The Minnesota Vikings have more confidence and optimism heading into this offseason than they did a year ago. They have two of the most important pieces in place in head coach Mike Zimmer and Teddy Bridgewater. Also, they improved in several areas from the past season. The Vikings have 12 free agents this offseason, but just one opening day starter.
The Carolina Panthers have had an extra week off to prepare for their first playoff game in years, but they haven’t taken the time off from preparing. They have been focusing on whichever team they may face and they are looking to be a team that is not only good, but one that is feared.
No one thought the Carolina Panthers were a serious Super Bowl contender when they started the 2013 season losing three of their first four games, but thanks to a five-game winning streak, they are now one of the hottest teams in the league.