Minnesota Vikings 50/1
The question that will be haunting Minnesota all year is whether the Vikes will sail off to warmer climes — Los Angeles specifically. The bridge collapse means infrastructure will get money before a new football stadium (rightly), and a decidedly lame team means that few people will care. Other than geographically, these guys are going nowhere.
I am convinced Tarvaris Jackson got his name off the R&B charts from the '80s.
New Orleans Saints 14/1
I will admit it. Last year I was a hater. I was so turned off by all the feel-good wankery surrounding the Saints that I turned on them. This year, I can be more objective. There is no reason Drew Brees, Reggie Bush, and the rest of the offense won't be even better than last year, but a word of caution: the Saints have a substandard defense that overachieved last year. Trying to promote them as heroes and saviors again will be like living in the bayou without flood insurance. They'll take the division, but won't dominate.
New York Giants 30/1
Ah yes, the team that put the "fun" in "dysfunctional." The Giants' locker room is bitchier than a Desperate Housewife's Tupperware party. You could argue that the Giants thrive on catty snipes and petty disputes, but their best offensive player has retired, their best defensive player keeps talking about retiring, their coach is hated and ignored, and the QB has a Slow Children Playing sign over his locker and he's not sure why. Enjoy the drama Giants fans, 'cause that's all you'll have.
Philadelphia Eagles 20/1
So much has been made of Donovan McNabb feelings insulted by the drafting of Kevin Kolb (he wasn't) and Jeremiah Trotter being released (not the big deal it has been made out to be) and Andy Reid's son's drug problems (real, but not relevant), you would think the Eagles are a fragile mess like the Giants. They're not. The Eagles are solid and remarkably deep.
Donovan McNabb is fast approaching his last shot at the Pantheon, and I can't think of a QB in the league who deserves a ring more than him. He's put up with a lot — the Philly press corps, Rush Limbaugh, T.O., injuries, being shown up by Jeff Garcia, habitual puking — and he's back for more. That makes this a veteran team with proven capabilities and a seriously motivated (and newly bald) QB. At 20/1 Philly is our best bet in the NFC. (Have I mentioned you shouldn't be betting on futures?)