2016 Season Preview — NFC
The NFL Season kicks off on Thursday. Today and tomorrow I'll make my regular season predictions. Today I'm covering the NFC. Tomorrow, the AFC.
1. Arizona Cardinals 12-4 — The Cardinals were a great team last year and, arguably, got better over the off-season. They should win the crown here.
2. Seattle Seahawks 11-5 — For a few years it was the Seahawks and 49ers vying for the division crown. Now it's the Seahawks and Cardinals. They should be neck-and-neck all season.
3. Los Angles Rams 8-8 — Jeff Fisher claimed on Hard Knocks the team would be 11-5 this season. I don't see it. I think they finish right around .500.
4. San Francisco 49ers 4-12 — Chip Kelly might turn this team around, but it won't be this season. The 49ers are in a brutal division and lack talent, especially on offense.
1. Green Bay Packers 12-4 — I think the Packers return to form this season.
2. Minnesota Vikings 10-6 — This is a solid team that wants to compete for a Super Bowl. I think they have the talent to return to the playoffs, but I think they'll lag behind the Packers.
3. Detroit Lions 7-9 — The Lions are just OK on both sides of the ball.
4. Chicago Bears 5-11 — I think this re-building project has some more work to do.
1. Carolina Panthers 10-6 — I don't think the Panthers are the dominant 15-1 team of a year ago, but they should still win the division and contend.
2. Atlanta Falcons 7-9 — The Falcons still have work to do.
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 7-9 — I think the Buccaneers are coming on as a team and could be in the playoffs next year.
4. New Orleans Saints 5-11 — I just don't think the Saints are better enough.
1. Dallas Cowboys 9-7 — There are a lot of reasons not to believe in the Cowboys, including the injury to Tony Romo. But I think Dak Prescott will be OK, and Ezekiel Elliot will improve the team. The defense will struggle a bit, but I think they can be just good enough to sneak into the playoffs.
2. New York Giants 9-7 — I think the Giants will be neck-and-neck with the Cowboys all season, but finish just out of the playoffs again.
3. Washington Redskins 7-9 — I like Kirk Cousins, and I think the Redskins are a decent team, but I think they come up a little short in 2016.
4. Philadelphia Eagles 3-13 — This is a rebuilding year for the Eagles. I think they'll be competitive in games but won't be successful in terms of record.
1. Arizona Cardinals
2. Green Bay Packers
3. Carolina Panthers
4. Dallas Cowboys
5. Seattle Seahawks
6. Minnesota Vikings
Wild Card Round: Seahawks over Cowboys; Panthers over Vikings
Divisional Round: Cardinals over Seahawks; Packers over Panthers
NFC Championship: Packers over Cardinals