The NFC East may look like a weak division when looking at last year; the Giants won it by winning 9 games as the only above .500 team, but then won the Super Bowl. I think each team is just so equal that no one can run away with the lead. I know the Eagles have prematurely declared they are a dynasty...last year they called themselves the Dream Team and didn't even make the playoffs. Vick is a playmaker but he's older and always injured, they have the best RB in the NFC with McCoy, so I'll give them that. Dallas could be the Giants biggest competition for winning the division, with Washington being a slight pest. Tough one to pick.
I expect the NFC North to be just as tough if not tougher than the East. If Cutler stays healthy the Bears have a scary offense, and we know what Stafford and Calvin Johnson can do. The Bears and Lions have a better overall defense than the Packers, as of now anyway. The Pack have the best QB, WR's and LB's in that division (or the NFL maybe). If the Lions or Bears D plays better than the Packers O there could be trouble, although, I still think Green Bay wins this division and possibly more than that.
The NFC South is questionable. I'm not sure what to expect from the Payton-less Saints or from an under achieving Falcons team, and don't forget the Panthers. The Falcons and Bucs have the best D's in that division and Atlanta can score with passing or running attack. The Saints will score no matter what, but hopefully with Coach Payton gone we won't see them running up the score so much. I think the Falcons have to take advantage of a weakness in the Saints and pounce on it, and if Coach Smith can't get this talented team to win in the playoffs again he has to go. The Falcons have the talent to be title contenders and should win the South. They are close to becoming the Chargers of the NFC, great regular season team horrible post season.
The NFC West. What to say? The Niners D is huge, they stopped two big offenses in the playoffs but just couldn't slide by the Giants in maybe the best NFC Championship in the past 10 years (it's close with NY/GB and NO/Minn..GB/Chi wasn't bad either). The Seahawks have picked up GB back up Matt Flynn, and have that big home field advantage. They can be a real pest for San Fran. St.Louis should be worlds better with Fischer as Coach now and if they still had Williams as D-Coordinator I'd say they win 7 or 9 games, but they don't. As far as Arizona...eh, maybe a 6 or 8 win team, they can pull an upset or two but for the most part they are out of the Wild Card race.
Overall, I think this will be a big season for the NFC. I do have my Super Bowl picks ready, and not posting them yet, BUT I will say the NFC will take it again this year, making it four in a row for the NFC. Wait, is that right? Saints, Packers and Giants won the last three and Steelers the year before the Saints...yeah, I'm right. Seems like the NFC has won more than that, either way, the AFC is still weaker.
Totally off subject, but, thinking about it, we've seen a lot of repeat title teams in a league that prides itself on being equal.
Seahawks vs. Steelers (Seattle was new and Pitt hadn't been there since 94 but this is just to show pattern of Steelers)
Bears vs. Colts (both new SB teams but Colts had been good for a while, Chicago was a surprise)
Giants vs. Patriots (Giants hadn't been there since 2000 but Pats making 4th trip in decade)
Cardinals vs. Steelers (Cards were a shock, but Pitt in again)
Saints vs. Colts (Saints are new but been good for past four years, Colts are repeats)
Packers vs. Steelers (Pitt again, GB in first title game since 97(?) but I'm sure they'll be back again and they did host nfc title 3 years prior)
Giants vs. Patriots (rematch of 4 years ago)
Four teams have made more than one trip in past 7 games; Colts, Giants, Steelers, and Patriots. And, I expect to see another team repeat a trip this year....
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