Who will come out on top in the NFC this year?
With the NFL season right around the corner and just about all the fantasy leagues drafts complete, it is time to dive into the NFL standings and playoffs predictions. Today I will be covering the NFC, followed by the AFC. I will be sharing some bold predictions along the way for each division.
Bold prediction: Eagles will miss the playoffs
Since 2005 no division champion has repeated in the NFC East. That my choice a lot easier, since I am very high on the Dallas Cowboy this year, especially with (barring injury) Ezekiel Elliot playing 16 games. As we saw last year, Prescott was a top 5 fantasy QB when Zeke was in the game. Each team in this division has significant enough question marks where you can lean one way or the other with your pick here. Cowboys outside of not having their starting center, do not have a bonafide WR1 on their roster, the redskins lost their starting RB Darius Guice (torn ACL), the Giants are not sure what to expect from Eli Manning who seems to be on a downward trajectory for the past few years now, and the Eagles (declared Nick Foles the starter) are without Carson Went, Alshon Jeffrey, Mack Hollins and a slew of other players missing to start the season. I see the Eagles getting off to a slow start, but make up some ground and fall just short of a playoff spot in a strong overall NFC year.
Bold Prediction: Davante Adams leads the league in touchdowns
The Packers (the king of the north) are the Patriots of the NFC North. As long as Rodgers is healthy, you cannot bet against them, though the Vikings have made immense improvements, with the return of Dalvin Cook and addition of Kirk Cousins, I expect their offense to be right up there with Green Bay, combine that with a top 5 defense and they should be just fine in making the playoffs as a wild card, but it would not surprise me if they win this division. The Lions have a lot of question marks on their team, though they have a sneaky good defense, their run game, if they can improve upon it, may finish 8-8 or 9-7 but well short of a playoff spot. The bears have also made a number of changes especially with the inclusion of Mack from the Raiders (via trade). This defense has the potential to be a top 5 defense along with the Vikings, but the biggest questions are on offense. Mitch Trubisky will define this offense being in the middle of the pack or a top 12 offense. I think they are still a year away from making significant noise in the North.
Bold Prediction: Matt Ryan will be an MVP candidate in 2018
James Winston suspension does not help the Bucs, who were already considered behind the 8 ball in a division that has 3 teams that can easily win the division. With a bottom of the barrel offensive line and
sub par defense against one of the hardest divisions in the league, this team is destined for a lottery-worthy season. Cam Newton will not have it easy after losing one of the best offensive linemen to the Jacksonville Jaguars. I expect the Panthers to have the going tough with their running game, but a strong passing attack should help keep them competitive all season. I expect Matt Ryan to be back to his 2016 form with the Saints and their defense being the only cog in their way to a division title. You can easily flip-flop the Falcons and saints and I would not blame you for doing so. This is going to be one of the more fun divisional races to watch this year.
Bold Prediction: Matt Breida will finish the season as the RB1 on the Niners offense
Losing Jerrick McKinnon is a major blow to the Niners offense, but Matt Breida is a valuable backup who I believe will out-produce Alfred Morris, but supplanting the rams in that division is going to be a task that
will not be possible for most teams if they were placed in this division. The rams are just about as perfect as they get on offense and defense, and finding a weakness is going to be difficult. Unless Jared Goff has a down year from last year the Rams are a lock to win this division and be the only team to make the playoffs from this division. The Seahawks lost Richard Sherman, Michael Bennett, Cliff Avril, Sheldon Richardson, Cam Chancellor, Jimmy Graham and Paul Richardson this offseason. The defense has the potential to be decent with younger players added and still have Bobby Wagner to maintain a decent middle of the pack defense. Outside of a less than 100% Doug Baldwin, and Tyler Lockett, Wilson has no one else to throw to. The offensive line is still a wreck and if it were not for Wilsons capability to buy time and run for his life, this team would be in total disarray and we be talking about them as a sub .500 team. The Cardinals are in total rebuild mode, with Bradford controlling the helm at QB (for as long as he can stay healthy), it is only a matter of time before Josh Rosen takes over.
(6) Saints 23-20 over (3) Rams
(5) Vikings 27-20 over (4) Cowboys
(1) Packers 33-27 over (6) Saints
(5) Vikings 23-17 over (2) Falcons
NFC Championship Game
(5) Vikings 34-30 over (1) Packers
Do you agree with our NFC predictions? How do you think things will turn out? Be sure to tell us your thoughts in the comments below!