Unlike the AFC, the NFC divisions were completely up for grabs in the early going. Hence the delay from my AFC article to the one you are reading now. I guess that doesn’t make these true predictions, but here they are nonetheless.
NFC North: Green Bay Packers
No, that is not a typo. I did not mean to say Minnesota Vikings. Remember last year’s Atlanta Falcons? The 2016-17 Vikings will do their best impression of them down the stretch this season. Anyway, the Packers. Despite the predicted MVP under center, Jordy Nelson’s return, and a promising defense, Green Bay has been less than mediocre to this point. However, as much as it pains me to say, everything will come together sooner than later. Aaron Rodgers has had all day in the pocket but just hasn’t been accurate. Once he settles down and remembers who he is, he will dominate. When it comes to the run game, the Pack have only had Eddie Lacy to depend on through 6 weeks. With the new acquisition of Knile Davis, expect a deadly one-two punch.
Aaron Rodgers will double-check himself and the run game will dominate to pick up any slack. “Defense wins championships” doesn’t apply here. Mike McCarthy has one of the highest potential offenses in the league. That will get the job done.
NFC South: Atlanta Falcons
Compared to last year’s record through 6 weeks, this year’s team is worse. Compared to last year’s team stats through 6 weeks, this team was rebirthed. Offensively, these guys are at the top. NFL.com shows how dominant they have been. 1st in PPG, 1st in YPG, and 2nd in pass YPG. Matt Ryan has been picking defenses apart by utilizing all of the weapons this team possesses. The combination of speedy running backs Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman have given opposing teams fits in both the run and pass game. The Saints are the only other team in the division to put up similar numbers, 2nd, 2nd, 1st respectively. However, the Saints have the worst defense in the league. Not going to cut it.
By being the only team in the division with a winning record and no signs of slowing down, I couldn’t pick anyone else. Ladies and gentlemen, your NFC South champs.
NFC East: Dallas Cowboys
The time has come, it seems like Skip Bayless made an accurate prediction. The Boys are back! After losing their franchise QB, Dallas looked like a “next year” team. But little did we know that this was going to be the year of backup quarterbacks. For this team, it has been a year for the rookies. Dak Prescott took over for Tony Romo and is now in a position to keep his starting job and is being compared to Tom Brady. The other stand out rookie so far is Ezekiel Elliot. Sure, Zeke had higher expectations than Dak coming in, but he has still blown those away. A combination of balanced offense and a defense that does enough to win has worked so far.
Unlike last year’s laughable NFC East, this division has shown its potential and currently has no teams with a losing record. Despite potentially fierce competition from division rivals, the Dallas Cowboys will have the best record in the East. Maybe even the conference. Jerry Jones just has to keep Dak as his number 1, not Romo.
NFC West: Seattle Seahawks
FINALLY a team with a dominate defense. Over the years, Seattle has been a true killer going against opposing offenses. No exceptions this year as they are arguably the best. Top 3 in keeping opponents from scoring, and 1st in yards allowed. A shaky start made me skeptical for this team to do anything big within the division. However, shaky starts for every other team in the West made it just a little easier to pick them as my favorites. As long as the defense keeps it together enough for beat-up offense to get the wins, the NFC West title is theirs.