It’s prediction time – my favorite time of the year and I like putting myself out there by predicting the division winners and Wild Card teams before training camp even starts. I gotta pick team performance, because I love betting over/unders on score, point total, and win totals especially in football. Let’s move onto the much more competitive NFC.
NFC EAST – New York Giants (9 wins)
This team is sick nasty on defense, so let’s start there. Only the New England Patriots gave up fewer points than the Giants last season. The best Eli on the team may very well be Eli Apple who’s as exciting as any player to watch on that unit. The front seven lead by JPP and all 8.5 of his fingers is the best in the NFC. On offense Brandon Marshall is a serious upgrade and if I’m a QB I’ll take Marshall in single coverage all season long. This Giant team if Eli Manning stays upright is going to be the biggest surprise of the NFL season, but they shouldn’t be.
NFC NORTH – Green Bay Packers (10 wins)
This is one of the easier call this season and I’m taking the over. Green Bay’s defense is atrocious, but as long #12 is on the field, they will always have a chance to win. I like that when predicting the over. If the Packers are going to lose six games this season, I’d love to know who. They play in a lousy division, and no in the NFC can keep up with them offensively. The defense is bad, but not bad enough where the Packers won’t run away with this thing.
NFC WEST – Arizona Cardinals (8 wins)
Get to Vegas now, and bet the over. This team was a top 5 defense, a top 10 offense and still finished 7-8-1 with a plus 56 point differential, easily the highest in the NFL of teams that didn’t make the playoffs. They have one of the best RBs in the league, three great WRs an experienced QB and a hungry. Too much smoke coming out of the Seattle camp for something not to explode on the Seahawks this season. Nothing went the Cardinals way in 2016. I don’t see that happening this season
NFC SOUTH – Atlanta Falcons (9.5 wins)
There’s just too much fire power here not put Atlanta here even though I fully expect a total regression as well as a rising up of the Buccaneers, Saints and Panthers. All of these teams have improved via the draft, and free agency, but I’m certain Falcon nation takes offense to the 9.5 number after the Falcons won 11 games last season. The Super Bowl hangover for losing teams is a legit think, but Dan Quinn is a good coach, so I pick Atlanta begrudgingly.
WILD CARD – Seattle Seahawks
I gotta give an honorable mention to the Tampa Bay Bucs who were 9-7 last season. Unfortunately they will run into buzz-saws in their own division, and those other three teams will beat up on each other, while the Seahawks cruise to a 10 win season in a cake division. I’m not sure if there’s tension in the locker room, but that’s never a good rumor to hear. These guys are still good, and should be considered armed and dangerous.
WILD CARD – Dallas Cowboys
I can see a slight digression here but not enough to knock a 13 win team out of the playoffs. They are still solid at every position but they won’t be catching anyone off guard this time around.