2018 NFC Season Preview

PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 29: A detaled view of the NFL crest logo is seen on the field during the NFL football game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Philadelphia Eagles on October 29, 2017 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Philadelphia Eagles defeated the San Francisco 49ers by the score of 33-10. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

We have now reached the slow part of the NFL off-season. The Draft is over, and rookies are starting to report to mini-camp. Most teams have their rosters in the direction they will go for the regular season. With that being said, here is my 2018 NFC Season Preview.

NFC East :

Dallas Cowboys :
Prediction : 10 – 6

Preview : The Dallas Cowboys missed the playoffs last season. Star running back Ezekiel Elliott was suspended for 6 games last season after an off the field issue. Losing Elliot hurt the Cowboys offense and was esential is the Cowboys missing the playoffs. This offseason the Cowboys had some decisions to make with Dez Bryant. They ended up cutting Dez Bryant and Jason Witten retired to join the Monday Night Football crew. The Cowboys have a tough first 6 games of the season which will be tough with trying to adjust to life without Bryant and Witten. If the Cowboys can figure things out early in the season they should be in the playoff race.

New York Giants :
Prediction : 9 – 7

Preview : The New York Giants had one of their worst seasons in their franchise history last year. With the lose of star player Odell Beckham Jr and the defense not being on the same page. The Giants finished the season with a 3 – 13 record, giving the Giants the second overall pick in the NFL Draft. The Giants have one of the toughest first half schedules in the league. With the return of Odell Beckham Jr and the addition of Saquan Barkley the Giants offense should be back to form next season. If the Giants can avoid a terrible start to the season they have a fairly easy back of their schedule to make some noise and possibly a run to the playoffs.

Philadelphia Eagles :
Prediction : 13 – 3

Preview : The Philadelphia Eagles were Super Bowl Champions last season. They had one of the most remarkable seasons last year with the surgance of Carson Wentz. The Eagles did have to endure some challenges in the playoffs with the lose of their MVP Canidate QB when he tore his ACL in the final weeks of the season but back up QB Nick Foles had one of the most remarkable playoff runs by any QB in NFL history. The Eagles had a top 5 defense in the league along with a top 5 offense in route to becoming Super Bowl Champions. With the return of Carson Wentz the Eagles should be primed for another remarkable season and possibly repeating as Champions.

Washington Redskins :
Prediction : 7 – 9

Preview : The Washington Redskins season was filled with injuries last year resulting in a losing record. This is the first offseason where the Redskins didn’t have to use their franchise tag or decide on what to do next with Kirk Cousins as they aquired Alex Smith from the Chiefs. The Redkins are looking towards a rebulding year with the mindset off developing young players for the future. If the young players develop faster then they expect to and hit their ceiling this year then the Redskins could be in for a better year.

NFC North :

Chicago Bears :
Prediction : 8 – 8

Preview : The Chicago Bears are poised to have a good season after having a good offseason. The Chicago Bears have one of the best backfields in the league with Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen. With the additions of Allen Robinson and Trey Burton on offense to go with Taylor Gabriel and Kevin White. The Bears have added talent around Mitchell Trubisky to have a more spread offense. The Bears are hoping that Trubisky can take a huge leap this season like Carson Wentz and Jared Goff had last year. Chicago will have to depend on their defense this season to keep them afloat well their offense puts everything together. With veteran defensive coordinator Vic Fangio and the talent on defense that shouldn’t be an issue for the Bears.

Detroit Lions :
Prediction : 8 – 8

Preview : The Detroit Lions have a whole new coaching staff and high hopes for their staff. The Lions hired Matt Patricia this offseason from the New England Patriots to become the head coach. The Lions have one of the top QB’s in the league in Matthew Stafford and their passing attack will be toward the top of the league again this season.

Detroit still has the same issues that they have had for a couple of years now. They lack an offensive line to protect Stafford or make holes in the running game. They also don’t have a running back that has been consistent enough to keep them going. The Lions did sign free agent LeGarrette Blount who will help in the running game and in the red zone. The Lions also have a lack of pass rushers and their interior of the defensive line is a question mark. Outside of Ziggy Ansah there is no more pass rushers who can consistently win at the line of scrimmage. The Lions will have to rely on the arm of Stafford again this season to lead them to the playoffs.

Green Bay Packers :
Prediction : 11 – 5

Preview : The Green Bay Packers just missed the playoffs last season. The Packers lost Aaron Rodgers to a broken collar bone and that caused their offense to struggle significantly. Aaron Rodgers came back with 2 games left to try and push his team to the playoffs but in a must win situation and coming off of a major injury it wasn’t enough. Green Bay will get their all pro back this season and have a new defensive coordinator. The Packers did lose Rodgers number 1 target in Jordy Nelson but with the addition of Jimmy Graham and the emergance of Davante Adams they should be just fine. The Pack also have the toughest schedule in the league on paper but when you have Rodgers you are never out of anything.

