Now that we’ve told you who to watch for from the AFC side of thing’s, let us take a look at the NFC’s representatives.
Packers: Mike McCarthy and Aaron Rodgers are joined at the hip like nobody’s business. The Pack’s infrastructure is built from adamantium, and is usually the case with the “always mentioned” squads in the NFL who just seem to get it right year in and year out. These cats’ don’t rebuild, they reload!! If you’ve got your money on this bunch to be the NFC rep in this year’s Super Bowl, I’d say that ‘s about as safe a bet as you can make.
Eagles: I know D Jack is no longer in the mix, but that won’t slow down Chip and co. not one bit. As it stands, I seem to have been DEAD WRONG about Chip and his brand of offense. This guy has already shown that he understands how to use, and get most out of whoever is on the roster; something the Browns – 15 yrs and counting- have yet to figure out. His offensive philosophy can be downright scary at times. Again, D Jack is a big loss, but I believe Chip will find a way to compensate for the loss.
Saints: There seems to be a common thread amongst teams that figure to consistently be in the mix. A good head coach (Payton), and a franchise QB (Brees), and what you get is a greater than 75% chance your team will be in post season conversation each and every go round. Nothing says that more than how the Saints fared during the 1- year suspension of Payton; Brees, and the rest of Benson’s Saints had an ok year, but not like the Super Bowl year when Payton was on the sidelines. As long as those two (Payton/Brees) are together, Saints are a playoff foregone conclusion.
Seahawks: We all know the Russell Wilson story by now. It’s a high crime that “Wilson Mania” falls far below “Manznia”, and Wilson has down far more in the way of production on the field as Manziel has in filming TV commercials; blame it on the basanova. This squad was a Marshawn Lynch fumble (on the 2-yd line) in 2012 against the Falcons from going to the Bowl that year. As long as the mantra in Hawks camp- “every week is championship week!”- remains the same, I see know reason why they shouldn’t repeat.
Cowboys: The boys’ have an absolute dawg in Dez Braynt; the question is, can Romo finally get over the regular season phenom, playoff putrid player he is now known for? I could give a crap less about QBR and any other stat people use to try and justify a players performance. What Romo lacks is unquantifiable. There is enough talent on this squad to make some noise, but it all starts with Tony.
Rams: I’m not so sure I clearly understand all the concern surrounding the loss of Bradford. He was slightly above average in my estimation, and not nearly worth the 13-16 million he is supposed to make next season. That doesn’t mean Shaun Hill will thrill, but Jeff Fisher is solid enough as an NFL head coach that I think the Rams will figure it out. Bradford going down does not hurt this squad like it would the Browns were Bradford in Cleveland. Because of Fisher, Rams will be a tough out for just about any team this season.
Cardinals: Arians, “Honey Badger”, Palmer, Peterson, and Fitzgerald. If the Cards are going to make any noise this season it’ll be up to these five to anchor a playoff push this season. I think it can be done, simply because Arians’ will give the oppositions DB’s a severe workout night in and night out, and a healthy Peterson/Honey Badger combo will make it a whole lot less stressful on the Cards’ pass rush. Not to mention Fitzgerald came very close to an 1,000 yrd season (952) in 2013 playing with what seemed like a myriad of qb’s.
Vikings: All Day Peterson should flourish under Norv Turner, who I think was prematurely ousted in Cleveland. If Vikes could get to a Wild Card (2012) against the Pack on “ALL DAYS” back, with Norv, they may just win a round this time.
Bears: Their version of ” The Big 3″ with Jeffery, Cutler, and Marshall, poses an offensive explosion that could be downright offensive once the lights come on. The question is, can the D bring something to the party? Anything? If so, Houston, the entire NFL will have a problem.
Well, that’ll do it for my teams to watch in 2014. As always, let us know what you think at: http://www.theshopreport.com.
Up Next: Week 1 matchup predictions