Adam Schefter sees an opening for Vikings winning NFC North

The landscape turns into an NFC North division owned by the Green Bay Packers year after year. But brace yourself, Minnesota Vikings fans, because the light is finally shining at the end of the long, darkened tunnel.

An elderly Aaron Rodgers, who could be nearing retirement, will play without his best receiving weapon, Davante Adams, in 2022. And while the Vikings are doing more refurbishments than an actual rebuild, they are still coming into the season with that new car smell featuring freshman general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and freshman head coach Kevin O’Connell.

There is legitimate hope that a changing of the guard is on the horizon soon. ESPN analyst Adam Schefter was asked to comment on the Vikings’ plight following major off-season signings of Za’Darius Smith, Harrison Phillips and Chandon Sullivan.

“Well, it looks like we’ve definitely beefed up the attack on the defensive pass – the front line of defense,” Schefter told Vikings.com’s Gabe Henderson. “So that’s a good place for this defense. And look, there’s a real opening in this division.

“Aaron Rodgers has what—a few more years in Green Bay? Detroit, we don’t know now who their long-term quarterback will be, and Chicago is waiting for Justin Fields to develop. The division isn’t exactly the AFC West now. It looks like the season is off and Minnesota has made some strong strides.”

Adams was actually traded to the Las Vegas Raiders for a first and second round draft pick to join a busy AFC West division.

The Vikings even broke up with the Packers in the two head-to-heads last season, and they didn’t even have their starting quarterback, Kirk Cousins, on the field in the Week 17 loss. He was out with a positive COVID test and the team started backing up Sean Mannion in a match that ended in complete disaster.

The real problem for Minnesota was their inconsistency against everyone else. Sure, they typically play the Packers tough, but there have been way too many duds to even maintain the level of consistency to compete for the NFC North throne.

Perhaps enough has changed in the division and the NFC to give some hope for the future. The Packers don’t look like the juggernaut they once were — at least not on paper.

No one knows what that means for a Vikings team that has missed the playoffs in the past two seasons.

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