So I thought why not take an early look at next season I know we have free agency to go and the draft to go that could clearly change things, but why not take a look at how we could see things looking next year just because it is boring time until the draft.
So here are my NFC Power Rankings
1. New Orleans Saints- Clearly still the class of the NFC. I am not really sure about this teams free agency status, but I am pretty sure they don't have a ton of big names to get resigned. Most of their team should be fairly intact and outside of Green Bay I think they have the most dynamic offense in the NFC. Along with a very solid play making defense that I figure only to get better next season. The hardest thing for them will be handling being the champ because it is not an easy task. This season they are the hunted instead of the hunter.
2. Green Bay Packers- If the Packers can resign Nick Collins and make a few more additions to that defense they should have one of the best defenses again. They need to improve at corner back, but getting Al Harris back should make a big difference. The defense needs to improve in the secondary if it wants to be a truly elite defense. We all know that offense is going to be really good again with Rodgers at the helm. I look for Rodgers to be in the hunt for MVP this season and win it. Look for Jeremicheal Finley to explode in his third season I could see him being theVernon Davis of this season next season. Grant is a notoriously slow starter, but he is also a notoriously fast finisher hopefully he can put two halves together this season. We all know the receiving core is still one of the best, but I look for Jordy Nelson and James Jones to improve and all our receivers to improve especially in the catching the ball department. Bottom line this team is locked loaded and motivated to go on a title run. As with any team health will be a key thing and it what ultimately killed us this season losing Harris crippled us against a great QB like Warner.
3. Dallas Cowboys- They really got a monkey off their back last season by getting to the playoffs and winning a game. Also dominating the month of December. Other then Green Bay and San Diego they were the hottest team heading into the post season. I look for that momentum to carry over. While I don't think their offense is quite as good as Green Bay's or New Orleans I think their defense might be the best of the bunch. They were very impressive in that final month dominating teams!!!! Will see what happens, but I think along with New Olreans and Green Bay they encompass the NFC Teams I see with a shot at the Super Bowl next year. I see these 3 teams as the big 3 in the NFC.
4. Minnesota Vikings- This is provided Favre comes back if he does they make the big 3 a big 4. If Favre does not then I just can't see them having the same success and I think I would actually drop them in the rankings. I put them 4 because I can see them getting McNabb if they don't get Favre and if they do that I see them staying a top team. However I think McNabb fits right in with this bunch a guy that often fails in the post season. I am not sure McNabb can quite do the same things Brett did for this team either. Adrian Peterson needs to fix his fumble issues and regain his moniker as top back in the league which I personally feel Chris Johnson stole from him this season. If they want to go to a Super Bowl this definitely needs to happen with or without Favre and McNabb.
5. Atlanta Falcons- This team I think would definitely be my dark horse next season. Last season's decline was a result of big injuries to their star QB and RB. You take the star QB and running back away from either of these top teams and their records are definitely vastly different probably. I think the Falcons are definitely on the right track with a young QB who definitely has the ability to be great in Matt Ryan. I look for the Falcons to definitely be the dark horse of the NFC.
6. Philadelphia Eagles- Not sure what happened to this team at the end of the last season. It was a shocking flame out for a team that many pundits had pegged as their favorite to go to the Super Bowl. I think perhaps Dallas was just the one team they couldn't beat and had terrible match up problems against. There are serious questions surrounding this team too like will McNabb be there QB?
7. New York Giants- This team definitely is looking to bounce back not sure what happened last season. I do know one thing they need to greatly improve that defense if they want to have any chance of going anywhere. That defense was a sieve last season giving up big points nearly every game. Can the Super Bowl Champions of two seasons ago improve?
8. San Fran 49ers- I see them as huge benefactors to Warner's retirement. I already liked what Singletary was doing with these guys. If they could only get a slightly better QB I think their offense could be one of the top ones. I think they win the NFC West and get into the playoffs. Look for Vernon Davis to have another monster year!!!!
9. Arizona Cardinals- Losing Warner is going to hurt big time unless they can find a replacement. I don't think Matt Leinart is going to get it done as I really feel this guys confidence is completely shattered to the point he will never make it in the NFL. He is one of the few guys that didn't benefit at all from staying in school an extra year. They still have a very solid receiving core and running backs. That defense is not much good though. I see the Cardinals seeing a significant drop off this year however their only challenger in the West is still the 49ers.
10. Carolina Panthers- This team seemed to figure something out maybe at the end of the year. They still need to improve in the passing game if they want to compete.
11. Chicago Bears- They started to look a bit better at the end of the season. Especially Jay Cutler who in the Minnesota game looked like the QB most Bears fans expected all year. If Cutler can build on success this team has a chance to improve on it's 8-8 record. They could be a darkhorse if they finally get Cutler some help.
12. Washington Redskins- I am not a Shannhan fan, but he can't do much worse. This team has a chance to be a surprise if Shannhan can turn them around especially in that division that I feel is wide open for spot 2. Dallas is clearly the class and the rest is up for grabs. I say give it at least another year though before they can get back to the post season.
13.Tampa Bay Bucs- Josh Freeman seemed to show he might be a capable QB. This team still has a long ways to go though before they get back into contender status.
14. Detroit Lions- The Lions hopes ride on Matthew Stafford they could maybe improve by a game or two this season at best though.
15. Seattle Seahawks- Not much to like here Matt Hasselback is getting pretty old!!!!
16. St. Louis Rams- Even Ndamhakong (however the hell you spell it) Sue can turn around this bunch. Lots of problems in St. Louis they have a long ways to go before they could ever relive their early 2000 glory days.
That's how I see the NFC stacking up. Right now if I had to pick the playoffs teams I would go with New Orleans and Green Bay with the top two seeds in that order. Dallas as the 3 seed facing the 6 seed Vikings and the 4 seed 49ers facing 5 seed dark horse Atlanta Falcons. It's an exciting time to be a Packers fan can't wait for next season we have a legit chance at being a Super Bowl team!!!!
Early NFC Power Rankings
Posted on: February 13, 2010 5:26 am
Edited on: February 13, 2010 5:38 am