Green Bay Packers
New faces: DE Julius Peppers, DT Letroy Guion, RB Michael Hill, S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix.
Saying goodbye: WR James Jones, C Evan Dietrich-Smith, TE Jermichael Finley.
Projected starting quarterback: Aaron Rodgers.
Rodgers’ second-year stats: Two appearances (zero starts), 6 of 15, 40 percent completion percentage, 46 yards, 3.1 yards per attempt, 0 TDs, 0 interceptions, 48.2 passer rating.
What they need to learn: How to stay healthy. The Packers had 11 starters miss 58 games and 21 backups combined to miss 158.
Did you know? Through their first six seasons as the starting quarterback for the Packers, both Brett Favre and Rodgers made the playoffs five times and won one Super Bowl.
They’ll make a deep postseason run if: Clay Matthews gets back to 100 percent, Julius Peppers proves he’s got something left at 34 and recent first-round picks Nick Perry and Datone Jones begin living up to their billing.
They’ll make an early postseason exit if: The Packers can’t get someone to snap the ball to Rodgers. Akron’s J.C. Tretter was in line to start, but a knee injury will likely keep him out of the lineup for the first month of the season.
New faces: DE Jared Allen, DE Lamarr Houston, DE Willie Young, S M.D. Jennings.
Saying goodbye: DE Julius Peppers, DT Henry Melton, QB Josh McCown.
Projected starting quarterback: Jay Cutler.
Cutler’s second-year starts: 16 starts, 297 of 467, 63.6 completion percentage, 3,497 yards, 7.5 yards per attempt, 20 TDs, 14 interceptions, 88.1 passer rating.
What they need to learn: Will a rebuilt defense featuring a new line, half a new secondary and the shuffling of linebackers show the same improvement the offense did in 2013?
Did you know? The last time a Bears running back led the NFL in rushing was in 1977, when Walter Payton ran for 1,852 yards. Matt Forte finished second last year with 1,339.
They’ll challenge for the division title if: The aging defenders they’re relying on hold up and defensive coordinator Mel Tucker figures out a way to rush the passer.
They’ll miss the playoffs again if: Cutler gets hurt again. The Bears elected not to re-sign veteran backup Josh McCown, who played well for them in 2013.
New faces: Coach Jim Caldwell, WR Golden Tate, S James Ihedigbo, CB Cassius Vaughn, QB Dan Orlovsky.
Saying goodbye: S Louis Delmas, WR Nate Burleson, CB Chris Houston, DE Willie Young, QB Shaun Hill, K David Akers.
Projected starting quarterback: Matthew Stafford.
Stafford’s second-year stats: Three appearances (three starts), 57 of 96, 59.4 completion percentage, 535 yards, 5.6 yards per attempt, 6 TDs, 1 int., 91.3 passer rating.
What they need to learn: Was another weapon in the first round of the draft (North Carolina tight end Eric Ebron) really the best way to help this year’s team? Help in the secondary seemed like more of a need.
Did you know? Reggie Bush and Joique Bell became the first pair of teammates in NFL history to gain both 500 rushing and receiving yards in the same season.
They’ll be in the playoff hunt if: Caldwell’s presence helps Stafford cut down on his turnovers – he had 14 in his last seven games in 2013 – and improve his completion percentage.
They’ll be on the outside looking in if: The defense sees a drop on third downs and red zone – two areas in which they excelled last season.
New faces: Coach Mike Zimmer, LB Jasper Brinkley, CB Captain Munnerlyn, DT Linval Joseph, DE Corey Wootton, SS Kurt Coleman.
Saying goodbye: DE Jared Allen, DT Kevin Williams, RB Toby Gerhart, LB Erin Henderson, CB Chris Cook.
Projected starting quarterback: Matt Cassel.
Cassel’s second-year stats: Six appearances (zero starts), 5 of 8, 62.5 completion percentage, 32 yards, 4.0 yards per attempt, 0 TDs, 0 interceptions, 70.8 passer rating.
What they need to learn: How to close games. The Vikings blew five leads in the final minute of regulation in finishing last season 5-10-1.
Did you know? Mike Zimmer is getting his first shot as a head coach after 20 years as an NFL assistant.
They’ll hover around .500 if: Peterson stays healthy, Cassel works the ball to rising star Cordarrelle Patterson, and the replacements for Allen and Williams on the defensive line work out.
They’ll be picking in the top 10 if: Players are slow in picking up Zimmer’s hybrid defensive scheme and the quarterback play bottoms out in a tough division.