1. Green Bay Packers
Aside from a shortage of reliable pass-rushers, this team doesn’t have many flaws with Aaron Rodgers at the helm.
2. Minnesota Vikings
A full offseason with Sam Bradford will do wonders for some cohesiveness on offense.
3. Detroit Lions
As long as Matthew Stafford stays on his feet, the Lions can’t be counted out of winning games.
4. Chicago Bears
With everything that went wrong last year, there’s still some hope that with a little luck they could get to that .500 mark.
Head Coach: Mike McCarthy
Key Position: Running Back
With Ty Montgomery looking like the feature back for the Packers and why wouldn’t he when he averaged almost 6 yards per carry last year. This area will be watched to see if Montgomery begins to slow down or if rookie Jamaal Williams eventually takes over full-time.
Key Acquisitions: CB Davon House (Jacksonville Jaguars), DT Ricky Jean Francois (Washington Redskins), G Jahri Evans (New Orleans Saints), TE Martellus Bennett (New England Patriots), TE Lance Kendricks (Los Angeles Rams)
Key Rookies: CB Kevin King, S Josh Jones, DT Montravius Adams, RB Jamaal Williams
Head Coach: Mike Zimmer
Key Position: Running Back
Nothing came about the rushing attack when Adrian Peterson went down last year. Now that he’s gone, the Vikings hope that Latavius Murray and rookie Dalvin Cook will help remedy the worst running game in the NFL.
Key Acquisitions: CB Tramaine Brock (Seattle Seahawks), QB Case Keenum (Los Angeles Rams), RB Latavius Murray (Oakland Raiders), T Riley Reiff (Detroit Lions), T Mike Remmers (Carolina Panthers)
Key Rookies: RB Dalvin Cook, C Pat Elflein
Head Coach: Jim Caldwell
Key Position: Offensive Line
Matthew Stafford was sacked far too many times last year. Signing T.J. Lang and Rick Wagner should help to remedy that problem and have the Lions continue to compete for a playoff spot in a tightly contested NFC.
Key Acquisitions: CB D.J. Hayden (Oakland Raiders), DT Akeem Spence (Tampa Bay Buccaneers), G T.J. Lang (Green Bay Packers), T Greg Robinson (Los Angeles Rams), T Rick Wagner (Baltimore Ravens), LB Paul Worrilow (Atlanta Falcons)
Key Rookies: LB Jarrad Davis, CB Teez Tabor, WR Kenny Golladay
Head Coach: John Fox
Key Position: Wide Receiver
There is a solid offensive line in front of new QB Mike Glennon and a great young running back in Jordan Howard to provide balance on offense. The problem is who are the playmakers in the passing game? Cameron Meredith was at the top, but will be lost for the season. Enter former first round pick Kevin White who must have a career year.
Key Acquisitions: CB Prince Amukamara (Jacksonville Jaguars), CB Marcus Cooper (Arizona Cardinals), S Quintin Demps (Houston Texans), QB Mike Glennon (Tampa Bay Buccaneers), WR Markus Wheaton (Pittsburgh Steelers), WR Kendall Wright (Tennessee Titans)
Key Rookies: QB Mitchell Trubisky, TE Adam Shaheen, S Eddie Jackson