ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

2013 NFL Season Predictions: Seahawks, Packers Top Powerful NFC

Updated on June 7, 2014
Both Aaron Rodgers and Russel Wilson will look to lead their teams past the divisional round in the playoffs in 2013.
Both Aaron Rodgers and Russel Wilson will look to lead their teams past the divisional round in the playoffs in 2013. | Source

It's June. You know it. I know it. Even Scooby Doo has the same probability of selecting a Super Bowl champion as I do. However, I've made projections based on the released 2013 regular season in an attempt to see which teams will be competing for the Lombardi trophy. Try not to take it too seriously; I tried not to spend too much time on most regular season games. Rather, I hope it stimulates conversation among NFL fans who are hungry for the opening kickoff. Look for my AFC and playoff predictions within the next week.

1. Seattle Finishes #1 Seed, Ousts 49ers for Division Title

Wilson will lead a Seahawks team which has displayed dominance on both offense and defense.
Wilson will lead a Seahawks team which has displayed dominance on both offense and defense. | Source

Here's Why:

The NFC West has become a stacked division. The 49ers will return as a mostly intact NFC Champion team. The Seahawks have made all the right moves in the offseason. Carson Palmer will look to lead a dangerous Cardinals squad and Sam Bradford will continue to improve the Saint Louis Rams. At least this year, while the Rams and Cardinals may both certainly turn into 9-7 teams, neither will be able to match the power exerted by the Seahawks and 49ers. The Niners will definitely land above .500, but a slightly depleted receiving corps leaves several question marks going into 2013. Defensive coordinators will spend the summer studying Kaepernick's ability to run the read-option and contain him in the pocket, while Wilson will benefit from the presence of natural playmaker Percy Harvin and sack machine Cliff Avril. Seahawks will land around 12-4 and will be the team to beat in the NFC playoffs.

2. Packers 2010 Defense Returns, Running Game Elevates Offense

The two highest-paid players at their positions, Rodgers and linebacker Clay Matthews will lead the Packers to victory from both sides of the turf.
The two highest-paid players at their positions, Rodgers and linebacker Clay Matthews will lead the Packers to victory from both sides of the turf. | Source

Here's Why:

The Packers are almost a guarantee to win the NFC North. The Bears will look better offensively but will struggle for a while under a new coaching staff to make a run for the division championship. The Vikings and Lions will both be better than they were in 2012, thanks to improved quarterback play from Christian Ponder and Detriot's new rushing/receiving threat in Reggie Bush; however, neither organization will be able to challenge a dominant Packers team. Either or both of the new Packers running backs Eddie Lacy and Johnathan Franklin will contribute to a revitalized running game. The Packers defense has the opportunity to return to their impressive show in 2010 thanks to recoveries in both the secondary and the front line. If all goes as planned, the team in Titletown will regain confidence virtually everywhere - special teams, running the ball, sacks, and interceptions alike.

3. Falcons Will Return with a Vengeance in 2013

Running back Steven Jackson will try to end his career with a contender in the Atlanta Falcons.
Running back Steven Jackson will try to end his career with a contender in the Atlanta Falcons. | Source

Here's Why:

The Falcons were a few moments away from a Super Bowl appearance last year. If Michael Turner had been able to contribute more to the Falcons team (besides failing to fall into the end zone), it would have been Atlanta, not San Francisco, representing the NFC in the Super Bowl. At 29 years old, Steven Jackson is no spring chicken; regardless, he seems to be able to run for at least 4 yards per carry with a hefty workload and can potentially learn the secrets of the Fountain of Youth from new teammate Tony Gonzalez. With his skillset in a pass-happy Falcons attack, Mike Smith will have the missing piece he craved for on offense. The Falcons may not have the same regular season success they enjoyed in 2012; a revamped secondary in Tampa Bay, the return of Sean Payton to New Orleans, and a developing Cam Newton will make the NFC South a more competitive division. Regardless, look for them to reach at least 11 wins and reach the playoffs for the fourth consecutive year.

4. Dallas Cowboys Win a Tight NFC East

Dez Bryant of the Dallas Cowboys may be the only wide receiver in the league capable of matching the intense play of Calvin "Megatron" Johnson.
Dez Bryant of the Dallas Cowboys may be the only wide receiver in the league capable of matching the intense play of Calvin "Megatron" Johnson. | Source

Here's Why:

The Cowboys have had issues in the past few years, offering up two measly 8-8 seasons in the past two seasons. Look for a healthy defense and an improved leadership role from Tony Romo to take them (barely) to the top of the NFC East. It will not be pretty and it won't be expected with the New York Giants, Washington Redskins, and Philadelphia Eagles in the running, but with capable playmakers on both ends of the Cowboys bench, it certainly isn't an outrageous expectation for them to make a run for the NFC playoffs. Tony Romo has been paid and will attempt to give the Cowboys legacy a facelift in 2013.

