Friday, October 7, 2011
NFC Division Rankings A Quarter of the Way Through the Season
Earlier in the week we looked at the AFC and what changes were made since the preseason power rankings I put out. Today we're going to take a look at the NFC and see where all the teams stack up after seeing them play for four weeks. Let's get started!
St Louis Rams - I had this team winning the division before the year started, but I knew Jackson would not be able to stay healthy. I did not expect Sam Bradford to look like Charlie Frye. This offense has been awful, averaging about 11 points per game, and their defense is giving up about 25 a game. Their schedule outside of the division is not an easy one, and I see them finishing 5-11.
Seattle Seahawks - I know this team beat Arizona earlier this year, but their defense isn't good. They've given up over 30 points twice and were shutout 24-0 in one of the other games. I like Pete Carroll's enthusiasm, but they will win 5 games this year as well.
Arizona Cardinals - This will be interesting because this team will get better as the year progresses. Kevin Kolb will continue to become acclimated to the system and with a healthy Beanie Wells, he looks like an angry runner that can hit the hole quickly. As they progress, they will win 8 games and fail to make the playoffs.
San Francisco 49ers - Harbaugh has these boys playing well and they will finally get into the playoffs again, however, they won't do much. 9-7 will get them a divisional title and a 4th seed, meaning they will play the number 5 which will be the Lions or Falcons at this point.
Carolina Panthers - This team is obviously much improved under Cam Newton, but a tough schedule gets them 5 wins this year. Bolster that defensive line next year in the draft Rivera.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers - I'm not sold on this team yet. I think they lose their next five games to the 49ers, Saints, Bears, Saints again, Texans, and Packers. They will then win the next five of seven to go 8-8 and eventually miss the playoffs again.
Atlanta Falcons - Don't give up on the Falcons. This team will win 10 or 11 games and make it into the playoffs. I think they beat the Packers this weekend and that will tell us a lot about who they are and what they can do this year.
New Orleans Saints - This team has a tough stretch in a few weeks but end on a lighter note to finish 12-4 with a 1 or 2 spot in the playoffs. They will struggle against the Giants, Lions, and Falcons here the next few weeks.
Minnesota Vikings - One word - AWFUL!!! Donovan McNabb should be released, not just benched, and move forward with your future QB Ponder. I've never been a fan of this guy and I though T.O took a lot of the heat for issues that McNabb started in Philly. There's a few games on the schedule that they can win if those teams play poorly, like this week at Arizona. Looks like they will be trading some draft picks to move down and maybe get a receiver that can spread the field. Prediction: 3-13
Chicago Bears - This team could win five other divisions in the league, but they will find themselves in third here and missing the playoffs. They will finish 10-6 and could still beat out Atlanta with a tie since they hold the tie breaker for that wild card spot.
Detroit Lions - I love to see the Lions here, and they will finish 11-5 with an decent schedule outside of the division. This week will prove whether or not they belong here, because in my opinion, they haven't really played anyone yet.
Green Bay Packers - It was nice to see Rodgers win the big one and step out of Favre's shadow, but Brett, shut up and quit making yourself look even worse than what you did when you were carted off the field in Minnesota. The Packers are very good, although I'm tired of hearing about them, they do look to be the team to beat. They have given up some points and I think they will struggle in some games this year. They will finish 12-4 and win the division.
Dallas Cowboys - If you remember correctly, I had them at the bottom with the Redskins, which I still do. I've never been impressed and I think the fans, media, and organization is putting too much pressure on Romo and he will continue to struggle. This team wins 7 games this year.
Washington Redskins - A good start, but this team will only finish 8-8. The only team they've beaten this year are the Giants, who were marred with injuries and still trying to figure out how to play with the replacement players. A good effort and an improvement from last year, but not quite there yet.
Philadelphia Eagles - This team will eventually turn it around and figure out how to win some games. Not enough to get into the playoffs, so this team will not be together next year, so they will be a different looking team next year. I see them finishing 9-7 and they may not be able to resign DeSean Jackson if they don't finish better than this.
New York Giants - I love Tom Coughlin and he's backed up Eli Manning who's taken a lot of scrutiny from the media and New York. Eli has a 105 QB rating by the way and has led his team to a 3-1 record, despite numerous injuries. This team will go 11-5 this year and be a number 3 seed.