The season is coming right up (starts Thursday) and I haven't really written about it yet! Am I excited? You betcha! This year's Vikings could be very, very good. They could be the top team in the NFC. Or they could be like last year.
The defense should be improved in exactly the place it needed to be, pass rush. Add in some quarterback pressure and it should make the secondary that much better. The run defense should remain strong, possibly still elite. Injuries will tell the tale, of course but if they can avoid an unusual amount or concentration of injuries than they should be fine.
The offense is still the concern. The receivers should be better but they'll need to prove it. The O-line has better depth but they'll miss out their left guard for the first four games. That could be very bad. And of course, there is Tarvaris Jackson at QB. Last year he looked raw. Teams dared him to beat them and he couldn't. This preseason he looked good in very limited action. No one on the team needed to play against real live competition than he did. Was the good stuff real or a mirage? If it was actually good, will missing the last few weeks make him rusty to start the season? If he can provide above average passing then this team is possibly a Super Bowl level one.
Every year I predict the eight division winners and frankly I'm terrible at it. That won't stop me from trying again!
AFC East - Pats
AFC South - Colts (almost a coin flip with the Jaguars though)
AFC North - Ravens
AFC West - Chargers
NFC East - Eagles
NFC South - Saints
NFC North - Vikings
NFC West - Seahawks
That's only four new division winners and doesn't feel nearly brave enough to me. It's just tough for me to see anyone overtaking the Pats, Chargers or Seahawks. All three of them are clearly better than the rest of their competition. I'll check back in a few months and see what I screwed up.