harrison Smith, Terrence Newman, and Chad Greenway are all reliable defensive playmakers.
Their a solid roster from top to bottom.
Do the Vikings have a chance?
Having a team full of young players is both a gift and a curse.
On one hand, you've built the foundation for the future of your franchise!
On the other, they're not all complete yet.
Bridgewater did throw at least one interception in six of the last seven games, and his deeper throws are kinda shaky.
Adrian Peterson is 30, and history shows us that life after 30 isn't kind for runningbacks in the NFL.
Wallace and Patterson are both scary fast, but they're also one dimensional. Wallace struggled terribly in Miami but many people blame Ryan Tannehill's inability to throw the ball deep... a problem that Bridgewater is rumored to have. And Patterson had an outstanding rookie year but... He really took a step backwards in year two.
There are pieces, and in the right offense, they could be incredible, but there's a good chance that things won't click consistently and they won't be able to win the big games.