NFL 2016 PREVIEW – THE NFC – FootballSunday, September 11, 2016 9:52
NFC Preview for the 2016 NFL Season.
NFL 2016 PREVIEW – THE NFC
In case you didn’t notice, the pendulum has swung back to the AFC when it comes to power teams. AFC teams have won three of the last four Super Bowls. The Chiefs Broncos, Steelers, and Patriots are all as good or better than Arizona, Green Bay or Seattle in the NFC. The AFC also has four other teams that could take a giant leap to the championship games—Cincy, Oakland, Houston, and Baltimore.
The NFC is top heavy. Arizona and Carolina set the conference standard. But the Panthers let a rookie quarterback beat them on Thursday.
Announcers can stroke Cam Newton all they want—the Broncos did get away with some headshots—but in the NFL, no QB can be the double weapon Newton was on Thursday for even half a season. In Phoenix, Carson Palmer has yet to take that breakout step and win a conference championship; his window is closing fast.
After those two clubs, throw the other fourteen NFC helmets into a barrel and shake it up.
Aaron Rogers can’t carry the Packers forever. Eddie Lacy has sworn off the Big Macs but to some people food is a drug. Without a receiving corp or defense, Rodgers will have to be nearly flawless.
As we did with the AFC, we’ll stay within each division—worst to best–and ask the important question for each team in the order we think they’ll finish.
Again, what the NFL wants us to believe is the prime time NFC division is poised to give us four 8 – 8 teams.
WASHINGTON NATIVE AMERICANS
Can Jay Gruden build on last year’s division title? (Or, can Daniel Snyder continue letting Gruden run the football team?)
Yes, and, yes—or that’s what Washington fans are hoping for
The Nates might be able to win the nine games needed to take this division.. They won it last year. One thing they have is a solid head coach—no division rival can make that statement.
Give Jay Gruden credit, he was true to himself and got rid of RGIII. Maybe Daniel Snyder is learning what Jerry Jones refuses to comprehend…
I hope Jones continues deluding himself that he is a competent GM. I’d love to see Dallas suck for another few years—a deade even.
NEW YORK GIANTS
Can New York snag the title?
Yes—even with a rookie coach. Consider these two teams as the “class” of this division. The Nates can credit Gruden for their resurgence. Big Blue can credit the Mara family and GM Jerry Reese for their relatively recent Super Bowl success. In new head coach Bob McAdoo, previously the Giant’s OC, New York is risking the coach’s voice not being different enough than Tom Coughlin who “retired.”
Big Blue has the division’s best quarterback. With a decent defense, the G-Men can take charge of a mediocre division.
Can first year head coach, Doug Pederson make Philadelphia fans forget about Chip Kelly?
Another first year head coach debuts with rookie Carson Wentz…
The good news is Jim Schwarz is the Eagle’s new DC—he could make the Green Birds relevant…
Can Cowboys fans accept that Romo is through and demand Jerry Jones hire a GM?
NO! Those same fans think Ezekial Elliot, Dak Prescott, and a defense led by a perennially banged up Sean Lee can take Dallas to the playoffs.
You take all the million dollar marketing away, all the television exposure, and the social media hype and Dallas comes into focus as a poorly managed, overrated team with mediocre leadership on and off the field.
GREEN BAY PACKERS
Can Aaron Rodgers will his team to another division title?
Yes—in this division, anyway. With the departure of Adam Gase from Chicago and Teddy Bridgewater’s blown out knee, the Packs’ post-season prospects are much improved.
But Edie Lacy needs to stay on his diet and DC, Dom Capers, needs to revamp an under performing defense.
Can Jake Cutler continue his rebirth with a new OC, Dowell Loggains?
No…and Yes…Although Cutler has a history of being mercurial, and hard-headed, Loggains was his QB coach last year. John Fox was the perfect coach for the Bears and could be the reason why they upset the stasis in the NFC North. Vic Fangio coordinates a young defense on the rise. Da Bears could sneak up on some teams—and make the Packers sweat.
Can the Vikings overcome the loss of Teddy Bridgewater?
No. Bridgewater really tore his knee to shreds and the Vikings might have paid too steep a price for Sam Bradford. But in the NFL division with the best coaching top to bottom, Mike Zimmer might be able to hold his team together. The defensive secondary is excellent—but Shaun Hill just isn’t what a competent doctor would order.
Can Matthew Stafford ever become the QB he should be?
Not this year, but Jim Caldwell and the Lions front office may have something missing from Detroits portfolio for two decades—a plan.
