It’s official, the NFL season has begun, and before week 1 completes, I need to get in the my NFC picks.
NFC East – Again this year the Philadelphia Eagles look like the team to beat on paper, but I do not have the confidence in Michael Vick that others may. Eli Manning has Ahmad Bradshaw, Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz to work with on offense, and with the speed and strength of their defensive line, I see the Giants taking the division. With Cam Newton’s breakout last year, teams are prepared for the scrambling offense again, so I don’t see RGIII breaking out his rookie year.
NFC North – Even though I’m a Bears guy, I have to go with the Green Bay Packers to take this division, and I would also think they will earn a bye in round 1. Aaron Rodgers, Clay Matthews, Greg Jennings…do I need to go on? I expect Rodgers to pass for over 300 and 2TDs a game, plus with addition of Cedric Benson, they may actually have a viable run game. I see Detroit being right behind them and likely one of the wild card slots, because the Stafford/Megatron connection may just be as good as Montana/Rice and Aikman/Irvin. Sorry Forte, our Bears’ defense just isn’t what it once was, and with Brian Urlacher’s health in question, I don’t see a playoff run in the future.
NFC West – If anyone in the world isn’t expecting San Francisco to run away with the division hasn’t been watching football in the last few years. The Arizona Cardinals, though have Larry Fitzgerald, lack anyone worthy of throwing the football, the Rams simply don’t have any weapons other than Bradford and Jackson, and Seattle has all their eggs in the Marshawn Lynch basket. With the best defense since the ’85 Bears, the 49ers can average 14 points a game and I would still estimate an average winning margin of 4.
NFC South – What may look to be another gimme conference, Drew Brees should take his team far again this season, possibly earning the other bye for the NFC. Unless Matt Ryan can have a miraculous comeback from last year, I don’t see Atlanta going too far. Similar to my feelings about Washington, Carolina likely won’t go far because defenses now have a year’s worth of tape on Cam. Though Tampa may have made some nice additions in free agency and the draft, I still see this year as another to rebuild.
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