NFL Season Preview, NFC
Over the next two posts I'll be making my fearless pre-season NFL predictions. I used a prediction engine to simulate all the games, picking winners based on the actual schedule, so here's what I came up with. This post tackles the NFC, the next post tackles the AFC.
1. Green Bay Packers 12-4
2. Minnesota Vikings 8-8
3. Detroit Lions 8-8
4. Chicago Bears 1-15
About: I like the Packers, and think they're one of the most reliable teams in the NFC. I expect them to be strong again, and I like their offensive potential. The Lions and Vikings will have their moments, but I think both have a tough schedule. The Bears are awful, and I expect to see plenty of Mitch Trubisky in the second half of the season.
1. Carolina Panthers 11-5
2. Atlanta Falcons 10-6
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 8-8
4. New Orleans Saints 7-9
About: This will be a tough, competitive division all season. I expect the Panthers to bounce back in a big way this season. The Falcons will still be strong, but that schedule is tough. I think the Bucs will be a tough out, but ultimately not quite to playoff level. And the Saints just don't have the greatest team.
1. New York Giants 11-5
2. Washington Redskins 10-6
3. Dallas Cowboys 10-6
4. Philadelphia Eagles 7-9
About: I like this division a lot, too. I think the Giants are the best team, but the Redskins and Cowboys will compete. The Cowboys are hazy to me because I think Ezekiel Elliott misses at least some time, so we'll have to see how they shake out. I like the Eagles' young core, but I just don't think they are there yet.
1. Seattle Seahawks 12-4
2. Arizona Cardinals 9-7
3. Los Angles Rams 6-10
4. San Francisco 49ers 1-15
About: The West feels about the same as last year. I think the Seahawks are on top, and the Cardinals will be hanging around the playoff picture, likely falling just short. The Rams will look better, even if their record doesn't, and the 49ers still have work to do.
Round One: Panthers over Redskins; Giants over Falcons
Round Two: Packers over Giants; Seahawks over Panthers
NFC Championship: Packers over Seahawks
About: My playoffs are a little too straight-forward, but that's basically how I feel about the teams and how it shook out running the simulation. I like the Packers to make the big game.