Minnesota Vikings :
Prediction : 11 – 5

Preview : The Minnesota Vikings made it to the NFC Championship Game last year before losing to the Philadelphia Eagles. The Vikings had the top ranked defense in the league. The Vikings did lose their rookie sensation running back Dalvin Cook to a torn ACL early in the season but still managed to have a great season. With the return of Cook and with the addition of Kirk Cousins the Vikings offense should pick it up this season. Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs should benefit from having Cousins and the Vikings are looking for Laquan Tredwell to have a breakout season which could be huge for this team. The Vikings are also returning most of the top ranked defense with the addition of star pass rusher Sheldon Richardson. Look for the Vikings to compete with the Green Bay Packers for the division title and another run towards the Super Bowl.

NFC South :

Atlanta Falcons :
Prediction : 10 – 6

Preview : The Atlanta Falcons had an early exit in the playoffs last year. The Falcons have one of the best offenses in the league with Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, Mohammed Sanu, Devante Freeman, Tevin Coleman, and rookie WR Calvin Ridley. They will need their offense to show up big time in some games this season if they want to compete. The Falcons are in one of the toughest divisions in football and will have to compete with the Carolina Panthers and the New Orlean Saints. If the Falcons can be a dominating home team and win a couple games on the road then they have a chance to make some noise this season.

Carolina Panthers :
Prediction : 9 – 7

Preview : The Carolina Panthers lost a shoot out in the playoffs last season to the New Orlean Saints. The Panthers were just sold to a new owner so it will be interesting to see what happens to the team and the whole organization. The Panthers will compete for a division title but in a division that is loaded top to bottom it may be tough. Carolina will have to rely on their offense a lot this season. There are a lot of questions in their secondary, and LB Thomas Davis is suspended the first 4 games of the season. The Panthers will go as far as Cam Newton will go with his dual threat abilities.

New Orlean Saints :
Prediction : 12 – 4

Preview : The New Orlean Saints had a great season last year before losing to the Minnesota Vikings on one of the best plays of the year. The New Orlean Saints have one of the most dynamic offenses in the league with Drew Brees, Mark Ingram, Alvin Kamara, Michael Thomas, Ted Ginn, and Benjamin Watson. The Saints will have no problem putting up points this season and will take care of home field. The Saints defense is starting to fit together nicely and take that next step as an elite defense in the league. With veteran leaders and young talented players like Marshon Lattimore, Cam Jordan, Von Bell, Marcus Williams, Patrick Robinson, and PJ Williams. The Saints are one of the most complete teams in the league and could be the team to come out of the NFC.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers :
Prediction : 8 – 8

Preview : The Tampa Bay Buccaneers went 5 – 11 last season with 7 of their losses decided by 5 points or less. Those type of games can make or break your season and it broke the Buccaneers season. The Buccaneers are rebuilding their defense through the draft and with some veterans in free agency. The offense for the Buccaneers can be dominate at times but it all depends on the play of Jamies Winston who has to take that next step this season. With weapons on the outside in Mike Evans and Desean Jackson there is no excuse anymore for Winston. If Winston can take that next step and be the guy he was at Florida State and the Buccaneers can win some of those close games then it could be a good season for them.

NFC West :

Arizona Cardinals :
Prediction : 6 – 10

Preview : The Arizona Cardinals were bite by the injury bug last season with the losses of their all pro running back David Johnson and their QB Carson Palmer. The Cardinals still had one of the better defenses in the league like they have the past couple of years. Their offense was the downfall last season with Larry Fitzgerald being their only consistent WR and adding Adrian Peterson in the middle of the season. The Cardinals are going throught a rebuilding process and if they start rookie QB Josh Rosen this season their will be some ups and downs but it will help them for the future.

Los Angeles Rams :
Prediction : 12 – 4

Preview : The Los Angeles Rams were the surprise team of the league last season. The Rams lost in the first round of the playoffs but getting the young guys some playoff experience was huge for the team. The Rams will look to add to last years success with an even better season and having a top 5 defense in the league will help that. With the additions of Marcus Peters, Aquib Talib, and Ndamukong Suh will be huge for them to have one of the best secondaries and defensive lines in the league. Jared Goff took a huge step last season and will build on that this year with the help of Todd Gurley, Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods, and Brandin Cooks. The Los Angeles Rams will be a force to be reckoned with this season.

San Francisco 49ers :
Prediction : 10 – 6

Preview : The San Francisco 49ers were in the middle of a rebuild last season when they acquired Jimmy Garoppolo from the New England Patriots. The 49ers ended the season with a 5 – 0 record which got the franchise excited for this season. The 49ers made some big off season moves this year to contend. They gave Garoppolo a huge 5 year contract and added some pieces like Richard Sherman, Marquise Goodwin, and Jerick McKinnon. The 49ers should compete with the Rams for a division title in the early part of the season. However, they will wind up second in the division and possibly for a playoff berth.

Seattle Seahawks :
Prediction : 8 – 8

Preview : The Seattle Seahawks missed the playoffs last season which caused the front office to take a look at whats next. The run of success is coming to an end with the Seahawks and the front office knows it might be time for a little rebuild. The Seahawks let Michael Bennett and Richard Sherman go this off season and their all pro safeties Earl Thomas and Kam Chanellor might not be to far behind them. Seattle is in a process of rebuilding their defense while keeping their offense in tact so they can still compete every game. The Seahawks are going to have to rely on Russell Wilson and that offense this season to win some games which he has shown in the past that he can single handily put the team on his shoulders.

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