I already wrote about how I don’t know dick about the NFL, so I’ll spare you the bullshit and cut straight to the goddamn chase. My favorite team — the Kansas City Chiefs — plays in the AFC. As such, I pay markedly more attention to that conference. So when I tell you that even though I follow football I’m not a “football guy,” it goes double for the NFC.
Last year the Los Angeles Rams took the football world by storm, signing all manner of big-name free agents and parlaying a Jared Goff-led offense into the best record in the NFL and a Super Bowl appearance. That’s really fucking cool, but it also sucks because, for one, they lost the Super Bowl, and for two, they won’t have nearly as good of a season in 2019.
But the NFC is pretty cool. I don’t know shit about the NFC, but I do know exactly how the season is going to play out. Here’s how it’s gonna go:
This division figures to be a two-team race between the Philadelphia Eagles (who are going to win it) and the Dallas Cowboys (who are not going to win it). The Eagles are going to be good because quarterback Carson Wentz is in his second year back from a torn ACL, and he has all sorts of weapons available at his disposal. Also, 25% of their games are going to be against the New York Giants and Washington Redskins, both who should factor into the discussion of Worst Teams In The League. That’s excellent news for the Eagles, who are going to win 11 games.
The Cowboys, on the other hand, are run by a piece of shit owner, have a head coach that somehow continues to win, and have a quarterback who annually overachieves. The reason all these ingredients all seem to work are because the Cowboys are blessed with a strong running game, a good defense, and a solid offensive line. While on paper those things ought to carry Dallas to a winning season, I’m going to protest and say they go 7-9. Mostly since the aforementioned Jerry Jones is a piece of shit and I want him to fail.
The Giants and Redskins are both going to be bad. The question is really how bad. I tend to think the Giants have the skeletal structure of a team on the rise, but as far as 2019 is concerned I think they are a 6-win team. The Redskins are anyone’s guess, but Case Keenum is their quarterback and they have a racist mascot. So I’ll take them to finish in last place.
This is probably my second favorite division in the NFC, and mostly due to the fact that I don’t really have anything against any of these teams. Aaron Rodgers has been my favorite quarterback of the last decade, and I’m the high man on the Packers since they have a new coach and I think Rodgers isn’t going to lay down like he did last year under Mike McCarthy.
The Chicago Bears had a great year in 2018; they won their division and ex-Chiefs offensive coordinator Matt Nagy won Coach Of The Year. That’s fucking rad. The problem this year is they will be playing a harder schedule, their historically awesome defense won’t be able to duplicate the 36 takeaways they managed last season, and they are quarterbacked by Mitch Tribisky, who won’t be in the league in three years. I would hammer the under 9.5 wins.
Kirk Cousins gets a pretty bad wrap, but I kinda dig him. I don’t know why. The Vikings should have a top-10 defense in 2019, and their offense — with RB Dalvin Cook, WRs Stephon Diggs and Adam Thielen, and TE Kyle Rudolph — has all the makings of, at worst, league average. The fight for the North will be between Green Bay and Minnesota, but I like both to make the postseason.
The Lions are whack. I like Matt Stafford, but they still play at Ford Field, and Henry Ford was a Nazi sympathizer. Fuck that guy. 5-11.
This is where things start to get interesting. The NFC South is supposed to be property of the New Orleans Saints (again), but something tells me Drew Brees shot his load for One Last Great Year in 2018 and won’t be able to give a repeat performance. Everyone, including Vegas, seems bullish on the Saints to win the division again in 2019. I’m going against the grain because the Saints’ success is boring to me, and I want to see another team win.
Who’s that team going to be? I say that team is the Atlanta Falcons. They had some bad luck with injuries last year, but when you look at their offense it still looks pretty fucking solid. Could I name many of their defensive players? Not really. One of their cornerbacks has the last name “Kazee,” which is kind of neat because he went to the same high school I did (and his older brother was a stud running back when I went there). That’s good enough reason to pick the Falcons (+375) to win the South.
Another team I like to make a comeback in 2019 are the Carolina Panthers. Not much was heard from them last year, but I know they still have Cam Newton at quarterback and Christian McCaffrey at running back. Maybe that doesn’t mean very much, but to me it looks like a 9-7 or 10-6 season, and I’m into that. Who doesn’t like the Panthers? Have you seen their team colors?
I think Tampa Bay finishes in last place, but even there it wouldn’t totally shock me if they came out of nowhere and won 8 or 9 games. They’ve got a new coach, Bruce Arians, and maybe he’s the guy to finally get the best out of perennial underachiever and overall scumbag Jameis Winston. Do I really want them to have a good year? Not really. But since I don’t think this is the year for the Saints, I could definitely envision the floor rising for everyone else.
Don’t get me wrong, I still like the Rams to win the division. But rather than 13-3, or however they finished last year, I picture something closer to 10-6 and a division win by default.
The 49ers are pretty cool, but I think they are still a year away. The Seahawks are always a team I (sort of) root for, but to me they are stuck in that bubble of 8-8 or 9-7. The Cardinals have a dope young head coach, and a dope young number one overall pick playing quarterback. I’m kind of rooting for everyone in this division, but the safe pick is the Rams, and I don’t really have a decent enough argument to make in favor of anybody else.
Below are my seedings and projections for the NFC:
Wild Card Round
@Rams 24, Panthers 20
Vikings 26, @Falcons 24
@Packers 30, Rams 20
Vikings 19, @Eagles 17
@Packers 23, Vikings 20