Offseason Thoughts on Our NFC Compatriots

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Purple Domination
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Offseason Thoughts on Our NFC Compatriots

Post by Purple Domination » Sat Jul 14, 2018 11:27 am

I am curious what everyone thinks of the state of the other teams in the NFC and who you see competing for the NFCC and who you see being a nonfactor this upcoming season. As Paul Allen says this is the offseason and you have a right to change your opinion in September.

Watching the latest season of All or Nothing you can see what an impact injuries (and suspensions) have on a team. The Cowboys were without Zeke, Left Tackle, and Sean Lee much of the season and eeked out just above .500. I have not heard much noise about them this off-season, but I think the Cowboys could be poised to surprise this year (like they did two seasons ago). I think jettisoning Dez will also help them improve. I see them making the playoffs and advancing at least to the divisional round. This pains me to say as the Cowboys compete with the Packers as my most disliked teams.

Conversely, I think the Rams are poised for a sophomore slump with McVay. No doubt they improved their roster on paper this offseason, but now the pressure is on and it is a big question mark as to wether or not these big names can gel. Football is the ultimate team sport. Also, other coaches now have a year of tape on McVay as head coach which may help defensive coordinators catch up.

Not surprisingly, I think the road of the NFC will run through the Eagles. No significant drop offs, a young team and they get Wentz back. It’s hard to repeat (especially considering the parody in the NFL, specifically the NFC) but they are the undeniable team to beat in my opinion.

To put a finer point on this, here are my NFC Predictions:

NFC East Champ: Eagles
NFC North Champ: Vikings
NFC South Champ: Saints
NFC West Champ: Rams (least competitive division)
NFC Wild Card 1: Cowboys
NFC Wild Card 2: Falcons

This would mean that the Packers miss the playoffs two years in a row. I am sure many will say this is unlikely with Rogers in back. Last year did expose some glaring weaknesses, though. If the Packers get in, I think it is because the NFC South beats each other up enough that the second place team misses the wild card.

What do you think?!
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Re: Offseason Thoughts on Our NFC Compatriots

Post by mansquatch » Mon Jul 16, 2018 10:46 am

I would keep in mind that all three of the top NFC teams: Eagles, Vikings, and Rams played fluffy schedules last year. Of the three we probably had the toughest road, playing the NFC S. I agree on the Rams as being poised for a slump, but I think it has more to do with Goff and a 1st place schedule.

Larger point isn't to diminish what each team did, but to point out that this year they will all be playing 1st place schedules and dealing with the NFL meat grinder. Momentum can really matter in the NFL, as such I predict at least one of these teams will not be back in the post season and that assumes they stay healthy.
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Re: Offseason Thoughts on Our NFC Compatriots

Post by Cliff » Mon Jul 16, 2018 12:46 pm

I think it ends up like below. I think the Saints don't make it this year.


NFC East Champ: Eagles
NFC North Champ: Vikings
NFC South Champ: Falcons
NFC West Champ: Seahawks
NFC Wild Card 1: Rams
NFC Wild Card 2: Packers
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Re: Offseason Thoughts on Our NFC Compatriots

Post by Purple Domination » Mon Jul 16, 2018 2:13 pm

Cliff wrote:
Mon Jul 16, 2018 12:46 pm
I think the Saints don't make it this year.
Interesting. Do you see this because of an age related Drew Brees drop off? They have a strong crop of rookies from last year that will only be one year more experienced.
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Re: Offseason Thoughts on Our NFC Compatriots

Post by Purple Domination » Mon Jul 16, 2018 2:16 pm

mansquatch wrote:
Mon Jul 16, 2018 10:46 am
Larger point isn't to diminish what each team did, but to point out that this year they will all be playing 1st place schedules and dealing with the NFL meat grinder. Momentum can really matter in the NFL, as such I predict at least one of these teams will not be back in the post season and that assumes they stay healthy.
I agree this is a big factor. Your statement about momentum is what worries me about our first 5 games. All of them are tough and it’s important to get off on decent footing!
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Re: Offseason Thoughts on Our NFC Compatriots

