Here in the second installment of the NFL season predictions we are turning our attention to the NFC. I’ve always considered myself more of an NFC guy than an AFC guy, primarily becuase my beloved Bears play in the NFC, so of course this means that I’m bound to royally screw up these predictions. I’m also going to make at least one prediction that I never would so at the very least this could be exciting if still completely wrong. But here goes are best stab at how the NFC divisions are going to shake out. Once again the * means the wild card teams and the teams are listed first to worst. Enjoy and let us know what you think.
- Dallas: Despite the inevitable T.O. drama that will ensue, Drew Bledsoe has revitalized his career in his second stint under Parcells and Terry Glenn is running routes like few others in the game. The offense should put up a ton of points and the defense will rebound from a disapointing year behind the game changing ability of Roy Williams.
- NY Giants: Eli Manning will undoubtebly continue to develop but for his sake lets hope that “Oops I crapped my pants in a big game” gene has skipped over him. Another big question is when is Tiki Barber going to hit that wall, but I have a feeling that it won’t happen in a big way this year.
- Philadelphia: Sorry Doug, but this is going to be another year without the playoffs in Philly. I’m not sure what to make of this team really, Donovan will clearly be better than last year now that he is healthy but unless he reverts to his old ways and starts running more the Eagles will have a tough time moving the chains with that recieving corps.
- Washington: Joe Gibbs has to be really regretting his decision to return to the Redskins, but part of it is probably his fault too. Mark Brunnell was never really the answer at QB and that Clinton Portis injury smells like one that is going to hang around all year and threaten to rear its ugly head.
- Chicago: This certainly sounds like a homer pick, but I really think the Bears are going to control this rather weak division. The Bears defense is going to be scary good and the offense should be respectable enough to crush the likes of the Lions. Rex Grossman or Brian Griese it doesn’t really matter, I mean Trent Dilfer does have a Super Bowl ring after all.
- Minnesota: With a new coach intent on discipline the Vikings have managed to keep their sexcapades limited to an alley rather than coming by sea. This is another team that I’m not impressed by their offense or defense, but they’ll finish second in this division because of how truly bad the next two teams are.
- Detroit: I can’t believe these guys aren’t going to finish last in the division because it seems like the front office has been systimatically make the team worse in recent years. The draft strategy has been so good, only picking skill position players, but couple that with an obvious nose for talent and the Lions have been setting themselves up for a decade worth of success. Wait I think I screwed that up, the Lions have been setting themselves up for a decade of crappiness.
- Green Bay: Despite Brett Favre’s contention that this is the most talented team he has ever played with, the fact remains that this is a terrible football team. The defense may be improved but every major aspect on offense is probably been downgraded. Favre himself isn’t the same, Ahman Green has to prove he’s healed, they cut their second best back in Najeh Davenport and they lost a number one reviever in Javon Walker. Even growing up hating the way Favre dominated the Bears its still sad to see such a great player come down to this.
- Carolina: The defense will carry this team as the running game relying on DeShaun Foster may be suspect. For whatever reason Jake Delhomme seems to win games and make good decisions so that’s always a positive thing to have going for a team.
- Atlanta*: Another year in what passes for the West Coast offense should do Vick some good, especially if the loss of T.J. Duckett causes some more wear and tear on Warrick Dunn in short yardage situations.
- Tampa Bay: Chris Simms would have to turn into an All-Pro type quarterback for this team to make a playoff run. The defense isn’t what it used to be, but Cadillac Williams certainly gives this team hope that the offense can pick up some of the slack.
- New Orleans: So these are the lucky bastards that benefitted from Houston going defense with the first pick. Drew Brees fresh off his new contract should sufficiently suck this year in no small part to the lack of a real offensive line. So the season comes down to seeing Reggie Bush develop which can be exciting enough in itself.
- Seattle: Shaun Alexander is the real deal when it comes to running backs and Matt Hassleback has quietly emerged as a big time quarterback. The real question will remain if the recievers will continue to drop passes at an alarming rate.
- Arizona*: I realize this is a trendy pick, but hear me out. Depsite how I like to make fun of Kurt Warner he has shown he can spread the ball around and the Cards have a couple nice young recievers to bring those passes down. Edge brings instant legitimacy to the running game despite the mid range offensive line. In addition, and maybe most importantly they have what looks to be a pretty easy schedule, partly because they play in the weakest division in football. This could easily fall apart very quickly, especially with Denny Green at the helm, but I’m sticking with it.
- St. Louis: The offensive genius is gone and not a whole lot of improvements have been made so I don’t see the Rams making much of a run this season.
- San Francisco:Alex Smith may or may not be a good pro quarterback, but its probably not going to happen with this level of talent surronding him. Its going to be another long season in the Bay Area, but despite the winning streak that cost the Niners a run at the number one pick last year I think they have a real shot at earning it this year.