Last time out I gave my predictions on the AFC Divisional winners and two wildcard teams, so naturally I’m set to tackle the NFC . After much deliberation and 24/7 studying, here are my NFC predictions.
Green Bay Packers – Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay passing game is just too good to not win the North. Plus, new running back Cedric Benson will be playing with a chip on his shoulder after going unwanted much of the off season. The defense is a question mark here, but they do get after the quarterback enough to offset some other defensive concerns.
Atlanta Falcons – I think the turmoil surrounding the New Orleans (N.O.) Saints will be enough to see the Falcons win the division. Not that Atlanta isn’t a very good team in their own right, but N.O. will have a lot to overcome. The Atlanta offense has weapons all over the field too and the defense will be more blitz happy under new defensive coordinator Mike Nolan. QB Matt Ryan and company will probably be in a lot of shoot outs this year, with the talent to come out on top.
Philadelphia Eagles – Last year a lot was expected from the “Dream Team”, but I think this is the year they put it together. The offense is quarterbacked by Michael Vick, and he has some dynamic playmakers to throw the ball to. But, it’s tailback LeSean McCoy that will make this offense go. On the defensive side of the ball ends Jason Babin and Trent Cole combined for 29 sacks last year and are a chore to scheme against.
San Francisco 49ers – I don’t think the 49ers will match last year’s 13 wins, but they still have enough to hold off the other three mediocre West teams. QB Alex Smith won’t be as efficient as last season, but if new wide out Randy Moss can capture some of his old magic it will open up the run game. On the other end of things, defensive linebacker Patrick Willis leads a tough physical unit that was the hardest to run against last year.
New Orleans Saints – Even with the bounty scandal hanging over their heads, this is still a talented football team that should pick up 10 or 11 wins. I think Drew Brees could roll out of bed and throw for 300 yards, and the tailback by committee is good enough to keep teams wary of the entire offense. They’ll have some struggles defensively, so expect a lot of wins of the 37-32 variety.
Chicago Bears – No team changed their offensive dynamic more than the ‘get off the bus running’ Bears. This is now a team that can beat you in the passing game as well as with pro bowl running back Matt Forte. Get used to hearing the words Jay Cutler to Brandon Marshall. Defensively expect more of the same, Julius Peppers will get after the quarterback, and they’ll show QBs various zone defenses.
Do you agree with our picks? Let us know in the comments below.