Mike Zimmer has helped build a championship-caliber roster in Minnesota, and this will be the season he and the long-suffering
Vikings fans finish on top. The
Vikings had one area in desperate need of improvement this offseason -- the offensive line -- and they made the necessary moves to piece together a unit that can protect
Kirk Cousins and spearhead a rushing attack led by
Dalvin Cook. This offense will undoubtedly be better with Gary Kubiak and Kevin Stefanski running the show. Cousins played some of his best football in Washington under Kyle Shanahan, whose offense is a clone of Kubiak's. Kubiak won a ring as Denver's head coach in 2015, and now he helps Zim get his.
Andy Reid's squad will have a chance for as long as
Patrick Mahomes is under center. The reigning MVP made it all look so effortless in 2018. Even taking into account
uncertain future with the team, the
Chiefs' offense has enough talent to light up scoreboards. Now, they struggled all season long on defense last year, ranking in the bottom third of the league in most statistical categories, but the
Chiefs have made huge strides on that side of the ball this offseason. They brought in several notable defensive players via free agency, trades and the draft, including
Darron Lee and
Tyrann Mathieu. Reid has been
so close to a title in the past. His team gets it done this time around.
Is this a serious question? Because the obvious answer is that young, genius head coach who was the toast of the NFL last season. That's right. Matt Nagy. You might know him better as the reigning NFL Coach of the Year. The
Bears gave themselves another boost in the draft by picking RB
David Montgomery, who will be a better fit for Nagy's offense than RB
Jordan Howard, who was dealt to Philly prior to the draft. There were a few losses defensively, starting with coordinator Vic Fangio and safety
Adrian Amos, but I have confidence in their successors, Chuck Pagano and
Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. The
Bears are going to the
It's a tough call to choose between the last two coaches to drop postseason games to the
Patriots -- Andy Reid and Sean McVay -- but I'll side with McVay here. Twenty-eight years Reid's junior, McVay has a better shot than the
Chiefs' skipper and other Lombardi-less head coaches, like Jason Garrett, Mike Zimmer, Dan Quinn and Anthony Lynn, to claim his first title this season. The
Rams return essentially the same roster as their NFC title-winning unit from a year ago, save for interior losses on both sides of the line. The NFC West, though unpredictable, should be theirs, and the conference is deeper than it is top-heavy. It seems the odds are never in a
Super Bowl loser's favor the season after coming up a win short of glory, but McVay has broken convention before.
Sean McVay seems like the easy answer, but ... Frank Reich, come on down! Last season, the
Colts took a big step forward because they did two things they hadn't done in the past -- play defense and protect
Andrew Luck. This year, they've doubled down on the first part by spending seven of their 10 draft picks on the defensive side of the ball and signing pass rusher
Justin Houston. After record-setting offensive seasons, the pressure is on both the
Rams to replicate the feat, while (and we say this every year) eventually time has to catch up to the
Patriots, right? Either way, Indy has a very good team that's on the rise and could be in position to make a serious run at a Lombardi this season.