The draft replenished the trenches and the defensive back seven…
Not enough to make a splash this year…
A lot of promise in this division; four quality quarterbacks, but it’s the Panthers to lose…
Can Cam Newton survive the shots his coaches have no trouble seeing him take?
When you unleash a rifle-armed 6’5” QB and want him to run like a 4.5 forty running back, you can’t expect the officials to give him the same protection as they do for Aaron Rodgers.
Coach Rivera’s mistake is not asking Newton to run if necessary, it’s designing plays that feature him as a running back.
It’s bad strategy if you want to keep an immense talent healthy.
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
Can the Young Bucs take the division?
Yes. I love this team. Jamius Winston fooled me big time and showed he’s a great leader. The “O” line is solid, the last two drafts have addressed every need. If Newton does get banged around, the Bucs just might pirate their way to a division crown…
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
Can Drew Breeze make the talent around him better?
Not on defense. C.J. Sp[iller will be out for the first game versus the resurgent Raidas and the offensive line still needs to prove itself, Brees’ window may have slammed shut on GM, Mickey Loomis and HC, Sean Payton.
Will Matt Ryan once again become “Matty Ice”?
Not yet. The Falcons seem to experience the same problems every year-bad defense, weak play in the trenches, and a rash of injuries…
Can the Cardinals get to the Super Bowl?
Yes, if Carson Palmer stays healthy. The Red Birds have the horses on all parts of the gridiron—great lines, running backs, special teams, and defense. If Palmer can remain consistent and stay on the field, Bruce Arians has that magic touch to get them over the top. Palmer has to step up.
Will the “Legion of Boom” be reborn?
No. This is on Russel Wilson’s shoulders and the running game has to improve with Christine Michael.
The defensive line will tell the defense’s tale—they still have a lot of heavy hitters.
LOS ANGELES RAMS
Can Roman Gabriel and Merlin Olsen lead the Rams to the—
Okay, wrong Rams. I love me some Jeff Fisher, but he’s missed the playoffs more than ¾ of the seasons he’s been a head coach. His teams are forever young and usually awful.
SAN FRANISCO 49ERS
What’s wrong with the 49ers?
What a fallen franchise, huh. Trent Baalke will regret ever letting Jim Harbaugh go. Young players keep retiring prematurely…
Chip Kelly will be tested with this bunch.
WEEK ONE PICKS
We started the season with a double whammy winner as the Broncos won outright and made the Total by a half point…
LOCK OF THE WEEK
We’re flying with the Ravens to open the season with a statement against Rex Ryan and the Bills who get a field goal as the visitors…
Take the Over.
OVER/UNDER OF THE WEEK
We think the Cowboys and Giants will Total in the high 50s this week. Dak Prescott will surprise and the Dallas is vulnerable defensively. Even giving 6 points, take the Giants and the Over.
GAME OF THE WEEK
The Bradyless Pats travel to the desert to take on the Cardinals. I think Arizona is the better team with the better quarterback and a far superior defense.
We’re taking the home team Under the Total.
NFL Lines For Week 1 – 9/8 – 9/12, 2016
|Date & Time||Favorite||Line||Underdog||Total|
|9/8 8:30 ET||Carolina US (O)||-3||At Denver||40.5|
|9/11 1:00 ET||At Atlanta||-3||Tampa Bay||47.5|
|9/11 1:00 ET||Minnesota||-2.5||At Tennessee||41|
|9/11 1:00 ET||At Philadelphia||-4||Cleveland||41|
|9/11 1:00 ET||Cincinnati||-2.5||At NY Jets||41.5|
|9/11 1:00 ET||At New Orleans||-1||Oakland||51|
|9/11 1:00 ET||At Kansas City||-6.5||San Diego||44.5|
|9/11 1:00 ET||At Baltimore LW||-3 [O]||Buffalo||44.5|
|9/11 1:00 ET||At Houston||-6||Chicago||44|
|9/11 1:00 ET||Green Bay||-5.5||At Jacksonville||48|
|9/11 4:05 ET||At Seattle||-10.5||Miami||44|
|9/11 4:25 ET||At Dallas [O/U]||PK||NY Giants||46|
|9/11 4:25 ET||At Indianapolis||-3.5||Detroit||50.5|
|9/11 8:30 ET||At Arizona GW [U]||-6||New England||47|
Monday Night Football Line
|9/12 7:10 ET||Pittsburgh [U]||-3||At Washington||50|
|9/12 10:20 ET||Los Angeles [U]||-2.5||At San Francisco||43.5|
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