At first glance The NFC looks like it will be dominated by teams from the NFC East and the NFC South in 2010. This seems to be the case because New Orleans, Washington, Atlanta, Philadelphia and the New York Giants all seem to have a legitimate chance of making it to the playoffs out of the NFC in 2010.
However, we mustn’t dismiss San Francisco, Dallas or Green Bay because they too have a chance for at least a wild card berth. As a result, the NFC might have at least 10 teams who have a legitimate chance to make the NFC playoffs! To see what I mean, here are my NFC playoff predictions for 2010…(All 2010 pre-season stats were provided by courtesy of www.nfl.com/.)
—San Francisco is my choice to win the Wild NFC West because they seem to finally have a decent offensive line. If it can play well, then Alex Smith will finally get to show us why he is one of the division’s best quarterbacks. If that happens, look for the 49ers to win the NFC West in 2010.
—New Orleans is coming back from a fairy tale season rip roaring and ready to go in 2010. They looked awfully good on offense during the pre-season scoring 14 touchdowns and 8 field goals in just four games. and if they can just play even moderately well on defense, they have a heck of a chance to repeat as NFC champions. As a result, I think they can easily win the NFC South again.
—Minnesota seems to be the most complete team out of the NFC North. Bret Farve’s offensive looked solid in the pre-season. It averaged over 300 yards per game and 3 touchdowns per game in the pre-season. If the defense can hold opponents to less than 80 yards per game on the ground like they did in the pre-season, they should be one of the favorites to make it back to the NFC title game.
—Washington’s new coach, Mike Shanahan, has a lot of weapons on both sides of the ball to work with. For example, newly acquired QB Donovan McNabb looks to get off to a quick start to prove that his trade from Philadelphia was not a fluke.
However, Washington’s running game needs fine tuning to compete for the NFC East crown. I think they will find a way to run the ball more effectively because RB Clinton Portis and RB Larry Johnson are two of the game’s most consistent runners. This, and the Redskins’ improved defense, makes them my choice to win the NFC East by a nose of Dallas and the New York Giants.
–Dallas is my choice for one of the two NFC wildcards in 2010 because they have enough tools on both sides of the ball to win some close intra-divisional games. That being said, QB Tony Romo and rookie WRs Dez Bryant must do better during the season for the Cowboys to do well. Furthermore, Dallas’s secondary must find more ways to create turnovers or it’s going to be a long season in the Big D.
–Finally, the New York Giants are a team that could win any other division in the NFC because they have one of the best quarterbacks in the game in Eli Manning. This season, Manning has a very talented and young receiving corps who could do well against Dallas and Philadelphia this season. This extra edge gives them my nod for the last NFC wildcard spot in 2010.