Pretenders or Contenders: NFC Edition

arizona cardinals

Last time we took a look at the teams in the AFC and figured out who was going to contend for a playoff spot at the end. Now it’s time to break down the NFC teams.

  • Arizona Cardinals: Contenders; The Cardinals were the last team to lose a game this year. Kyler Murray has played amazingly (20 total touchdowns) and may put himself in the MVP pool. The Cardinals are one of the top teams halfway through the season
  • Atlanta Falcons: Pretenders; Beating the Giants, Jets, Dolphins, and Saints without Jameis Winston isn’t turning anyone’s head. The Falcons don’t look like a playoff team this year.
  • Carolina Panthers: Pretenders; The Panthers started 3-0 and then lost four games in a row. Now 4-5 and withoutquarterback Sam Darnold, the Panthers could be in some trouble.
  • Chicago Bears: Pretenders; Justin Fields hasn’t played well (4 touchdowns, 8 interceptions) since he became the starting quarterback for the Bears. It also doesn’t help that Khalil Mack is hurt.
  • Dallas Cowboys: Contenders; Dak Prescott is back, and the Cowboys defense has improved from last year. Trevon Diggs leads the league in interceptions and has a chance to break the record. They are the favorites to win the NFC East.
  • Detroit Lions: Pretenders; The Lions are the only team that hasn’t won a game yet. They lost on last-second field goals to the Ravens and Minnesota. Both were 50+ yards, with the Ravens Justin Tucker converting an NFL record 66-yarder. Hopefully, they can get a win before the season is over.
  • Green Bay Packers: Contenders; This season has been called “the last dance” because of the uncertainty around Aaron Rodgers. It does have that feeling with a 7-2 start and 3.5 game lead in the NFC North. Maybe they can get past the NFC championship this year.
  • Los Angeles Rams: Contenders; The Rams are all in this year. The tradefor Matthew Stafford and the signing of Odell Beckham shows that. The 7-2 start has been good, but how far will they go?
  • Minnesota Vikings: Pretenders; Kurt Cousins has played well, only throwing two interceptions to 16 touchdowns. However, the Vikings can’t hold leads. They have lost three games while holding a lead in the fourth quarter.
  • New Orleans Saints: Unknown; Losing Jameis Winston to a torn ACLleaves the Saints with too many questions. Can they overcome the injury and get into the playoffs?
  • New York Giants: Pretenders; The Giants have had some upset wins against the Saints and Raiders. The thing to look out for in the offseason is what they do with quarterback Daniel Jones.
  • Philadelphia Eagles: Pretenders; Besides the blow wins against the Falcons and Lions, the Eagles have struggled all year. Lucky for them, they could have three top-10 picks in the draft.
  • San Francisco 49ers: Pretenders; Injuries have hurt the 49ers again. The quarterback situation hasn’t been much better, as Jimmy Garoppolo and Trey Lance have been flip-flopping as the starter.
  • Seattle Seahawks: Pretenders; Russell Wilson’s injuryset the Seahawks back. At 3-5, it may be too late for them to come back, even with Wilson back.
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Contenders; Tom Brady hasn’t slowed down one bit. The only thing that could hold the Bucs back is the injuries in the secondary.
  • Washington Football Team: Pretenders; Quarterback will be priority number one for Washington in the offseason. The defense hasn’t lived up to expectations either.