Post by PurpleTears » Mon Jul 16, 2018 11:08 pm

It is murder's row the first 5 weeks for sure. But I like its at the start where defenses generally are closer to mid-season form than the offenses. I think a general defensive advantage is multiplied by our team D and familiarity with system and each other to start out in late season form and tip scales our way early.
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Re: Offseason Thoughts on Our NFC Compatriots

Post by mansquatch » Tue Jul 17, 2018 10:14 am

Our veteran defense is certainly an early season advantage when offenses are less crisp. I think facing Green Bay early is helpful in this regard also. Obviously this assumes we stay healthy.

In general by week 6 we'll have an idea of who is who. There will likely be a team playing a soft schedule that cranks out wins, there almost always seems to be one. (SF seems like a likely candidate this season) The usual vet teams with great QB play will also likely be winning games. (Ironically the last few seasons GB has struggled to do this.)

To me the risk in the NFC is that the team playing the wimpy schedule might win enough games that it will secure one of the top 2 seeds even though in terms of actual power it isn't the best team. Then there is tough competition for the other bye week slot, or there is no competition if another team goes on a dominating run. Bottom line, you need to win at least 12 games to feel like you have a shot at the bye. With a 1st place schedule there are more than four opportunities to either lay an egg or have a game stolen within the point margin.

Here is my rough power ranking of NFC teams

Elite Rosters:
Vikings
Philly (Curious to see if defense can play at same ferocity without "Wentz injury" to motivate them.)
Rams (I rate them below the other two, Goff isn't at this level yet IMO.)

Teams that can run:
SF (young, best coaching staff of this group)
Dallas (Front 7 on D good to great, best rushing team in NFL. Pass Defense / Offense weaknesses are significant.)
GB (Rogers still best QB in NFC, but rest of roster is poor)
NO (volatile team IMO)
CAR (I think this is the weakest team of the NFC S bunch)
ATL (If Defense improves could be real threat)

CHI might be an honorable mention. If they can stay healthy (their bugaboo the last two seasons.) they have a strong young roster with potential studs on both sides of the ball. Not sure if they'll develop into a winner this season, but the potential is there.
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Re: Offseason Thoughts on Our NFC Compatriots

Post by 808vikingsfan » Tue Jul 17, 2018 5:01 pm

mansquatch wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 10:14 am
Our veteran defense is certainly an early season advantage when offenses are less crisp. I think facing Green Bay early is helpful in this regard also. Obviously this assumes we stay healthy.

In general by week 6 we'll have an idea of who is who. There will likely be a team playing a soft schedule that cranks out wins, there almost always seems to be one. (SF seems like a likely candidate this season) The usual vet teams with great QB play will also likely be winning games. (Ironically the last few seasons GB has struggled to do this.)

To me the risk in the NFC is that the team playing the wimpy schedule might win enough games that it will secure one of the top 2 seeds even though in terms of actual power it isn't the best team. Then there is tough competition for the other bye week slot, or there is no competition if another team goes on a dominating run. Bottom line, you need to win at least 12 games to feel like you have a shot at the bye. With a 1st place schedule there are more than four opportunities to either lay an egg or have a game stolen within the point margin.

Here is my rough power ranking of NFC teams

Elite Rosters:
Vikings
Philly (Curious to see if defense can play at same ferocity without "Wentz injury" to motivate them.)
Rams (I rate them below the other two, Goff isn't at this level yet IMO.)

