Recently, I wrote an article predicting the AFC division winners. This week, I’m going to switch sides and try to predict the NFC division winners. The NFC is quite different from the AFC in two respects. First, there are three teams in the NFC that are clearly head-and-shoulders above the rest of the competition. In the AFC you could argue that up to six teams are the cream of the crop, so to speak.
In the NFC, you have the reigning champs, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Green Bay Packers, and the Los Angles Rams. The rest of the conference has more potential and unknown than it does a lock on divisional and playoff positioning. You may have just read that and thought that I am listing off the NFC division winners before I even get into the article and you might as well click away. However, just because those three teams are considered the top three in the NFC, does not mean that they will win their divisions.
The NFL is full of surprises, and that will be apparent in these predictions. Heck, the New York Giants nearly won their division last year and they were definitely nowhere near the best team in their division. Being good on paper does not translate to wins or division titles in the NFL. It means exactly what it sounds like; a paper fantasy. But that paper hits the fan as soon as the season begins and the rest is an unknown. That’s why the NFL is so much fun. Anyone can win, any time, any day, any year.
NFC Division Winners Predictions
NFC East Division Winner: Washington Football Team
This may surprise some, instead of picking the Dallas Cowboys to win. While the Cowboys are absolutely loaded on the offensive side of the ball, the defense is, well, an unknown, and that’s putting it nicely. The WFT has a top-five defense, and a top-two pass rush in the NFL, and it was probably number one until the Pittsburgh Steelers signed Melvin Ingram last week. They added Jamin Davis to their linebacker’s in the draft, the only position that they clearly lacked talent. The offense is led by Terry McLaurin who has been reunited with college teammate Curtis Samuel this offseason.
The Washington Football Team also added Dyami Brown in the draft. Antonio Gibson is an up-and-coming running back and has top-12 potential. The offensive line is solid. The only question is Ryan Fitzpatrick at quarterback. But, with a very solid receiving core, and great defense to help him out, the Football Team has everything that it needs to win the division. The Cowboys and Philidelphia Eagles have too many questions on defense and quarterback, respectively, for me to put them over the Football Team. The Giants need Daniel Jones to figure it out to win the division, and I’m not a believer. (Speaking of questions, can they pick a name, please?)
NFC West Division Winner: Arizona Cardinals
Now this will come as a surprise. And if I had to bet my savings on this prediction, I wouldn’t be comfortable. Still, out of all NFC division winners, the Arizona Cardinals are my surprise pick. They have almost too much talent on offense, what with DeAndre Hopkins, Rondale Moore, James Conner, Chase Edmonds, Christian Kirk, A.J. Green, and others. Their defense has J.J. Watt, Chandler Jones, Haason Reddick, Budda Baker, Isaiah Simmons entering his second year, and rookie Zaven Collins. They can rush the passer, and have the potential for one of the best ILB pairings in the NFL.
The West is tough, the Rams are going to be hard to beat. So are the Seattle Seahawks, and the San Francisco 49ers. But because the NFC division with the most competition is the West, it gives the Cardinals a chance to sneak in an extra win here or there. It won’t take much else to do it. And it’s not like the Ram’s new quarterback, Matthew Stafford, has proven beyond a doubt that he knows how to win. He is a bit of an unknown too.
NFC South Division Winner: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The easiest pick on here, there is not much explaining to do. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are so far ahead of everyone else in their division. The only team that could offer some competition is the New Orleans Saints. However, the Saints don’t even know for sure who their starter is at quarterback, and Michael Thomas won’t be on the field for nearly two months to begin the season. Is there even anything else to say? The NFC division with the least amount of competition is the South, and the Bucc’s will win the division easily.
NFC North Division Winner: Green Bay Packers
Coming in at second place for “easiest NFC division to win” is the NFC North. Once it was announced that Aaron Rodgers would be returning to play one last season with the Packers, the division was theirs. The Chicago Bears will make it closer than last year, with a new (and better) quarterback and a still good defense.
The Minnesota Vikings will not be an easy egg to crack, they beat the Packers last year and can do it again in 2021. The Detriot Lions won’t offer any real competition, so the Packers will only have to focus on the Bears and Vikings. And until Rodgers leaves, those two teams don’t have any real hope of winning the division. Unlike the West, the division is not so tough that they can sneak in an extra win and come away with the division title. The NFC North is the Packer’s division to lose, and they won’t.
All in all, nothing crazy here with the NFC division winner predictions. Aside from the Cardinals pick, pretty much everything else should not come as a surprise. Well, maybe the Football Team pick. But not all these picks will come true; Rodgers could get hurt, Daniel Jones could have the best season of his life. Maybe the impossible will happen and Tom Brady will fall off a cliff. Who knows what will happen. It’s the NFL, and anything can happen on Sunday.