It is time for my NFC division winner picks. The East and North divisions will be exciting to watch and see who walks away number one, while the South and West will be about as exciting to watch as watching paint dry.
Lets start with the East. Coming in at No. 4 will be the Washington Redskins. There is no stand out QB in Campbell or Collins and now Chase Daniel is on injured reserve with a hamstring tear after a great preseason. Daniel had three touchdown passes with limited action. Colt Brennan was on the final roster cut after throwing three interceptions.
At the No. 3 spot we have the New York Giants. The contract that Eli Manning signed was ridiculous for what he is, a good quarterback, that has moments of greatness. The Giants are short on wide receivers and they lack three great linebackers. Not to mention questionable safeties. The offensive line is stellar, but if one goes down, they have no reserves, and down Eli will go!
The No. 2 slot will belong to the Philadelphia Eagles. Losing defensive coordinator Jim Johnson was a huge loss as well as middle linebacker Stewart Bradley to a knee injury. Their offensive line lacks depth and if Donovan McNabb goes down I have no faith in Michael Vick.
That leaves the No. 1 spot to the Dallas Cowboys. Terrell “Wah Wah Wah” Owens is gone. Jessica Simpson is off somewhere doing something uneventful with a lack of talent and Pacman Jones has hit the road, so finally the Cowboys can get down to business. Tony Romo has a dependable receiver in Roy Williams and running backs in Felix Jones and Marion Barber. They face the same problems as the Giants with their offensive line, but the Cowboys have a lot more depth!
Moving on to the West Division. The St. Louis Rams will take the No. 4 spot. They are in the rebuilding process. Look out for them in about two years.
No. 3 will go to Mike Singletary and his San Francisco 49ers. Shaun Hill won the starting QB job over Alex Smith? Yawn! The offensive line is struggling and the defense is still weak.
The lucky winner of the No. 2 spot is the Arizona Cardinals. They will not be able to repeat last season. Their offense scored only one touchdown in preseason and the defense fell apart against the Packers. The team is sleeping and Kurt Warner won’t be able to wake them up from their slumber this time.
That leaves the Seattle Seahawks as the winners of the NFC West division. They will easily take this division with Matt Hasselbeck, Walter Jones, and Patrick Kerney back.
We are now to the most exciting division this year in the NFC, the North! Surprise, surprise, the Lions will again finish No. 4. What can I say? They will not be the Miami Dolphins of last year.
I had a hard time deciding who would finish in the 3 and 4 spot in the North. But my gut tells me Chicago, my beloved team, will finish third in their division. Yes, they acquired a franchise QB in Jay Cutler, but they still have no wide receivers. Devin Hester, as a wide receiver, is not there yet. If he is double covered he is taken out of the game. They do have two great tight ends, Greg Olson and Desmond Clark, but is that enough? If Cutler can keep their offense going and Brian Urlacher can keep the defense strong they have a chance for spot No. 2, but I chose the Minnesota Vikings over the Bears.
If Brett Favre can stop himself from throwing interceptions this team will give Green Bay a run for their money. Favre has two great receivers playing with him; Bernard Berrian and Percy Harvin. I believe Adrian Peterson is the best running back in the NFL right now. Favre has huge guns behind him and a stellar defense! The Vikings defense is the best against the run and middle linebacker E.J. Henderson is back!
The title is going to go to the Green Bay Packers. The Packers defense is hot! They blitzed in the preseason with authority and came away with 13 takeaways in the three preseason games. Aaron Rodgers passer rating was near-perfect despite Brett Favre and all the hoopla is behind him. He mastered nine touchdown drives in 12 attempts. He has great receivers and two outstanding tight ends in Donald Lee and Jermichael Finley. The Super Bowl is looking like a realistic destination for this team, in my opinion.
We are almost there, only the South Division is left. The No. 4 spot will be taken by the Atlanta Falcons. They have a lot of rookies, no standouts, and are rebuilding their team. They need a lot more infrastructure.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are a solid No. 3 team. Leading the team is Raheem Morris, the youngest coach in the NFL at age 32. They let go of a boatload of veterans and used their 17th overall pick to draft Kansas State QB Josh Freeman. He is the understudy to Byron Leftwich, the Steelers free agent. The defense is full of younger players and no has caught my attention. Do I need to say more?
The Panthers are No. 2. Their defense is not looking good, all-pro middle linebacker Jon Beason is out with a sprained knee, and outside linebacker Thomas Davis has missed almost all of preseason with a similar injury. Let’s not forget defensive tackle Maake Kemoeato ruptured his Achilles. The offense is nothing to drop your pants over! They just have more going for them than the Bucs and the Falcons.
That leaves the No. 1 spot for the Saints. I think they can get back to where they were in 2006. Anything is possible with the 2008 NFL Offensive Player of the Year quarterback Drew Brees. The defense should be better this year with Gregg Williams stepping in as defensive coordinator. Williams added cornerback Jabari Green and free safety Darren Sharper.
In conclusion, here is what the NFC divisions will look like according to me: