What to be Optimistic About for Every NFC Team

Austin Cunningham  | September 4th, 2019

NFC North

Bears:

Heading into the second year with Matt Nagy as head coach should be enough to have Bears fans excited. Especially since Mitchell Trubisky will have more of an understanding of the playbook. They have studs in their receiving core with Anthony Miller, Allen Robinson and then adding Riley Ridley in the draft. Plus having Tarik Cohen as a do-it-all type of back, a swiss army knife if you will. We haven’t even gotten to Khalil Mack and the defense. The Bears may have the best set of middle linebackers in the NFL with Roquan Smith and Danny Trevathan. Chicago is in a good position to shake up the entire NFC with another year of Nagy and Trubisky leading the way.

Lions:

Matt Patricia is starting to create the patriot way in Detroit. It appears he has more of a say in what happens and the direction of the team. It is nice to see the owners staying out of the way and allowing this to happen. The reason I say the Patriot way is because of the foundation of their team and what they did this offseason. They went out and signed Trey Flowers who can destroy a play for an opposing offense at any moment. Justin Coleman, who can shut down almost any receiver and lock down one side of the field to go along with Darius Slay. Then adding receiving targets in Jesse James and Danny Amendola for Matt Stafford while also drafting the best tight end in the draft in T.J. Hockenson. The NFC North is looking to be one of the most intriguing divisions in the NFL.

Packers:

The cheese heads in Green Bay have a lot to be excited about this next season. The Packers finally made big moves during free agency for their defense by signing outside linebacker Za’Darius Smith and Preston and safety Adrian Amos. The offense has finally found a true running back in Aaron Jones. They have a new head coach in, Matt Lafleur. Which looks to be the guy that can help provide better play calling for Aaron Rodgers. The Packers look primed to win the North and is the team I have representing the NFC in the Super Bowl.

Vikings:

The Minnesota Vikings may have one of the most complete teams in the NFC North. A quarterback in Kirk Cousins who has the brains and playing making ability to keep them in games to go along with a running back that is a threat in the passing and running game. Cousins has some of the best-receiving targets as well in Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs. Plus, a reliable target in Kyle Rudolph and protentional difference-maker with Irv Smith Jr. Now the Vikings also have a complete defense that has one of the best secondaries in the NFL. Their linebackers are big, fast and have experience and the same could be said for their defensive line. The Vikings are right on the brink of winning this division.

NFC East

Cowboys:

The boys in Texas have a lot to be excited for heading into the year. Even with the noise of Ezekiel Elliott’s extension. The offensive line is healthy, Dak Prescott is going to have another year of experience and Amari Cooper may have the best year of his career this season. The defense has plenty of difference-makers with Demarcus Lawrence, Leighton Vander Esch, and Jaylon Smith. The secondary is primed with Byron Jones, Xavier Woods and Jeff Heath. Dallas is going to be a dangerous team, with or without Zeke.

Eagles:

The Franchise man Carson Wentz is coming back as the primary leader and their offensive line is still intact. Wentz has a receiving core mixed with Speed, size and reliability. In order of DeSean Jackson, Alshon Jeffery, Nelson Agholor and Zach Ertz. The Eagles also have some promising young talent that could make a major impact this season in Miles Sanders and J.J. Arcega-Whiteside. The defense is returning one of the best defensive linemen in Fletcher Cox along with Derek Barnett. Ronald Darby and Malcolm Jenkins lead the secondary for the Eagles. This division is strictly between the Eagles and the guys with a blue star on the helmet.

Giants:

The New York Giants are a team that has a lot of hiccups in their roster. It could be hard to be optimistic as a fan, but I am here to give you some. The best generational running back the NFL has seen in a long time is on your roster. It does not need to be explained anymore, you all know. There are an aging Eli Manning and limited receiving weapons. Evan Engram is one of the next big names for the future of the tight end position. The defense is going to be led by veterans Alec Ogletree and Janoris Jenkins along with young talent in Jabrill Peppers and Deandre Baker for their secondary. The Giants are clearly in a rebuilding stage but have enough playmakers and experience to remain competitive in this division. Give it 3 more years and this team will be competing for a Superbowl once again.

Redskins:

The Washington Redskins are mixed with experienced players and promising young talent. They will be led by Case Keenum but expect Dwayne Haskins to eventually take that job around the middle of the season if Keenum is failing. They have trusted veterans within Jordan Reed and Paul Richardson Jr. and added a rookie receiver that will bring plenty of speed in Terry McLaurin (Aka Scary Terry). Derrius Guice is currently listed behind Adrian Peterson but this will be a running back by committee styled team. The Redskins may have their guy in Derrius Guice, but Peterson and Chris Thompson bring enough to the table to get their fair share too. The defense is lead with a powerful defensive line in Jonathan Allen and Da’Ron Payne. Plus, Ryan Kerrigan and Landon Collins leading their respected groups behind them. The Redskins could very much take the NFC East by storm if everything goes as planned.

