Friday, September 7, 2012

NFC Preseason Predictions

And I'm back, this time with predictions for the NFC. Here we go:

NFC East:
1. Dallas Cowboys (4)
2. Philadelphia Eagles (5)
3. New York Giants
4. Washington Redskins

In what is probably the toughest division in all of football, I see the Giants falling flat after their Super Bowl season last year. I think the Cowboys will finally be America's darling after a return to form of Tony Romo and the addition of key members to the secondary (Brandon Carr, Morris Claiborne). The Eagles will live up to their considerably lesser "Dream Team" hype this season, but Vick's injuries will prevent them from winning the division. The Giants will suffer from Super Bowl hangover and struggle, especially after the losses of Mario Manningham, Brandon Jacobs, and other key players. Finally, I think the Redskins actually have the potential to surprise some pundits this year but they unfortunately play in a stacked division.

NFC South: 
1. Atlanta Falcons (1)
2. New Orleans Saints
3. Carolina Panthers
4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

After the bounty scandal that rocked the Saints' offseason, the Falcons are primed to win this divison. They have a terrific young quarterback (Matt Ryan) and two studs at receiver (Julio Jones, Roddy White). Their defense is shakier but they should be able to pull through to win it. the Saints will suffer a setback after the losses of coach Sean Payton and OC Joe Vitt, but they were blessed with the return of Jonathan Vilma and Will Smith, whose suspensions where overturned today.The Panthers are a young team on the rise but they still don't have enough offensive weapons to take the step to the next level. Finally, the Bucs did make a splash in the offseason with the signings of Vincent Jackson and Carl Nicks but I'm not totally sold on Josh Freeman as their quarterback.

NFC North:
1. Green Bay Packers (2)
2. Detroit Lions
3. Chicago Bears
4. Minnesota Vikings

The Packers defense is still as shaky as ever but their offense has the uncanny ability to always score more points than their defense allows. I have them winning the North. The Lions have really developed their young offense into a potent one and their defense should be much more vicious this year if Ndamukong Suh returns to form and Nick Fairley gets some playing time. The Bears have the makings of a good team and Jay Cutler isn't actually as bad as many think he is, it's just that the Lions and Packers are better teams. Finally, the Vikings round out this division with a team that needs a few more years to get back to its winning ways.

NFC West:
1. San Francisco 49ers (3)
2. Seattle Seahawks (6)
3. St. Louis Rams
4. Arizona Cardinals

It's hard to imagine anyone but the 49ers winning this division after their successful offseason in which they got much better with the additions of WRs Randy Moss and Mario Manningham. However, the Seahawks could give them a run for their money. They are definitely a dark horse in the division and in the NFC. The Rams will be much improved after the arrival of head coach Jeff Fisher as long as Sam Bradford stays healthy. Finally, the Cardinals are pitiful at the quarterback position and their only real weapon is Larry Fitzgerald.

49ers over Seahawks
   The Seahwaks had a nice season but their division foes are a stronger team.
Eagles over Cowboys
   The Cowboys won the division only because of the Eagles' losses during Vick's injuries. If he plays in this game, the Eagles will dominate.

Falcons over Eagles
   The Falcons WRs are just too potent for the underachieving Eagles secondary.
49ers over Packers
   I wouldn't predict it any other way. The Packers defense is weak enough for the 49ers to put up some points.

49ers over Falcons
   The 49ers have the strong defense to offset the Falcons WRs and an offense that is good enough to get the job done.

And there it is! The 49ers will win the NFC after missing out on it last season. Stay tuned for a mini-post on the Super Bowl Champion that will come out before Sunday.

Go 49ers, beat them Packers!!!!

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