Repos Picks the NFC Winners
The season is upon us! We’ve already seen a great opening night match-up that saw Tony Romo lead his Cowboys over their arch-rivals, the New York Giants. What more does this season have in store? We are now turning our attention to the NFC. Featuring potential juggernauts like the Green Bay Packers, San Francisco 49ers, defending champions New York Giants, the explosive Eagles, and the much improved Chicago Bears, the NFC is the cream of the crop in professional football.
Check out our NFC predictions (division winners in bold; wild-card in italics):
- Dallas Cowboys
- Philadelphia Eagles
- New York Giants
- Washington Redskins
Year in and year out, most “experts” seem to be of the mind that the NFC East is the best division in football. This year? Not so much. The Cowboys are, in our opinion, the best team in the division. Led by All-Pro QB Tony Romo, and featuring stud WRs Dez Bryant and Miles Austin, Dallas has weapons for days! Did we mention impressive 2nd year RB DeMarco Murray? Perennial Pro Bowl TE Jason Witten. An improved defense anchored by the scary good DeMarcus Ware? ‘Dem Boys’ should win this division hands down.
The rest? Philadelphia is betting big that Mike Vick makes it through the season in one piece. That’s a sucker’s bet and the Eagles will miss out on the dance. The Champs? With one tough schedule and a history of starting slow, the Giants will eliminate themselves from playoff contention by week 10. 9-7 won’t do it this year. The Redskins will be entertaining but are not quite ready for prime time.
- Chicago Bears
- Green Bay Packers
- Detroit Lions
- Minnesota Vikings
Wha-wha-whaaaaaaaaaaaat? The Bears win the North? Yep, you got it. Chicago got better on offense this off-season. A Lot better. Adding all-world WR Brandon Marshall and 2nd round WR Alshon Jeffery allows the Bears to move wide outs Earl Bennett and Devin Hester to more suitable WR3 and WR4 spots, giving Chicago arguably the most dangerous wide receiver crew in the NFL. Jay Cutler has never has weapons like this, and he should respond with his best season ever. Throw in a steady defense that specializes in takeaways and crazy special teams, and the Monsters of the Midway could be shuffling again this February.
The rest? Green Bay will be formidable again (duh) but takes a step back with the improvements made by Chicago. To be honest, we wouldn’t be surprised if these two team flip places. Both are playoff teams. Detroit will be solid, but falls back to the pack due to a lack of RBs, And, seriously, who expects Stafford to survive this season? He’s done it once in his career. Minnesota is still a work in progress and will, for all purposes, suck.
- Atlanta Falcons
- New Orleans Saints
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Carolina Panthers
Atlanta is a dangerous team this year. “Matty Ice” is coming into his own and should make the leap to “elite” status this season on the backs of the 1-2 punch of Roddy White and Julio Jones. The Falcons are evolving from a power running attack to an aerial assault, and should elevate both of their marquee wide outs to Pro Bowl levels. They also feature an opportunistic defense which is geared toward stopping New Orleans(or at least slowing them down).
The rest? New Orleans is, as always, an offensive juggernaut. Led by future hall of famer Drew Brees, this team scores points like a pinball machine and should be in a neck and neck race with Atlanta all season. We knock them down a notch only because of the looming “bountygate” issues (do you think Roger Goodell is going to get served by a judge?) that are sure to impact them sometime this season. Tampa Bay improved, in theory, by adding rookie RB Doug Martin (we like) and #1 WR Vincent Jackson (we don’t), but still will only go as far as Qb Josh Freeman takes them. Is he the rookie QB who everyone was ready to anoint as one of the top young signal callers in the NFL? Or the fat 2nd year signal caller doing his best JaMarcus Russell impression last season? Carolina could surprise, but Cam Russell will not be sneaking up on anyone this season. Is Steve Smith a legit #1, or just a nice piece better served in a complimentary role? How many running backs does Ron Rivera need over there anyway?
San Francisco 49ers
St. Louis Rams
San Francisco is the class of this division, far and away. The problem is, no one else in the division inspires much fear. It makes us wonder “how good are the niners, really?” Yes, the Patrick Willis led defense is the real deal, but an offense led by Alex Smith (Alex Smith!!!) and an aging Frank Gore needs an infusion of youth to reach the next level. Instead, they give us 90 year old Randy Moss. Puzzling.
The rest? Seattle should be entertaining and could pose a challenge to the 49ers dominance. Their defense is very good, Marshawn Lynch is a yardage machine, and spark-plug rookie Russell Wilson could be the story of the season. Still, the Seahawks have no WRs that scare an opposing team. Period. Arizona is also an interesting puzzle. Are they the disaster that started 1-6 last season, or the team that closed out the season 7-2? Behind John Skelton, the Cardinals have much to prove. Having Larry Fitzgerald helps:) St. Louis? They don’t matter.
Curious of how the other half lives? Check out our AFC picks here