Here at the Sac we figured the world needed another NFL Preview. Here’s our take on the NFC.
Arizona Cardinals- I really like the Cardinals and hope that they become a good team. They are young, exciting and desperate. I mean you’ve got to feel for any franchise that has had a losing record 18 of the last 20 years don’t you? Everyone expected that they would make a bit of a jump last year and they didn’t because of their putrid offensive line. They addressed this by adding Levi Brown via the draft. One problem that I do see with their future however is Matt Leinhart. Don’t get me wrong he’s a great player, but dude parties… a lot, and has any quarterback who parties had a really successful career since Joe Namath? Prediction: 7-9
Atlanta Falcons: I don’t think that any team in football has had a worse off season than the Falcons, a team that wasn’t even good last year. I won’t get into the Michael Vick stuff now, but I will reiterate my feelings about Joey Harrington. He is the type of guy who will never lead a team to a winning season. He’s good enough to stop the bleeding but he will always be at best the 20th best QB in the league. Prediction: 4-12
Carolina: Last year everyone crowned their asses before the season started saying that no team in the South could keep up with them. This year everyone is writing them off without even giving them a chance, even though as far as I can tell they kept many of the same pieces and improved on others. While I don’t think that they have the fire power on defense or offense to hold down the Saints I do think that they are good enough to make a run at the Wildcard. I mean how can you count out any team with playmakers like Julius Peppers, and Steve Smith? Prediction 9-7
Chicago: I don’t see any team in the league taking a bigger step backwards than the Bears this year. They have all the makings of a team that falls into “The Super Bowl losers Curse.” The good news for them is that it would be impossible for them to fall lower than 3rd in their conference, the bad news? That’s where I have them. Prediction 7-9
Dallas: I don’t think that T.O. will get near his goal of 1200 yards 100 catches and 20 TDs but Dallas will be a little better than it was last year having Tony Romo start a full season. Prediction 10-6
Detroit: While the Lions are finally starting to make some good moves, they’re still not a great team. Their defense is being called the worst in football and I tend to agree they don’t have one standout player on that side of the ball. This is going to put a lot of pressure on Mike Martz offense. Though I think they’ll win more than they did last year simply by being able to score more than their opponents I don’t see this team finishing anywhere near .500. Prediction 5-11
Green Bay: Does Brett Favre have one more magical season left in the tank? Nope. Prediction 8-8.
Minnesota: The Vikings have the makings of a team that could surprise a lot of people. Though they will be starting an unknown quarter back, they should be ok, as they have a strong running game and all-world guard Steve Hutchinson to protect him. The Vikings defense was the best in the league at stopping the run last year, and if they can keep it up it will become easier to force turnovers as teams try to air it out on them. If their defensive secondary comes together and the coaching staff is able to limit the mistakes made by Tarvaris Jackson I could see the Vikings winning the division and making the playoffs. Prediction 9-7.
New Orleans: Say hello to the class of the NFC and the team that will represent the conference in the Super Bowl. Prediction 13-3
New York: This team has taken a step back, but I’ve got to say there is a lot to like about Brandon Jacobs at 6′4”, 264 lbs he’s bigger than a lot of Linebackers. I’d hate to be a safety that gets stuck trying to make an open field tackle on Jacobs if he breaks one. If he stays healthy Jacobs will be a lot of fun to watch, but the Giants won’t be. Prediction 5-11
Philadelphia: The Eagles are always good. McNabb might get hurt. Prediction 10-6
Seattle: Surprisingly the NFC West is much tougher than people think; top to bottom it will be the most competitive division in the NFC this year. It will probably end up being a situation like the NFC East was last year, with 3 teams all very close to making it in together and one just behind. Just because all of the teams have similar records doesn’t mean that they are all equally shitty in some cases it means that they are equally good, I think the NFC West might represent both. Seattle still has the inside track on winning the division if it can win all of its division games at home (probable) and if Shaun Alexander comes back healthy, (less probable- how many 30 year old running backs have come back strong?) unfortunately I don’t see that happening. Prediction 8-8
St. Louis Rams: Three words: Stephan Fucking Jackson. This guy is the real deal. I think that he will end up being the best back in the league in a couple of years. He’s set to break out this year and will probably win a few games single handedly, throw in playmakers Tory Holt, and a re-signed Marc Bulger and it is clear the Rams will put up points. Too bad there are going to need to put up a lot in order to stop anyone because their defense is so weak. Prediction (9-6)
San Francisco: When a 24 year old running back that got nearly 2200 combined rushing and receiving yards the year before is potentially the worst starting running back in a division it says something for the strength of that division. The NFC West will be dominated by the running game. To win the division a team will have to have a defense that can defend against the run pretty well. The 49ers retooled are the only team in the division that really re-tooled their defense this year adding one of the year’s free-agent jewels Nate Claments. Things really seem to be looking up for the 49ers, who will be playing in memory of Bill Walsh. If Alex Smith’s progression continues as expected with the help of the most talented receiver he has to in his career, Darryl Jackson, I expect that the 49ers can win the division. Prediction 10-6.
Tampa Bay: Still a couple of years away. I have nothing good to say about this team. Prediction 3-13.
Washington: I’m not sure if Washington will ever be good the way that the franchise is run. No team works well when it is never truly willing to rebuild. I think that they will be better this year then they were last year, but it’ll be sort of like comparing a turd sandwich and a giant douche. Prediction 7-8