5. Minnesota Vikings Boast Elite Defense, Improved Passing Game

Vikings QB Christian Ponder had an impressive finish after a slow start in 2012. He will try to cement his position as the starter for Minnesota this season.
Vikings QB Christian Ponder had an impressive finish after a slow start in 2012. He will try to cement his position as the starter for Minnesota this season. | Source

Here's Why:

The departure of Percy Harvin was a necessary evil. Although he was in the run for an MVP award before his high ankle sprain, both Harvin and the Vikings organization weren't pleased with the results being made. His trade to the Seahawks gave the Vikings some excellent additions through the 2013 NFL Draft, including Florida State cornerback Xavier Rhodes and Tennessee Volunteers wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson. Both have opportunities to make an impact as starters this season. The Vikings defense has been getting more and more impressive in the past few offseasons and can make a splash this year. If Christian Ponder continues the same level of play he displayed in the second half of the 2012 season, the Vikings can reach double-digit wins again in 2013.

Oh yeah, and two words: Adrian. Peterson.

6. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Make a Strong Case for the NFC South

The high-profile trade of Darrelle Revis from the New York Jets to the Bucs has been the highlight of a revamped Buccaneer secondary.
The high-profile trade of Darrelle Revis from the New York Jets to the Bucs has been the highlight of a revamped Buccaneer secondary. | Source

Here's Why:

The Bucs had a legitimate chance for a wild card spot last year. Featuring the best run defense in the NFL, along with superstars in wide receiver Vincent Jackson and running back Doug Martin, a 6-4 Bucs team was a brilliant sight to see in Raymond James Stadium. However, the team ended 7-9 for two main reasons: Josh Freeman's erratic play and a horrid pass defense. In a contract year with a stable coaching staff for the first time in his NFL career, it will be up to Freeman to put together all the flashes of brilliance he displayed in 2012. The additions of former 49ers safety Dashon Goldston along with Revis will allow for the Bucs to make some key stops and keep games winnable for the Tampa team. The Buccaneers could prove to be a dangerous, 10-win team in 2013.

Honorary Mentions

This list has almost certainly led a few readers to roll their eyes in aggravation; this section will be devoted to teams that can make it into playoff contention with some added aggression.

  • San Francisco 49ers: If Colin Kaepernick can maintain the skills he showcased in 2012 without his main receiver Michael Crabtree on the field, along with a defense that refuses to give up big plays in the air (see: 2012 Super Bowl), the Niners can certainly make a case for a spectacular postseason run.
  • New Orleans Saints: Head coach Sean Payton is back, and Rob Ryan is in town to address a porous Saints defense. Putting the pieces together can get the Saints back into the playoffs.
  • New York Giants: You can never count Eli Manning out of the playoffs until Week 17 is over. There is obvious talent in the Big Apple; if wide receiver Hakeem Nicks and pass rusher Jason Pierre-Paul can get healthy, look for a sleeping Giants team to ravish the NFC East.
  • Arizona Cardinals: Carson Palmer's no Kurt Warner, but improvement at the quarterback position can help push a refreshed Rashard Mendenhall, a hungry Larry Fitzgerald, and a powerful young defense into playoff contention.

Which NFC team will make a run for the Lombardi trophy in 2013?

  • 9% Detroit Lions
  • 9% St. Louis Rams
  • 49% San Francisco 49ers
  • 18% New Orleans Saints
  • 15% New York Giants
247 people have voted in this poll.

This poll is now closed to voting.

User Poll: Who'd I Miss?

What's the #1 team I didn't include in my NFC playoff hunt? Vote here or comment below to make your case heard.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      newenglandsun 3 years ago

      The Philadelphia Eagles are pot-shot failures. I think Washington will win the NFC East this year. They have that sophomore quarterback (Robert Griffin III) who is great for their running game and passing game. Their playing style on offense and defense slightly surpasses Dallas's giving two exciting games between the two this year but no way Dallas can pull through. Rams, not the Bucs will get the 6th seed. Did you see how they played late last year? Also, the Seahawks ain't going to win the division. They'll get the 5th seed but it will be the 49ers who win the division.

      Regardless, Seattle, St. Louis, and San Francisco have two freeby wins to look forward to this year against the Arizona Cardinals.

    • Sam Bartz profile image
      Author

      Sam Bartz 3 years ago from Tallahassee, Florida

      Your Redskins prediction doesn't sound unreasonable; I'm just not as confident as you are that the running game will be as great as it was last year, or that Griffin can last long enough to make the impact he is capable of. I'm not as confident in the Rams as you are, but it seems like half the conference has a chance to make the postseason this year. A lot of really good teams could miss the playoffs due to tiebreakers or last-second field goals.

