1) Minnesota Vikings – Best defense in the division now with the addition of Jared Allen, best running backs in the division in Adrian Peterson and Chester Taylor, and with the Packers rebuilding post-Favre, the obvious choice in the division. The question is whether Tavaris Jackson will be well enough to try and lead them or whether head coach Brad Childress will be leaning on Gus Frerotte to get them down the field (which is a scary proposition.)
2) Green Bay Packers – The aftermath of the melodrama, where Aaron Rodgers will just have to play up to his ability with a good receiving corps of Donald Driver and Greg Jennings. If Ryan Grant can find his form for the regular season again, that would be a help as well. Non-QB concern: whether the defense will play at a high enough level (it shows flashes of great play) to keep them in contention for a Wild Card spot. I think not, but it will be close.
3) Detroit Lions – As long as Matt Millen remains in charge, they’re really not going to be that competitive. They traded away defensive run-stuffers (who were inconsistent) to the Browns for secondary help, but I’d like to know where the Lions are going to defend the run in a division with Purple Jesus. This team should be thrilled if it makes .500. Jon Kitna will suffer another year-long bout of matching good touchdown numbers with ill-timed interceptions.
4) Chicago Bears – Sorry, Bears fans, I think the team made the right choice with Kyle Orton over Rex Grossman, but the defense is a year old and the offensive line stinks. You’ll be seeing Grossman soon enough when Orton gets his block knocked off because someone missed an assignment on the line or a tailback missed a block.