Like I said in part 1, I know I’m getting ahead of myself. But honestly, there’s nothing better than football season, and we’re a lot closer than I originally thought. 17 Days until the draft, 115 days until the Hall of Fame game, and 150 days until the the start of the regular season (But who’s counting?). Anyway, here are my way too early NFC division predictions.
1. Minnesota Vikings
Words do not do it justice, Vikings’ fans experienced the highest of highs and the lowest of lows in back-to-back playoff games last season. With most of that same team returning, a healthy Dalvin Cook, and the absurd contract they gave to Kirk Cousins, anything less than a Super Bowl title would be a disappointment this year.
2. Green Bay Packers
Out of all the shit I’ve talked in my early divisional rankings, this is the one take I’m not confident in. With a healthy Aaron Rodgers coming back, and the addition of Jimmy Graham, the Packers could be a Super Bowl contender once again.
3. Chicago Bears
The Bears have made huge strides this offseason. Finally addressing their 29th ranked offense by adding weapons such as Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel, and Trey Burton. Not to mention they finally got rid of John Fox and replaced him with former Chiefs’ Offensive Coordinator, Matt Nagy. If they weren’t in such a competitive division, I’d have them a lot higher than 3rd place.
4. Detroit Lions
Reading through the list of acquisitions made by the Lions so far this offseason, I am not very impressed. The city of Detroit as a whole, is a shell of its former self – I think that’s a perfect comparison to the Lions.
1. Philadelphia Eagles
Underdogs no more. So far this offseason, the defending champs look like they’re not content with just one title. They’ve bolstered their defense with additions of Michael Bennett and Haloti Ngata. Plus the return of the MVP-caliber Carson Wentz, the sky is the limit for the Eagles.
2. Dallas Cowboys
It’ll be interesting to see if Dak Prescott can return to form after a shaky sophomore campaign. A full season of Ezekiel Elliot, plus the addition of Allen Hurns can’t hurt… too bad their defense is still ass. Good thing the other two teams in their division have even bigger problems.
3. Washington Redskins
In all sincerity, I wish Alex Smith the best in Washington. The Redskins are climbing up the ladder of mediocrity, but I don’t think they’ll break .500 this year.
4. New York Giants
During the offseason, a video was released of OBJ smoking a “brown cigarette,” next to lines of a white, powdery substance. If I played for such a shitty team, I would try to numb the pain as well. I expect the Giants to be just as bad as last year.
1. New Orleans Saints
It literally took a miracle to knock the Saints out of the playoffs last year. Their defense finally found its identity, Drew Brees is back for another year, and they have one of the best backfield duos in the league. The Saints are definitely marching into the playoffs again.
2. Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons have been nowhere to be found in the free agent market. But with all of the weapons they have on offense, we’ll mostly just have to see if Steve Sarkisian can find his stride calling plays.
3. Carolina Panthers
Coming off a Wild Card loss to their division rivals, the Panthers have made some interesting free agent moves so far this offseason, adding the likes of Dontari Poe and Torrey Smith. Carolina will need a healthy Luke Kuechly this season, after it was just announced that team leader, Thomas Davis, will be suspended for 4 games after violating the league’s PED policy. I’m expecting the Panthers to regress this season.
4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Picture this: the Bucs host a press conference to announce their newest player – Jason Pierre-Paul, he walks out to a huge ovation, everyone is giving him a hand.. oops I mean round of applause. All jokes aside, JPP is past his prime, there is no way he blows up in Tampa, and after such a disappointing season last year, I’m expecting more of the same from the Bucs this year – two thumbs down.
1. Los Angeles Rams
The return of the defending Offensive Player of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, and Coach of the Year. Plus, acquisitions of Brandin Cooks, Ndamukong Suh, Marcus Peters, and Aquib Talib… do I even need to say more? The Rams are my early Super Bowl favorite.
2. San Francisco 49ers
Jimmy GQ is undefeated in his first 5 starts with the Niners. I’m excited to see what he can do with the full season. Add the signings of Jerrick McKinnon, Richard Sherman, and the emergence of Marquise Goodwin and I’d say San Fran is set for it’s first winning season since 2013.
3. Seattle Seahawks
It’s hard to say what is going on in Seattle. They imploded the Legion of Boom, have barely addressed their abysmal offensive line, and are still falsely claiming to be the loudest stadium in the league. I’m not too high on the ‘hawks going into this year.
4. Arizona Cardinals
The next stop on the Sam Bradford NFL tour. In a competitive division, I don’t see the Cardinals being a threat to anyone except themselves.