Who comes out on top in the NFC this year?
Updated: Nov 11, 2018
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (Predicted Record: 11-5) The defending world champs are the team to beat once again. Even though Nick Foles led them to the promise land last season, getting Carson Wentz back will help them achieve that goal again.
NEW YORK GIANTS (8-8) After the disastrous three-win season, it is hard to believe the Giants will be pushing for a playoff spot. However, getting Saquon Barkley in this year’s draft to pair him with a healthy Odell Beckham Jr, and second year tight end Evan Engram with a much refurbished offensive line after the signing of Nate Solder and drafting Will Hernandez in the second round should result in an explosive offense. The defense will hold this team back. Trading Jason Pierre Paul creates a gap on the D-line and the secondary has some holes to fill. If Eli Apple finally turns into the first round talent the Giants are looking for, and Eli Manning can still be an efficient QB, that will be the key for the Giants to be playing meaningful games in December under a new coaching staff.
DALLAS COWBOYS (8-8) Dak Prescott took a step back in his sophomore year but he should hopefully bounce back. Yes, Ezekiel Elliot should be back for all 16 games. However, Dallas released Dez Bryant and Jason Witten retired. They replaced those two with Allen Hurns and Geoff Swaim which is a downgrade. Jaylon Smith is coming back to a defense that finished top five in points allowed last season. The bad news is They've got seven games against 2017 playoff teams.
WASHINGTON REDSKINS (5-11) Replacing Kirk Cousins with Alex Smith means they are still status-quo at the QB position. Adrian Peterson is not returning to his glory days which means they do not have any star talent weapons on either side of the ball besides Josh Norman. Last year they were able to scrape together seven wins, do not expect that again.
MINNESOTA VIKINGS (Predicted Record: 13-3) - They made it to the NFC championship game (because of Stephon Diggs) with Case Kenum under center. Now adding Kirk Cousins makes them a ligament contender with a lot of big expectations. The Vikings added Sheldon Richardson and drafted Mike Hughes to last season’s NFL’s top ranked defense. This could be Minnesota’s year.
GREEN BAY PACKERS (12-4) Jimmy Graham is Aaron Rodgers new toy and this offense is ready to explode to get this team back to the playoffs. Many believe the Packers are the team to beat in the NFC, but the defense might have some struggles with first year defensive coordinator Mike Pettine.
CHICAGO BEARS (6-10) Last year’s third overall pick Mitchell Trubisky should be more improved much like Jared Goff last season. However, adding Allen Robinson this offseason as Trubisky’s main weapon isn’t enough to compete in 2018 under first year head coach Matt Nagy. Good news for DA BEARS is that the future is bright.
DETROIT LIONS (6-10) Matt Patricia can do wonders for this defense that was ranked 27th last year. Overpaid Matthew Stafford still has the talent to keep this team afloat but they will not return to their third straight 9-win season.
ATLANTA FALCONS (Predicted Record: 11-5) This division can be won by three out of the four teams (Obviously not Tampa). Atlanta should win the NFL South because they can be the most destructive on offense. Former MVP Matt Ryan is paired with running back Devonta Freeman, tight end Austin Hooper and receivers Julio Jones, Mohamed Sanu, and Calvin Ridley which is scary for defenses.
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (11-5) The Saints might have the best defense in the NFC. Drew Brees can still be elite at 39 years old but might have trouble in the first four weeks of the season while Mark Ingram is suspended. Remember, if it wasn’t for the “miracle” in Minneapolis the Saints would have been in the NFC championship game last season.
CAROLINA PANTHERS (10-6) Expect growing pains with first year offensive coordinator Norv Turner working with Cam Newton. They added receivers D.J. Moore and Torrey Smith but lost Andrew Norwell on the offensive line. A big second year is in store for last year’s first round pick Christian McCaffrey.
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (4-12) Drafting Vita Vea and trading for Jason Pierre-Paul still was not enough to be excited about here for 2018. Oh, and then Jameis Winston got suspended.
LOS ANGELES RAMS (Predicted Record: 12-4) Former first overall pick Jared Goff is ready to take his talents up another level at the QB position and he’s got the weapons to do so. Wide receiver Sammy Watkins departed for Kansas City and the Rams wasted no time upgraded that position by trading for the speedy Brandin Cooks to put alongside 2017 offensive player of the year Todd Gurley. This offseason they stacked the defense with the signing of Ndamukong Suh to pair him on a defensive line beside Aaron Donald and signed Aqib Talib to pair with Marcus Peters in the same secondary.
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (9-7) Jimmy Garoppolo's perfect record will have to end this season, in fact it will in week one against Minnesota. After that the 49ers are set for a much improved campaign in 2018 after the additions of Richard Sherman, and Mike McGlinchey. Playoffs? Probably not. Meaningful games in December? Yes.
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (6-10) Besides Russel Wilson who’s left on this roster from their glory days? I think Pete Carrol’s culture will not allow this team to finish last in the west, but this team has trended downward since the days of the legion of boom.
ARIZONA CARDNIALS (5-11) Sam Bradford is not the answer for this team. Even if he stays healthy you should see first round pick Sam Rosen under center by week 8. Sam was the most NFL ready quarterback from this year’s draft and could surprise some people this season. Besides that, nothing to get remotely excited about in Arizona this season.