Monday, September 5, 2011

The Big NFL Preview Part 1: NFC

So this year I'm hoping the post isn't really that big or dry and dull like it was a few years ago. You know I'm not a scout and I predict based on my gut. I'm doing the NFC first, then AFC and finally playoffs. Hopefully I finish before the season starts.

NFC West
  1. Arizona Cardinals
  2. St. Louis Rams
  3. Seattle Seahawks
  4. San Francisco 49ers
There's nothing I hate about the Rams except their schedule. It is brutal. I love them adding Josh McDaniels as their offensive coordinator. He can really mold QB's, and Bradford has the capability to make every throw. But that schedule's a killer. Meanwhile, the Cardinals get a 4th place schedule and they've improved. I don't trust Kolb or Beanie Wells, but they can't be horrible. Seattle's solid in a lot of places, but they're probably worst out of everyone at QB. I honestly wouldn't be surprised if 3rd stringer Josh Portis started a game. The Niners are going to suck outside of Frank Gore. Also, Crabtree kept his streak alive, a 3rd season without playing in a preseason game. 

NFC South
  1. New Orleans Saints
  2. Atlanta Falcons
  3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  4. Carolina Panthers
The Saints and Falcons are two of the five best teams in the NFL. They both got better on offense and defense and they should scare the rest of the NFL. I love the Saints RB stable; Ingram's got a nose for the end zone, Sproles is dynamic (although a bit overrated honestly) and Pierre Thomas has always been reliable. They drafted Cam Jordan too, who I really wish we took at 17. Gregg Williams is going to kill QB's. The Falcons basically traded their entire draft for Julio Jones, and it looks like that'll pay off. He's been beastly in preseason and looks like he might not be the typical rookie WR. Their o-line is intact and they got Ray Edwards for cheap. 

I think the Bucs overachieved last year. They're a young team with a lot of potential that took advantage of a cake schedule. I love their draft, but I feel like they can't help but take a step back. It might only be a step back to 8-8 or 7-9, but I don't think they'll be a playoff team. The Panthers are starting Cam Newton, I think that automatically makes them 4th in this division. They might shock a few teams though, I don't think they're horrendous. 

NFC North
  1. Green Bay Packers
  2. Detroit Lions
  3. Chicago Bears
  4. Minnesota Vikings
I think the Packers are running away with this one. Everyone knows I'm down on the Bears. I almost wish the Lions hadn't beat the Patriots since now they're the trendy sleeper, and the trendy sleeper never makes the playoffs. I hope it was only a confidence boost and not a reason for them to get complacent. The Vikings have potential, but I don't trust their offensive line. Losing your left tackle as late as they did is never a good sign. Not much to say here.

NFC East
  1. Dallas Cowboys
  2. Washington Redskins
  3. Philadelphia Eagles
  4. New York Giants
Lemme guess what you just thought. "Whaaaaaaaatttt?! Is he writing drunk?!" No, I'm completely sober and I know what I'm writing. The "Dream Team" is going to flop. I feel like the hype's built too high. Rarely do teams ever live up to expectations, especially when they involve uber-teams. Everyone loves their additions, but no one talks about their o-line being subpar. Vick never plays a full season, now Vince Young's hurt, and they're the new 16-0 team. I don't love Dallas' offensive line either, but they won't have everyone asking "what's wrong with the Cowboys?!" when they drop a game or two.

How insane is it that the only offensive line that improved in the division is the Redskins? After years of ignoring it, they have a decent/good line that can play how Shanahan wants it to. They gashed the Ravens and Steelers in preseason, which means nothing but is far from a bad sign. Their defense looks stellar too. They're going to be a shocking team. Meanwhile the Giants lost pieces from a once-elite offensive line, lost I don't know how many players to IR, and they still have "Mr. Elite" Eli Manning as their QB. If they lean on Bradshaw and Jacobs they could do better, but I'm not seeing a good season for them.

Well that's it for the NFC, hopefully I can get it together and have the AFC ready by Tuesday. Playoff picks come Wednesday, then we all go nuts Thursday.

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