Well, we're into August now and NFL training camps are underway and in full swing. I am going to go out on a limb and make my own NFC Forecast. Ofcourse I am biased towards my Cowboys. Gotta b. They're my team. And right now, they have the most talent. Talent told in 2007 when they ran off with the conference's number one seed. Then they choked ofcourse, kind of self-inflicted. Tony Romo and Jessica Simpson were a thing about midway or so thru the 2007 season, and the Cowboys were playing Super Bowl calibre football. But once everyone caught wind of it and started tagging it so to speak, it seemed as though his performance dipped some in the last month as the Cowboys went 2-2 but still held on to the number one seed and ofcourse easily won their division. In 2008, high expectations and key injuries, injuries that noone else in the NFL could afford either, turned the season into a bickering fest and a very underachieving 9-7 record and no playoffs. In fact, they still would've been in the playoffs had the won their last game, but didn't even bother showing up, as we all know. Now, T.O. is gone and the team is thinking team. And YOKO ROMO (Jessica Simpson) is also off the radar. Tony Romo is now the unquestioned leader of this team and he has taken steps this off season to show it by dumping the bimbo, a year late, but better than never, and pretty much not saying much this offseason. One thing he hasn't EVER done is make excuses. And he won't make any. And he knows there won't BE any if the team doesn't bounce back and win, I don't know, a playoff game or two or so on perhaps. This team has weapons on offense, and defense, and special teams. The only question marks are Roy Williams playing up to his capabilities to fill in the void left by T.O., the depth of the offensive line, and the head coach. It's now or never for Wade Phillips. Mike Shanahan will be in Big D a year from now, if the team doesn't finally cash something in. So now I start with the NFC East.
1. Dallas (13-3) schedule opens up I think, very favorably for the Cowboys much like 2007. More talent still than the others. If they really DO play as a team, look the hell out
2. Eagles (10-6) If it weren't for McNabb and Westbrook, this team isn't very good. As it is Philly is inconsistent. They got on a hot streak late and got some help too, getting into the playoffs. But somehow you knew that they weren't going to pull off the same feat as the Giants did the year before. McNabb and Westbrook MUST stay healthy for this team to be a factor. If not, no way.
3. Giants(9-7) the honeymoon after their "come from nowhere" Super Bowl run is over. They don't do that without Michael Strahan(retired) Amani Toomer(now with the Chiefs) and Plaxico Burress(released and could be headed for the hole for that loaded unregistered weapon charge) This team will have to rely on defense, getting Osi Umenyiora back will help, and the running game. Manning hasn't shown really that he can adapt with a completely new set of receivers. That is a BIG question mark. And Brandon Jacobs can pound away but he also gets dinged. He receives as much punishment as or more than he dishes out. The loss of defensive coordinator John Spagnolo doesn't help either. The key to the Giants winning will be holding opponents to under 20 a game and trying to play keep away on offense.
4. Redskins (8-8) defense and special teams will keep this team in almost every game. But offensively, the receivers are fast but small and there isn't a genuine triggerman. Another team that will need to hold opponents to under 20 to have a chance to win. They aren't going to outscore you
1. Minnesota-(10-6) they didn't get Favre afterall or else there wouldn't be any questions about who would rule this division. However, defense and the running game will be enough to outpoint the others in this division.
2. Chicago- (8-8) Jay Cutler is only 17-20 so far in his career as a starting QB. And he had more talent on his side of the ball to work with in Denver than in the windy city. The Bears defense isn't what it was a few years ago. They also gave up a lot to get Cutler so the improvements of this team over the next couple of years could be hampered somewhat. It will be a long year in Denver but the draft picks they got from the Cutler trade will benefit them afterwards. In Chicago, different story line maybe, but same ending result. Mediocre.
3. Green Bay(8-8) Aaron Rodgers will have a decent year but this is a mediocre team as well. They played above their heads for the most part in 2007 and still had #4.
4. Detroit (2-14) The Lions won't go 0-16 again but they also aren't going to completely reverse fortunes overnight either.
NFC South-very unpredictable division.
1. Atlanta (10-6) Matt Ryan reminds me perhaps of Troy Aikman, team wins more gaudy than his actual individual stats.
2. Carolina(8-8) The Panthers were a suprise last year, probably the most mediocre 12-4 team of all time. Sneaking up on people not going to be the case this year.
3. New Orleans(7-9) They'll score in bunches and they'll surrender in bunches.
4. Tampa Bay (6-10) I'm picking the Bucs to go last this year in the south. If they stil had Jeff Garcia, I'd probably think a little different. And now new head coach as well.
1. Arizona (11-5) can this team do win on the road. They DID the one time they really had to in the playoffs against Carolina. Warner did the right thing in staying. Or I should say the organization did the right thing in keeping Warner. He's 38 now and still has a couple of good years left if he can avoid injury. The offense will put points up. The defense is improving. They will benefit from a weak division again
2. 49ers (8-8) still a ways to go but improving. I think they should stick with Shaun Hill at QB
And the drafting of Michael Crabtree at WR will be quite interesting. The defense still needs a lot of work.
3. Seahawks (6-10) rebuilding. It's amazing how fast a team can decline just a few years after being in the Super Bowl. Such as the case for the NFL of today
4. Rams (4-12) a long ways to go for this team. They are rebuilding from the ground up.
In the playoffs, i will just go on a limb and say that the Cowboys will get their first playoff win since 1996. Once that monkey is off theirs and Romo's back, they will then outlast the Cardinals in a shootout in the new Cowboys Stadium. Like 1971, the year I was born, the Cowboys will hosting and winning the NFC Championship game at a new stadium.
3. Giants-with Toomer and Burress gone, this team will have to run the ball more and the defense will have to hold opponents to under 20. I think last season's late collapse may carry over
4. Redskins-decent defense. Average offense. This could be Jason Campbell's swan song.