      That being said, I wouldn't count the Cardinals out of those 6 games this season; Carson Palmer's no stud, but an improved QB under center will put far more points up on the board for Arizona than there were in 2012.

    • profile image

      newenglandsun 3 years ago

      Oh, I didn't know they had Carson Palmer. In that case, they might win the division. Or at least sore into a wild card spot in the playoffs.

    • Sam Bartz profile image
      Author

      Sam Bartz 3 years ago from Tallahassee, Florida

      I can't tell if that was sarcasm or not, but I wouldn't be all that surprised if the Cardinals got a wild card spot. Winning the division seems like a stretch though.

    • profile image

      newenglandsun 3 years ago

      They actually have a decent defense. A good offense. Who knows. With Palmer throwing to Fitzgerald, they'll be making a run for it this year.

    • profile image

      Phil Doge 3 years ago

      Its funny how people think that the Seahawks are amazing because they had a good season.... Get in the real world people, Seahawks don't have players with enough experience to be number 1. Green Bay will win that spot this year.

    • Sam Bartz profile image
      Author

      Sam Bartz 3 years ago from Tallahassee, Florida

      I do love that you have Green Bay as #1, but the Seahawks went undefeated at home last year (sans the Fail Mary) and Russell Wilson got better as the season progressed. I'm not saying you couldn't be right or that the Seahawks are "amazing", but their roster could certainly support the claim.

    • profile image

      orangeblood 3 years ago

      Cordarelle patterson played for Tennesse not recast

    • Sam Bartz profile image
      Author

      Sam Bartz 3 years ago from Tallahassee, Florida

      Corrected. Thanks orangeblood!

    • profile image

      Vikes 3 years ago

      How do you think the pack are a lock to win the north! They lost Jennings, Driver, Saturday, and bulgda to an ACL tear, they haven't improved at all. The vikes are going to take the division this year with a 12-4 record, everyone says the vikes have a hard schedule, but really it is easier than last years, this is the vikes year, I can feel it,

      north

      Vikings- 12-4

      Packers- 10-6

      Bears- 8-8

      Lions- 5-11

      West

      Seahawks- 13-3

      49ers- 9-7( they are severely overrated, no receivers)

      Rams-7-9

      Cardinals- 4-12

      South

      Falcons- 11-5

      Saints- 9-7

      Bucs- 8-8

      Panthers- 3-13

      East

      Cowboys- 10-6

      Giants- 8-8

      Skins- 6-10

      Eagles- 4-12

    • Sam Bartz profile image
      Author

      Sam Bartz 3 years ago from Tallahassee, Florida

      Thank you, Vikes. Thank you thank you thank you thank you. I've been waiting for more people to believer the 49ers are overrated, and it makes my heart sing that you think so too.

      However, I can't agree with you on the Vikings. It will all come down to Ponder; if he plays like he did at the beginning and end of 2012, there's definitely a chance they could compete for the NFC North title.

      But it's not so much what the Packers have done as what they haven't done. They haven't let their young (and injury-plagued in 2012) talent on defense go and I believe that will translate to more takeaways in 2013. The running game will be much better and Bulaga's substitute, David Bakhtiari, has been doing exceptionally well for a rookie. If the kicker position solidifies, it will be difficult to find too many problems in Green Bay. The Vikings can certainly win a playoff spot this year, but it would be very surprising to see them in as winners of the NFC North.

    • profile image

      Phil Doge 3 years ago

      Now that is a comment I like Sam Bartz

    • profile image

      Phil Doge 3 years ago

      vikes,

      I do not think that the Vikings will win because they have Greg Jennings, I don't think they will win much at all. The Vikings need a accurate, consistent QB....and that is not Christian Ponder. You also need to know that the Packers will do just fine, even with all their injuries....because they have Aaron Rodgers on offense. He makes his receivers good, because he can get them the ball perfectly. Just think of James Jones, he went from 3rd to 4th string, to starting and catching the most touch downs by a wide receiver in the 2012-2013 season.

    • Sam Bartz profile image
      Author

      Sam Bartz 3 years ago from Tallahassee, Florida

      Glad you think so, Phil Doge! I don't think Jennings will be as good a player in Minnesota as some would believe. Ponder doesn't have the arm to get Greg the downfield throw he succeeds with.

      I have great faith in the Rodgers-Mike McCarthy duo and would be surprised to see them with fewer than 10 wins this season, even against high-profile teams like the 49ers, Redskins, and Falcons.

    Click to Rate This Article