The Minnesota Vikings have not won the NFC North since 2017.
It is time for them to finally dethrone the Green Bay Packers who have won the division three years in a row.
The Vikings matchup up well with the Packers who they are 6-5-1 against since the 2016 season.
The Packers also lost their best offensive skilled player in Davante Adams whom they will miss dearly.
Because of that move, Green Bay is expected to have a less explosive offense than in years past.
Although, they still bring back Aaron Rodgers to a brand new deal who will always keep Green Bay competitive.
But, the Vikings’ defense is also much improved and should be ready for the challenge.
They added cornerback Andrew Booth Jr. in the draft and then signed Za’Darius Smith away from the Packers.
Also, they bring back Eric Kendricks who had 143 total tackles last season.
Their defense should be better than the 25.1 points per game allowed last season.
The offense in Minnesota is explosive.
They have a top running back in Dalvin Cook and two very good wide receivers.
But, the offense will only be as good as Kirk Cousins.
The 34-year-old quarterback is coming off a season where he threw for 4,221 yards, 33 touchdowns, and only seven interceptions.
I get that some people don't like him
and I get he's far from perfect
but over the last 2 yrs, out of 61 QBs…
Kirk Cousins is the ONLY ONE to rank top-10 in:
he also helped Justin Jefferson set the NFL record for receiving yds over 1st two yrs (3,016)
— Warren Sharp (@SharpFootball) August 17, 2022
The problem with Cousins has always been his lack of success in big games.
He is 2-9 career in Monday Night Football games and close games have not been kind to Cousins or the Vikings either.
Last season, Minnesota was 6-8 in one-score games.
If they can have better luck in close games they should see their record increase to playoff caliber.
New Head Coach In Town
One of the biggest changes from 2021 to 2022 is the addition of Kevin O’Connell as their head coach.
O’Connell is a sharp offensive mind who should do wonders for this offense.
Cousins has only known defensive-minded Mike Zimmer as his head coach in Minnesota.
Now we get to see what he can do with an offensive coach for the first time since his days in Washington.
O’Connell was the offensive coordinator for the Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams for the last three seasons.
He studied under one of the bright young minds and Sean McVay and he hopes to bring a similar offensive style to Minnesota.
Last season, Rams WR Cooper Kupp, won the receiving triple crown.
Playing in a similar offense, Jefferson should be able to put up monster numbers.
Justin Jefferson in the Vikings new offense 🤤 pic.twitter.com/Wr1ZUiJ9if
— PFF (@PFF) August 11, 2022
It is fair to expect an offensive style change for the Vikings as well.
They have been a run-first team over the past few years but now Cousins should have more control of the offense.
The Vikings seemingly have all the pieces in place to take over the NFC North.
With the Detroit Lions and Chicago Bears still in rebuilding mode, the Vikings must show they are capable of dethroning Green Bay.
If they are unable to do that this year, some wholesale roster changes may be in store for this team.