The NFC North is home to two of the most dangerous teams in the NFL, the Minnesota Vikings and the Green Bay Packers.
Even though the Lions have added key pieces to their young, athletic nucleus and the Bears signed several playmakers on both sides of the ball, this division looks to still be a two horse race.
The division may not be the only thing at stake during the 2010 season, but also home-field advantage which is paramount for a Super Bowl run.
But will it be Minnesota or Green Bay that will be in a prime position for a possible game in February?
The Lions were on the wrong side of history when they became the first team in NFL history to finish a season 0-16 two seasons ago.
After a 2-14 season under rookie quarterback Matthew Stafford, Detroit looks to further improve this season.
With pass catchers, WR Calvin Johnson and TE Brandon Pettigrew, as well as the addition of RB Jahvid Best through the NFL Draft, the offense should continue to improve.
Running back Kevin Smith is a tough, punishing back but after suffering an ACL injury last season, he may not be ready for the beginning of the season, so Best may have a chance to contribute heavily to this team.
The Lions also added veteran, former Seahawks receiver Nate Burleson to complement a fast and strong Johnson, who was often been suffocated by scheming defenses.
The Lions defense had trouble generating a pass rush without blitzing, but the additions of DE Kyle Vanden Bosch and using the No. 2 overall pick in the NFL Draft to select DT Ndamukong Suh, should help address that issue.
The secondary may be a work in progress as they replaced experienced but ineffective CBs Anthony Henry and Phillip Buchanon with Chris Houston and Jonathan Wade.
However, FS Louis Delmas is an instinctive, quick, and strong safety who had an excellent rookie season, and will continue to play an integral part in Detroit's defense.
The Lions have gotten younger and more athletic on both sides of the ball. The offense has a few weapons capable of putting points on the board, but the defense still remains a question mark.
The Lions have the ability to improve greatly this season, but residing in a tough division, will more than likely result in another season towards the bottom of the NFC North.
After failing to make the playoffs for a third straight season, the Bears looked to make a serious impact with several key offseason signings.
Chicago spent $121 million on five-time Pro Bowl DE Julius Peppers, TE Brandon Manumaleuna, and RB Chester Taylor.
All three positions were issues for Chicago, and could pay dividends for a team that has failed to make the playoffs in the last three seasons.
After beginning the season 3-1, the Bears lost eight of their final 12 games to finish a disappointing 7-9 last year.
QB Jay Cutler was mostly to blame, despite 27 touchdowns, he threw a league-leading 26 interceptions, and played poorly in the red zone.
New offensive coordinator Mike Martz hopes to restore Cutler's confidence, and turn him into the elite quarterback he is capable of becoming.
At Cutler's disposal are the two-headed running attack of complete back Matt Forte and the aforementioned Taylor, who will provide steady pass blocking for Cutler.
The receiving corps also showed great improvement season, despite not having a definite No. 1 receiver. Devin Hester, Devin Aromashodu, and Johnny Knox all provide Cutler will plenty of diverse options to his disposal.
On defense, with the addition of DE Julius Peppers, the Bears' pass-rush has significantly improved. Peppers has finished six of his eight NFL seasons with 10 or more sacks.
At the linebacker position, Brian Urlacher was lost for the season in Week One after dislocating his right wrist against the Packers, but if he returns healthy along side Lance Briggs, the Bears may be back to the solid defense it is capable of producing.
The Bears have the talent to compete in the NFC North, but if a considerable amount of improvement is not made, expect rebuilding to occur soon after in Chicago.
The Vikings look to establish their dominance once again now that it seems very likely that Brett Favre will return for at least one more season with the team.
The 19-year NFL veteran had surgery on the ankle he injured in last year's NFC Championship Game loss to the Saints.
Favre was highly efficient last season, throwing 33 touchdown passes to only seven interceptions, his lowest INT rate of his career.
He now has a full receiving arsenal at his disposal with the emergence of young studs Sidney Rice, and Percy Harvin.
Rice has great size, strength, and can catch the ball in traffic. He is the No. 1 receiver on this Viking team but has a great compliment in the 2009 AP NFL Offensive Player of the Year, Harvin.
Favre can take pressure off of the passing game with perhaps the most dominant running back in the NFL, Adrian Peterson. While he continues to fumble the ball at times, he will continue to be an exceptional runner.
On defense, the Vikings will attempt to continue their dominance as they led the NFL with 48 sacks, and finished second in defending the run last season.
The defense is anchored by DE Jared Allen who constantly harasses the opposing quarterback through any means possible, but did not maintain his consistency the way he did two years ago.
The biggest concern facing the Vikings is the health of their secondary. CB Antoine Winfield missed six games with a broken foot and opposite CB Cedric Griffin suffered a torn ACL in the NFC title game, and may not be ready for the start of the season.
Several aging players on the Vikings may be on the verge of their final runs, but with a young, athletic team surrounding them, Minnesota's championship window may not be completely shut after this season.
With Brett Favre and Adrian Peterson leading the way, look for the Minnesota to push Green Bay hard for the division title, and do not be surprised if the Vikings end up winning the NFC North again.
The Green Bay Packers were much improved last season after a disappointing 6-10 campaign in 2008 ,and are looking to take the division crown from the incumbent Vikings.
Aaron Rodgers had a career year last season passing for 4,434 yards and 30 touchdowns en route to leading the Packers to an 11-5 record, and a playoff berth.
Their 28.8 points per game was due in large part to not only Rodgers, but the offensive weapons surrounding him.
Running back Ryan Grant rushed for 1,253 yards and 11 touchdowns—both career highs—and is a physical, punishing back who fumbles on rare occasion.
Greg Jennings and Donald Driver both posted 1,000 yards for the second year in a row as Rodgers' primary targets.
Both have great hands, but Driver dropped numerous passes, lowering his production near the end of last season.
More will be expected from 2009 first-round draft pick B.J. Raji, who suffered a high ankle sprain in the final preseason game last year, and did not return to form until midseason. Expect the strong, athletic Raji to make a big impact.
The defense hopes to continue its defensive dominance as it led the league in rushing yards allowed, and interceptions (30).
The defensive linemen and linebacker positions should stay consistent with Ryan Pickett and Clay Matthews leading, respectively.
Matthews, despite not starting until Week Four, earned to a trip to the Pro Bowl as a rookie, while setting a team rookie record with 10 sacks.
Behind CB Charles Woodson, and his league high nine interceptions last season, the secondary will continue to be a focal point in Green Bay's defense.
The Packers definitely have the pieces needed to become a championship contender but the health of key players could play a factor between possibly winning the division, or winning a Super Bowl.