The 2018 NFC Division will go down as one of the most competitive in the history of the NFL. There are at least 4 teams who have a legitimate chance to win the Super Bowl.
New Orleans Saints (2017 record, 11-5): Prediction, 12-4.
The Saints won 8 straight games last season and have 21 returning starters. n. It is not often that you see a division winner produce two rookies of the year. But Alvin Kamara and Marshon Lattimore won those awards on offense and defense.
Offensively the Saints have a tremendous “Three-headed-Monster.” Running backs Mark Ingram II and Kamara combined for over 1,900 rushing yards and 1,200 receiving yards. Wide Receiver Michael Thomas’ 196 receptions are the most by anyone in the first two years of an NFL career. Drew Brees threw for 4,334 yards in 2017. At 39 years old, he is still at the top of his game. He is number 1 in the history of the NFL in completion percentage (66.9%). This offensive line doesn’t get enough credit but they are a very good unit. Ingram II will miss the first four games due to a suspension but Kamara can handle the load.
The Saints defense is not elite, but they can make plays. They had 42 sacks and 25 takeaways in 2017. This is a defense that was an absolute joke on Rob Ryan. Defensive Coordinator Dennis Allen will continue to improve this unit and they should be good enough to help them win 11 or more games.
NFC West :
Los Angeles Rams (2017 record, 11-5): Prediction, 13-3.
Last season, rookie coach Sean McVay, changed this franchise identity, work ethic and their core beliefs. The Rams went from being one of the worst offenses in the NFL to leading the league in total points (478). Jared Goff threw for over 3800 yards and had 28 touchdowns and only 7 interceptions. Running back, Todd Gurley had over 2,000 total combined yards and 13 touchdowns. Their wide receivers will get a huge boots. The Rams added Brandin Cooks from the Patriots. Over the past 20 years, Cooks is one of three receivers in NFL history to record three seasons with 1,000 yards and seven touchdowns before turning 25. Odell Beckham Jr. and Randy Moss are the other two. Cooks and his ability go get deep will help Cooper Kupp who had 868 receiving yards.
On defense the Rams added three pro-bowl players. Cornerbacks Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib were added via trade, and Ndamukong Suh was signed to a one-year deal. They should be among the league leaders in sacks, turnovers, and points against.
The sky is the limit for the Rams. They are talented on offensive and defense and they should make it to the NFC Championship. Anything else should be considered a failure.
Philadelphia Eagles (2017 Record, 13-3): Prediction 13-3.
Doug Pederson is a coaching star on the rise and his job will get much easier with the return of his starting quarterback Carson Wentz. In just 13 games, the former North Dakota State star had 33 touchdown passes (1 more than Tom Brady) and threw for over 3,200 yards. Wentz is 6’5, 240lbs and has all the tools to be a Hall of Fame QB. The Eagles have depth at wide receiver with Alshon Jeffrey, Nelson Agholor and speedster Mike Wallace. Their running backs could have very good years. Jay Ajayi did a great job late in the season and Corey Clement should be even more productive in his 2nd season. TE, Zach Ertz had 74 catches and 8 touchdowns last year.
The Eagles defense should be better than last season. They added Michael Bennett and re-signed Chris Long to help their pass rush. Tackle Fletcher Cox earned first-team All-Pro honors.
On Paper, the Eagles are the team to beat in the NFC East.
Green Bay Packers (2017 Record, 7-9): Prediction, 12-4.
Head Coach Mike McCarthy made some drastic changes this off-season. Joe Philbin returns as the offensive coordinator ( He held that position from2007-2011) and Mike Pettine will take over the reigns as the defensive coordinator. In 2017, The Packers started the season 4-1. Rodgers had 13 touchdowns and 3 interceptions before he was sidleined with an injury. Davante Adams has been the most underrated wide receiver in all of football. In the past 30 games, he has 149 receptions, 22 touchdowns and over 1,800 yards. The Running back position is filled with youth, talent and depth. Ty Montgomery and Aaron Jones should both get plenty of touches and catches out of the backfield. The addition of TE, Jimmy Graham should proved a great target in the Red Zone. With a healthy Rodgers, The Packers will have one of the most complete and dangerous offenses in the entire league.
Defensively, Pettine will bring a toughness to a defense that has been relatively soft over the past few years. Rookies Josh Jackson and Jaire Alexander will help at the linebacker and defensive back position. The addition of former New York Jets linemen Muhamaad Wilkerson will make everyone’s job easier. Wilkerson is 6’4, 351lbs and when healthy, he is an absolute nightmare for offensive coordinators.
The Packers have one of the deepest teams in the league and I expect them to compete for the Super Bowl. I also expect Rodgers to have an “MVP-Like” season.
Wild Card Contenders:
San Francisco 49ers
Packers over the Rams
Super Bowl Winner:
Packers over the Patriots
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