Can you smell it football fans? Football is back and is mere hours away….
That’s the perfect time to release the NFC predictions for this coming season. It should be an entertaining season, as the league is arguably as talented as ever.
- Philadelphia Eagles 10-6
- New York Giants 8-8
- Washington Redskins 6-10
- Dallas Cowboys 5-11
This is the most common order I’ve seen in predictions for the NFC East, but my records are slightly different. I give the Redskins and Cowboys more credit, and believe they will win more games than most cellar teams, but nonetheless, I believe they will bring up the rear. The Eagles high-powered offense is reportedly moving even faster this season, and off season additions plus a second season in the new 3-4 system should bring improvements as well. I also believe the Giants will be much improved this season, with QB Eli Manning looking to rebound off an awful season.
- Green Bay Packers 11-5
- Chicago Bears 9-7
- Detroit Lions 8-8
- Minnesota Vikings 4-12
The Green Bay Packers have QB Aaron Rodgers. That’s an almost guaranteed ticket to the playoffs. I have them taking this division with relative ease, as Chicago and Detroit battle it out for a final wild card spot. All in all, I believe the Bears will take it, as I expect their offense to really take off this season. Detroit will be in an adjustment year under first year head coach, Jim Caldwell. The lowly Vikings will ease rookie QB Teddy Bridgewater along, and bring him partway into this lost season. It will be another wasted season for RB Adrian Peterson, whose window on winning a championship is closing rapidly.
- New Orleans Saints 13-3
- Atlanta Falcons 7-9
- Carolina Panthers 5-11
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers 4-12
This could be the Saints’ year. After additions on defense, and reworking some pieces on offense, QB Drew Brees looks primed to take the Saints on another Super Bowl quest. Of course, it also helps that the NFC South is relatively weak as well. Atlanta is looking to rebound off a miserable season that was ravished by injuries, but they still have many holes on the defensive side of the ball. The team making the biggest fall will be the Panthers, who simply lost too many pieces via free agency. QB Cam Newton has one of the weakest receiving cores in the NFL, and is coming off an off season ankle surgery. The Buccaneers are another team that will be under a first year head coach, but they are also starting QB Josh McCown, who has been a career backup. It looks like a move with the potential to backfire.
- Seattle Seahawks 14-2
- San Francisco 49ers 10-6
- Arizona Cardinals 7-9
- St. Louis Rams 6-10
The Seahawks will dominate the regular season, and look like experienced vets. Think the Miami Heat of football. Their division rivals, the 49ers, will struggle a little bit more this season, as they have to overcome an injury to LB NaVorro Bowman and a suspension of LB Aldon Smith. Yet, coach Jim Harbaugh will find a way to get his team to the playoffs. However, for the Cardinals and Rams, they will suffer the consequences of playing in the best division in football. The Cardinals are good enough to make the playoffs out of other divisions, but suspensions and injuries will ail them. The same could be said for the Rams, but I believe one drastic move (like acquiring a bonafide QB) and another year of development for young players could put the Rams over the hump in 2015.
Wild Card Round
Bears vs. Packers –> 35-24, Packers
49ers vs. Eagles –> 30-24, 49ers
I have the Packers taking down division rival Chicago with relative ease at home. Green Bay is just a superior team to Chicago. On the other hand, the 49ers will invade Philadelphia, and pull out a hard fought win. The Eagles defense is still a year away from helping it contend as one of the NFL’s elite teams.
49ers vs. Seahawks –> 28-24, Seahawks
Packers vs. Saints –> 35-30, Packers
Another 49ers and Seahawks match up in the postseason will yield the same results in my opinion, as the Carroll-led ‘Hawks will continue their dominance of the Harbaugh-led 49ers. The other game of the divisional round should be an extremely entertaining match up, as Green Bay and New Orleans’ offenses will attempt to match each other all game. In the end, I believe QB Aaron Rodgers will come up with the big play or final drive that gets Green Bay over the hump and into the NFC Championship game.
NFC Championship Game
Packers vs. Seahawks –> 30-24, Packers
Say what!? Yes, I really believe that the Packers can go into Seattle and beat them in the NFC Championship game. If there is a quarterback that could do it, it’s Aaron Rodgers. Also, I just simply don’t believe Seattle can repeat. I feel as if too many breaks will have to go the ‘Hawks ways for them to bring home another Super Bowl ring, while I think the time is right for Rodgers to attempt to add another trophy to his collection.