So with just about a week to go, the NFL season is roaring and getting ready to start back up again. But who wins the murder’s row that is the National Football Conference? Can Dallas go back to back in the horrid East? Will Carolina and Seattle reign supreme in the South and West? And could we see a new king of the North? Here are the 2015 JayTezla Sports NFC Predictions
I looked at this division and a month ago, I would have said that there is no way that Carolina loses it. That was before Kelvin Benjamin got injured and got ruled out for the year. And now, each team is equal in some aspects.
No Graham in New Orleans, new coach in Atlanta, rookie quarterback in Tampa, which on top of Benjamin’s injury, makes this division open. Tampa Bay comes in dangerous with a great defense and a rookie quarterback in Jameis Winston, who is going to look forward to connecting with wideouts Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson to make noise in the South. New Orleans comes in with many questions on both sides of the ball as the “Who Dat” squad has to find a replacement for tight end superstar Jimmy Graham. Atlanta comes in as the biggest question, as they start a new season with a new coach, and they could be the dark horse in this division.
NFC South Winner: Carolina. I know I made a big case as to how this division is open for all four teams to take it, but something just makes me look at Carolina as the best chance. Tampa Bay more than likely will come in second, because in my opinion, the Bucs shape up to be the biggest challenge to the Panthers in the south. While you can never look over the Saints or the Falcons, they just have too many questions that give me belief they can win it.
Dallas. Thats it. You want more? Fine, i’ll be fair to this division, which week by week depresses me as they get so much attention, when only one team in this division actually looks good.
Dallas looks great, but they are going to need to address the running back situation as they lost DeMarco Murray. Speaking of Murray, he now leads a Philadelphia team that has extremely exciting pieces on offense and defense, but can ANYONE outside of Chip Kelly truly think that Sam Bradford is the answer at quarterback? You then have New York, who has Odell Beckham Jr, but if Victor Cruz isn’t healthy, is there any reason to say they will vie for a divisional title? Then there is the madness that is Washington, which I wouldn’t touch if I was given a multi-million dollar contract to do so.
NFC East Winner: Dallas. As much as Dallas has to deal with the fact that they have no legit running back, they still are the most dangerous team in the division. The ONLY way Philly beats them is if (and this isn’t out of the realm of possibility) Washington cuts Robert Griffin and Philadelphia picks him up. If Griffin runs that Eagles offense, they could make Dallas’ ideas of winning the division for a second year in a row a distance memory.
This division has been one of supremacy for a couple of years, and I don’t mean division wise. This division, in some way or fashion, has played a deciding factor in the NFC conference game and the Super Bowl. Whether it be Seattle, San Francisco or Arizona, this team has had two teams make the playoffs for the past 4 years. But will things be different this year?
No. Simple and plain, this division is going to bring two teams to the playoffs. Seattle, despite its horrible play calling loss in the Super Bowl, is still the team to beat this year. They do however have some questions to answer in the fact is we don’t know how healthy the legion of boom is as both Earl Thomas and Richard Sherman have not played one down of the preseason. Arizona and St. Louis look to make the move to win the division with new pickups and San Francisco just looks to stay relevant.
NFC West Winner: Seattle. Each team in this division got better in some aspect, but no one got better than Seattle in there pickup of Jimmy Graham. The fact that Seattle, a team that was offensively strong last year, got even stronger with this pickup, they are the automatic winners in this division. The only question that needs to be answered is which team in this division fights for second place and a possible wild card berth. In all honesty, as much as I love both Arizona and St. Louis, I cannot trust either of their quarterbacks in the clutch. It should be interesting see who wins second in a top heavy division.
I am not going to lie to you, I am a loyal NFC North and Detroit Lions fan and apologist. But if you want me to make a decision on this division then I have to take off my homer hat to judge this division. But depending on how you take this segment, you might not think that.
Each team, for the most part, has suffered significant losses, but it seems the only ones that are highlighted are Detroit’s. Detroit lost one of the biggest defensive tackles in the game in Ndamukong Suh. Minnesota, while picking up great wideouts in Mike Wallace and Stefon Diggs in the draft and free agency, really didnt impress on the defensive side. Speaking of defense, Green Bay’s defense got gutted when they lost 4 pieces of the defense and replaced them with rookies, who looked horrible in the third preseason game against a Philadelphia team that has someone I don’t trust at quarterback. They also lost a major piece of their offense with Jordy Nelson gone for the season, and Randall Cobb now coming into the season with a shoulder injury. And your probably wondering why I haven’t mentioned Chicago, now you know why, they are horrible. A defense that couldn’t block a feather, a quarterback that is a bust, and their so-called savior 1st round draft pick in Kevin White, out for the season.
NFC North Winner: The Last Team Standing. I would love to pick a team in this division but I can’t without coming off as a homer. Detroit, Minnesota and Green Bay are literally going to fight to win this division, with the second best team getting a playoff bid. Detroit as of right now, looks to be the best team in the division as the offense is down right scary and the defense actually looks like Suh is still there, minus the fact that opposing O-lines have it a bit easier. Minnesota has a claim to say they are the best, as they have a great young quarterback and the return of Adrian Peterson. Green Bay could say it as well, but without Jordy Nelson, a banged up Randall Cobb and an extremely suspect defense, can anyone give them a better shot than Detroit or Minnesota? Chicago is going through the same thing that Detroit went through during the 0-16 season, and unfortunately I see the same thing this year.
Prediction: Seattle, Dallas, Carolina, Detroit, Green Bay, Arizona/Minnesota.
I believe that the playoff teams from last year will be the ones to be in the playoffs this year. But I think that the setup will be quite different. Seattle and Dallas will be the second round hosts, while Detroit and Carolina will be the first round hosts. Now you are probably wondering why I have “/Minnesota.” I believe that if Minnesota makes a serious run, they could push Arizona out of the picture. Expect the Wild Card run to be an absolute dogfight.
Prediction: Seattle v. Dallas, Detroit v. Dallas or Seattle v. Detroit.
Conference Champ: Seattle
Again, I’m not trying to be a homer in any sense, but Im sorry, Detroit is going to be a threat this season. This three teams will play each other in some capacity, as Seattle plays both Detroit and Dallas this year. Now I would love it to be Detroit v. Dallas because of what happened last year, when the Lions got robbed. But If I have to be honest, at this point, it looks as though Seattle will end up being the team to win the NFC Championship for the third straight year.