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2016 NFC Preview

Updated on September 4, 2016

NFC East

1) New York Giants The NFC East has always been a tricky division. There hasn’t been a clear-cut favorite you would select to win the East before the season begins. The Giants have a case with a defense that looks to be better than last year adding Janoris Jenkins and Olivier Vernon in the off season. Hopefully Victor Cruz can contribute at a high level and add some extra potency to the offense. Projected 2016 record: 8-8

2) Washington Redskins Personally, I wasn’t all too thrilled with the Redskins adding Josh Norman to the secondary. Time will tell if he can have the same success as he did in Carolina with their defense. I expect Kirk Cousins to add on to his success from last year but fall short at the end. Projected 2016 record: 7-9

3) Dallas Cowboys Rookie Quarterback Dak Prescott will go through some expected difficulties and that is ok. As a whole, it will be exciting to watch the offense work as the Cowboys could possibly have their own 1-2 punch with rookie Runningback Ezekiel Elliott and 4-year starter Alfred Morris. The defensive line however will be a letdown with potential starters Demarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory serving suspensions and a lack of playmakers at the position. Projected 2016 record: 6-10

4) Philadelphia Eagles 5-11 After trading Sam Bradford to Minnesota, the Eagles have Chase Daniel and 2016 first round pick Carson Wentz at Quarterback. It looks like Wentz will see some playing time sooner than expected. It will take some time before the Eagles can contend in the division. Projected 2016 record: 5-11

NFC North

1) Green Bay Packers The return of Wide Receiver Jordy Nelson will definitely give a spark to the team after what could be considered an average 2015 season for QB Aaron Rodgers. Defensively, the distractions of Clay Matthews and Julius Peppers accusation of using performance-enhancing drugs is over and now they can focus on the task at hand. Projected 2016 record: 11-5

2) Minnesota Vikings Even before the Sam Bradford trade, the Vikings were still in pretty good shape with potentially a top-5 defense and a run game led by the other worldly Adrian Peterson. A question mark heading into the offseason, the offensive line appears to be solidified that will help out the offense significantly. Projected 2016 record: 9-7

3) Detroit Lions Despite Calvin Johnson’s retirement, Matthew Stafford won’t have a shortage of receivers to throw to. With the additions of playmakers Marvin Jones and Anquan Boldin in the offseason, the Lions passing game could be better than last year. Projected 2016 record: 8-8

4) Chicago Bears The defense will certainly get better this season heading into year 2 of the John Fox and Vic Fangio era in Chicago. With the departure of running back Matt Forte to New York, how will Jeremy Langford do in a starting role? 2016 could be the same story that we’ve been accustomed to hearing about with Jay Cutler. Projected 2016 record: 8-8

NFC South

1) Carolina Panthers Carolina won’t have a magical 15-1 season as they did last year but I still expect them to have a handle on the division early. What more can the offense do led by 2015 MVP Cam Newton? And will Josh Norman’s physicality be missed this season? Defensively, Carolina will have the same success but I think the offense will take a step back even with the return of Kelvin Benjamin who missed the entire 2015 season with a torn ACL. Projected 2016 record: 12-4

2) Atlanta Falcons The Falcons will need to get better at getting to the quarterback as they ranked last in the category last year. Heading into his second year as head coach, Dan Quin will continue to assemble this Atlanta defense into a contender. Projected 2016 record: 9-7

3) Tampa Bay Buccaneers Certainly a team who could gain some momentum with a favorable schedule at the second half of the season. I expect Jameis Winston to lead the Buccaneers in contention for a wild card spot. Projected 2016 record: 9-7

4) New Orleans Saints Learning a new offense will take some time for new Tight End Coby Fleener who spend the last 4 seasons with Stanford teammate Andrew Luck in Indianapolis. Soon as he gets up to speed, Drew Brees and the New Orleans offense will continue to set the bar high in the passing game. The defense will continue to be a letdown for a third consecutive season. Projected 2016 record: 4-12

NFC West

1) Seattle Seahawks How will Seattle’s defensive front fair after the departures of Brandon Mebane and Bruce Irvin in free agency? What sort of encore will Thomas Rawls display this season after breaking his ankle late last year? To answer the former, I don’t see any slowing down for the defense. Expect them to still be one of the highest top rated defenses at season’s end. For the latter, with Christine Michael playing well in the preseason, Seattle will have a nice duo between the two backs. Combine that with the electrifying Russell Wilson and Seattle will be in the mix for Super Bowl contention. Projected 2016 record: 11-5

2) Arizona Cardinals Originally, I thought the Cardinals will take a step back and miss the playoffs. Having possible 2016 Coach of the Year candidate Bruce Arians and a defense who will look to have a healthy Tyrann Mathieu for the whole season, Arizona will make a playoff push this year. Projected 2016 record: 10-6

3) Los Angeles Rams Todd Gurley will continue to be a force in the ground game this season. How will Case Keenum do righting the ship if somehow the run game stalls during the game? Aside from Tavon Austin, the Rams don’t have any playmakers in the passing game. However, I think the defense will be steady enough to help them win some games. Projected 2016 record: 7-9

4) San Francisco 49ers A talented roster with a tough schedule or just an overall bad team heading into 2016? I’ll go with the former as I could see the 49ers not winning any games at all in the division and play some tough games at Carolina, vs an up-and-coming team in Tampa Bay, a meeting with Chicago and former Defensive Coordinator Vic Fangio, the AFC East and at Atlanta. Projected 2016 record: 3-13

2016 projected NFC Playoff seeds:

1) Carolina Panthers

2) Seattle Seahawks

3) Green Bay Packers

4) New York Giants

5) Arizona Cardinals

6) Minnesota Vikings

Who will win the NFC East in 2016?

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Which of these teams do you think will contend for the last wild card spot?

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Who will represent the NFC in Super Bowl 51?

See results


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