• Sam Erman

NFC Division Predictions

Twitter: @FFBallAllDay

NFC East

Cowboys, 10-7 - I think they’re going to get whooped on Thursday night and bounce back. They’re the best of the four teams, Dak is back, Ceedee is in year two, so it could be time for lift-off. Or, they could crash and burn.

Washington, 9-8 - This could be one of those situations where I’m still currently too close to the fire as I only stepped down in May, but here we are. Fitzpatrick barely won that starting job and anytime there have been any expectations on “Fitzmagic” he turns it into “Fitztragic.” That’s the best front 7 in the NFL and I don’t know if it’s particularly close. Chase is already a top 3 edge rusher plus a bunch of fellow 1st rounders like Sweat, Payne, and Allen. Not to mention you already had Bostic. Now Jamin Davis comes in to fly around and hit everyone. Fitzpatrick has just gotta feed Terry and Antonio while driving the car. Nothing more, nothing less.

Giants, 5-12 - While I think Judge could be a good coach, I just don’t think Daniel Jones can keep the football safe. Here come Giants fans and my boy JP, but I’m just being honest. Golladay is always hurt so let’s hope he stays healthy. Toney is back after whatever this offseason was. Saquon is coming off an ACL tear, and oh yeah most importantly, that offensive line looks tragic. It was so bad in the preseason they went out and made 2 trades to address it. Jones just needs to play point guard and the Giants could win a lot of games.

Eagles, 4-13 - Here we go. Matt is already rolling his eyes and scoffing at me, but look, that team overall is bad. Nick Sirianni seems to be 50/50 with the locker room. That defense has more holes than Swiss Cheese and that offensive line may struggle early with the scheme changes. Not to mention, that line isn’t great the way it is. You have a young coach, a young QB, a young RB, young WRs, and a bad defense. This isn’t a direct shot on Jalen Hurts, it’s acknowledging the NFL is hard to win in. This is a YOUNG team with big questions to answer. Say what you will about their division, but outside of it, they face the Chiefs, Buccaneers, 49ers, Saints, and the Chargers.

NFC South

Buccaneers, 13-4 - They’ve talked about going 17-0 but I don’t think that’s going to happen. They’re going to be REALLY good and win a lot of games. They have no holes, they have the Goat and the best defense in the league. I expect they’ll be playing in February.

Saints, 10-7 - I still think this team is going to be good enough to push for a playoff spot. I was in on Jameis since he signed in New Orleans and he’s checked every box on the way. MT being out for five games sucks, but that early bye saves him a game. They’re going to score points, they have Payton and Kamara. The defense is always decent and Coach Payton is one of the best coaches in the league. I’m not as worried as most others are apparently.

Panthers, 7-10 - Darnold, who I believe in, is going to have a decent season overall, but he’s going to have moments where he struggles. It all depends on how he bounces back. He has DJM, Robby Anderson, and some guy named CMC. Oh, and he has 6’2” rookie who was by far the best rookie this preseason that runs a 4.4 40-yard dash. Darnold will ultimately show enough flash that they ride him out in 2022 before seeing if he’s worth the extension. That’s the beauty of where they are at. Granted, in 2022 his option is worth 18.9 million. A heavy chunk, but isn’t sinking the boat if he doesn’t pan out. No excuses for him now.

Falcons, 6-11 - I’m not sure they got better, anywhere, this offseason on the field. Sure, the addition of Pitts is awesome and he’s going to be a baller for a long time. He’s not better than Julio is today. I like what I saw with Arthur Smith in Tennessee, but this is year one. The defense still has minimal talent and is in a division with 3 other really good offenses. I’d be SHOCKED if they push for a playoff berth. However, I hope I’m wrong. Calvin Ridley season is here!

NFC West

Rams, 11-6 - Matt Stafford’s going to be in the MVP conversation all season. Say what you will about him, but you have to acknowledge he’s an upgrade over Goff. The Rams went out and PAID for Stafford. Cam Akers is out for the year. You don’t think McVay knows the entire world is watching? It’s going to be a fireworks show and it starts on September 19th. The defense is still going to be good and we know they have 37 WRs they can rotate in and out that create matchup issues. I also think Sony Michel is going to have a HUGE role in this offense. If you go back and watch his tape from last year, he looked really good. He was looking good this offseason and I was tweeting it live during the games.

Seahawks, 11-6 - Russell Wilson and the new offense are going to light the league on fire. They went out and hired Shane Waldron who had spent the past few years learning under McVay. They then immediately went out and got an uber-athletic TE named Gerald Everett who you may have heard of. Not to mention, they went out and traded for one of the best athletic interior guards in the NFL in Gabe Jackson. Now, just figure out the Duane Brown situation and let’s call it good. Wilson and Stafford are my 2 favorite MVP Dark Horses.

49ers, 10-7 - As long as Jimmy is healthy, he’ll be on the field. He’s not perfect and he’s going to make mistakes. The 49ers fan base is going to go ballistic if they lose and Lance isn’t on the field. They have a great defense and should be contenders. They’re just in a tough division and lose a close one here or there.

Cardinals, 7-10 - While I’m still unsure the Cardinals have the right coach, they’re going to score points. They’re going to be fun and a competitive team but falter in clutch time in a few games. Defensively, at first glance with the big names, I like where they are, but 1one or two injuries and that Cardinals defense gets really young and inexperienced fast. I think AJG is going to show some flash but he’ll never be what he once was. Moore comes in to play the slot because it’s more than apparent Kirk isn’t the guy. Moore has had a great camp. Conner, I still don’t think is very good. Edmonds is still a JAG in my opinion. Murray’s legs are going to be what keeps defenses honest, not the other two.

NFC North

Packers, 12-5 - Aaron Rodgers returns, for what is likely, his last run in Green Bay. The expectation is nothing less than a Super Bowl. Adams and Jones are going to have huge years. I think this year is going to be much slower for Amari Rodgers than I wanted since they traded for Cobb, but he’s still going to get some work and show flash while learning under the best slot possible.

Vikings, 8-9 - The offense always scores points, it just depends on when and how fast. Kirk is inconsistent for fantasy and real life, but he at least keeps most games competitive. He’ll throw for over 4,000 and 30 TDs again though. Cook and Jefferson are going to have huge years. Thielen will be fine. Stash ISM as he learns and develops. They like him, he’s 6’2” and the fastest player on the team.

Bears, 7-10 - I think Coach Nagy is playing Dalton to save his job. What do I mean? Well, if he starts Dalton all year and they go below .500 he can say, “Well that was the plan. We knew he was going to sit and learn for a year. You can’t fire me, it’ll interrupt his development.” But, he should start Justin. I mean, I have a ton of respect for Andy Dalton, but we all see it. We all see the same thing on the field. And most importantly, you can’t trick the locker room. Locker rooms know who the best guy is. It’s only a matter of time until Nagy’s hand gets forced.

Lions, 5-12 - This is the one that I hope I’m the most wrong on. I like Dan Campbell, and the players seem to as well. I just don’t think they’re very talented. At WR it’s either a bunch of young unproven guys or nothing. TE you have a star, just don’t get him hurt. The line is fine, Swift always seems to be banged up, and the defense isn’t very good. I’d love for the Lions to torch the league and prove me wrong.