NFC South

Buccaneers:

This year for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is going to be figuring out if Jameis Winston is the guy for the future or not. A new head coach and scheme coming in with Bruce Arians may be the thing that keeps Jameis in Tampa Bay or gets him out. The Bucs have several receiving weapons in Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and O.J. Howard. The running game is the biggest question mark because who is going to take that job? The Bucs defense is the promising part of this team after drafting Devin White to go along with Shaquil Barrett and Lavonte David. Having Ndamukong Suh and Vita Vea side-by-side is going to be a force on the interior. This is tough division but if all goes well, then the Buc’s will be wreaking havoc in the south.

Falcons:

The Atlanta Falcons were derailed last season by injuries, but still showed a lot of improvement and displayed a ton of talent. Matt Ryan had a better season last year than the one where he won MVP. Julio Jones has another weapon apart of his receiving group in Calvin Ridley. The offensive line was rebuilt in the draft and their defensive line got strong with the addition of Allen Bailey in the offseason. The Falcons have speed at linebacker and experience in their secondary. It is very possible that they are the head of the NFC south and holding a top seed into the playoffs.

Panthers:

The Carolina Panthers started off strong last season but then they started to lose grip on the season with Cam Newton facing his shoulder injury. It appeared to have more of an effect on this game then he let on to the media. The bright spot for the Panthers was the emergence of DJ Moore and Curtis Samuel later in the season. Carolina has plenty of speed and on their offense and it will be an exciting one to watch. The defense for the panthers got better this offseason too with the additions of Gerald McCoy, Tre Boston, and Bruce Irvin. If Newton gets back to his MVP ways, the Panthers will be making noise this, especially once they find their way into the playoffs.

Saints:

The New Orleans Saints have to be one of the most annoyed teams in the NFL. The last two seasons came to a close in heartbreaking fashion. Drew Brees is not getting younger, but that has yet to stop him. As long as Brees and Sean Payton are at the helm the Saints will be competing at a high level. Especially with one of the best one-two punch in the league that includes Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara. New Orleans defense is also stacked and primed to compete at a high level like their offense. The Saints have led the South two years in a row, now let’s see if the third time is the charm.

NFC West

49ers:

The San Francisco 49ers are an interesting team because they have so much talent, but little to show for it. The injury bug appears every season and is there long enough to ruin the season. Hopefully, they can dodge it this upcoming season because they can completely offset the NFC and NFL. If Jimmy Garoppolo can be the guy, they think he is, then he will be the head of MVP talks with weapons like George Kittle, Marquise Goodwin, Deebo Samuel, and Dante Pettis. Their defensive line could be the best in the NFL if they all remain healthy. (You see a trend?)  The 49ers, upgraded at the linebacker position by signing Kwon Alexander, who is coming off of an injury as well. The 49ers have the guys in place to win, they just need to stay healthy. If they can do that, then LOOKOUT.

Cardinals:

Arizona decided to start over once again this season with a new coaching staff and quarterback. This is officially the Kliff Kingsbury era and he has the guy he wants to lead this team in Kyler Murray. The Cardinals are going to be a team that is still developing but in a good enough situation to be competing for every game. They have weapons on offense with David Johnson, Christian Kirk and of course the great Larry Fitzgerald. Their offensive line is coming back healthy, which is huge for them going forward. The defense added veteran Terrell Suggs and drafted a promising talent in Zach Allen to go opposite of Chandler Jones. Their secondary is not one to sleep on as Patrick Peterson, D.J. Swearinger Sr. and Budda Baker will wake you back up and remind you they are some of the best at their respected position.

Rams:

The Los Angeles Rams are going to be a team looking for redemption after a disappointing performance in the biggest game of the year. Their offense was completely dismantled and thrown off. This is sure to have Jared Goff playing at a higher level this next season and having Sean McVay scheming up an even scarier offensive game plan. The Rams bring back plenty of talent on offense and have Cooper Kupp back from his knee injury. Robert Woods is looking to have a big year as he stated himself that he should be in discussions for the top receiver. The defense is going to be just as impressive with another year of Dante Fowler Jr. and the addition of Clay Matthews. Their secondary is just as talented with the addition of Eric Weddle. The Rams are in prime position to get themselves back to the Super Bowl.

Seahawks:

Seattle is never going to be out of the contention with Russell Wilson at quarterback. Tyler Lockett is now going to be the lead receiver alongside D.K. Metcalf and David Moore. Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny are both going to be a key part in the offense as Seattle plans to stick to the running game. Their defense just got better with the addition of Jadeveon Clowney. This move now adds to the depth of talent for them to go along with Ezekiel Ansah, Bobby Wagner, and Shaquill Griffin. Seattle is going to competing with the Rams for the top spot in the West and will be in a position to disrupt the standings and team that is going to be representing the NFC in the Super Bowl.

Be sure to check out Austin’s AFC article here.

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Main Credit Image: Embed from Getty Images

Main Credit Image: Embed from Getty Images

Main Credit Image: Embed from Getty Images

Main Credit Image: Embed from Getty Images