The Minnesota Vikings are heading into the 2016 NFL season with incredibly high hopes. Mike Zimmer’s team strongly believes that they will make the playoffs for the second season in a row. They also believe that they can win the NFC North division title for the second time in as many years.
Last season was a huge year for the Vikings, as they knocked off the Green Bay Packers in Week 17 of the regular season to win the NFC North. It had been quite some time since they had been given a chance to knock off Aaron Rodgers at the top of the division.
Tedd Bridgewater and Adrian Peterson are the faces of the Vikings’ franchise, but they have a very underrated all-around roster. Minnesota has built the right way and has put together an impressive defense to go along with an offense full of playmakers.
Laquon Treadwell was drafted in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft and Gil Brandt of NFL has listed him as one of the favorites to win the Offensive Rookie of the Year Award this season.
All of that being said, what five reasons support the statement that the Vikings could knock off the Packers once again this season to win the NFC North division title?
Growth of the Young Talent on Both Sides of the Football
Minnesota was good last season, but they have not maxed out to their full potential. They have young players on both sides of the football that will continue growing throughout the upcoming season. It is obvious that they have a playoff caliber roster and Green Bay will have their hands full.
Adrian Peterson Is Still the Best Running Back in the NFL
Even though there is more competition for Adrian Peterson these days, he is still the best running back in the NFL. Chris Chase of For The Win opined last year that Peterson could very well be the best running back of all-time. Whether that is true or not, Peterson is going to put up yet another huge season for the Vikings this year.
Teddy Bridgewater Is Ready to Take the Next Step
Last season, Teddy Bridgewater completed 65.3 percent of his pass attempts for 3,231 yards, 14 touchdowns, and nine interceptions. He is ready to take the next step this season. Bridgewater will be given the best supporting cast that he has had to this point in his career and there is no question that his numbers will skyrocket.
Improve Wide Receiving Corps
As we touched on in the last point, the Vikings have put together a dangerous receiving corps. They drafted Treadwell to go along with Stefon Diggs, Kyle Rudolph, Jarius Wright, Charles Johnson, and Moritz Bohringer. Minnesota isn’t going to be easy for opposing secondaries to defend against.
Defense Full of Playmaking Talent
Whether it be the stellar pass rush of Everson Griffen, the all-around skill-set of Anthony Barr, or the underrated secondary playmaking ability of Harrison Smith, the Vikings have a defense full of playmaking talent. Opposing offenses are going to have some nightmare performances against the Vikings this season.
Expect to see the Vikings contend for the NFC North division once again this season. They may not end up knocking the Packers off for back-to-back seasons, but they certainly have put together the roster to make a run at it.
Do you think the Minnesota Vikings will end up winning the NFC North for the second straight season? What record do you expect them to end up having at the end of the season? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below!
[Photo by John Froschauer/AP Images]