Teams that can run:
SF (young, best coaching staff of this group)
Dallas (Front 7 on D good to great, best rushing team in NFL. Pass Defense / Offense weaknesses are significant.)
GB (Rogers still best QB in NFC, but rest of roster is poor)
NO (volatile team IMO)
CAR (I think this is the weakest team of the NFC S bunch)
ATL (If Defense improves could be real threat)

CHI might be an honorable mention. If they can stay healthy (their bugaboo the last two seasons.) they have a strong young roster with potential studs on both sides of the ball. Not sure if they'll develop into a winner this season, but the potential is there.
I think I would put NYG and DET above CHI. Maybe even TB.
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Re: Offseason Thoughts on Our NFC Compatriots

Post by mansquatch » Wed Jul 18, 2018 10:11 am

808vikingsfan wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 5:01 pm
I think I would put NYG and DET above CHI. Maybe even TB.
I'm not sold on DET, but I agree on the Giants. Curious to see what happens with their defense. TB still needs to prove it. They were supposed to be a darling last year, yet the completely fell apart.
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Re: Offseason Thoughts on Our NFC Compatriots

Post by Tavern_Wino » Wed Jul 18, 2018 3:01 pm

Personally- I don't see the Rams regressing at all. I think they are going to be very strong. Sean McVey can coach his rear off and that team has clearly bought in. It will be interesting to see how much Jared Goff has progressed.

That division should be a fun one to watch- but I think LA comes out on top and are a contender to win the NFCC and represent in the SB.
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Re: Offseason Thoughts on Our NFC Compatriots

Post by Raptorman » Wed Jul 18, 2018 7:32 pm

Purple Domination wrote:
Mon Jul 16, 2018 2:16 pm
I agree this is a big factor. Your statement about momentum is what worries me about our first 5 games. All of them are tough and it’s important to get off on decent footing!
First place schedule is only 2 games. Not a big difference. IF, those teams are the same as last year, which often they are not. For example.

In 2017
Packer played Cowboys and Seahawks. 1st place teams from the year before.
Vikings played Redskins and Rams.

IN 2018

Packer play Redskins and Falcons
Vikings play Eagles and Saints.
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Re: Offseason Thoughts on Our NFC Compatriots

Post by Raptorman » Wed Jul 18, 2018 7:35 pm

mansquatch wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 10:14 am
Our veteran defense is certainly an early season advantage when offenses are less crisp. I think facing Green Bay early is helpful in this regard also. Obviously this assumes we stay healthy.

In general by week 6 we'll have an idea of who is who. There will likely be a team playing a soft schedule that cranks out wins, there almost always seems to be one. (SF seems like a likely candidate this season) The usual vet teams with great QB play will also likely be winning games. (Ironically the last few seasons GB has struggled to do this.)
San Frans fist 7 games. Vikings, Lions, Chiefs, Chargers, Cardinals, Packers, Rams. IF they are even close to .500 then they are a good team.
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Re: Offseason Thoughts on Our NFC Compatriots

Post by Purple Domination » Wed Jul 18, 2018 10:52 pm

Raptorman wrote:
Wed Jul 18, 2018 7:35 pm
San Frans fist 7 games. Vikings, Lions, Chiefs, Chargers, Cardinals, Packers, Rams. IF they are even close to .500 then they are a good team.
Yikes, that is challenging. I am curious how the Cards will be this year with Bradford. I will be rooting for him this year in all games but one. If he can play all 16 games he should have a decent opportunity. Although you have to believe that Fitz will drop off sometime.
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Re: Offseason Thoughts on Our NFC Compatriots

Post by Cliff » Thu Jul 19, 2018 9:21 am

Purple Domination wrote:
Mon Jul 16, 2018 2:13 pm
Interesting. Do you see this because of an age related Drew Brees drop off? They have a strong crop of rookies from last year that will only be one year more experienced.
The first thing that led me there is I don't think 3 teams from the NFC South make it again this season. The panthers and Falcons both have easier schedules. The saints are tied with the 2nd most difficult.The teams were so close in talent that I think the strength of schedule pushes them to 3rd. The Saints dropped both games to the Falcons last year and split with the Panthers. I think Atlanta takes the NFC South the Packers and Rams have better chances of getting those wild card spots.
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Re: Offseason Thoughts on Our NFC Compatriots

Post by akvikingsfan » Thu Jul 19, 2018 10:51 am

Cliff wrote:
Thu Jul 19, 2018 9:21 am
The first thing that led me there is I don't think 3 teams from the NFC South make it again this season. The panthers and Falcons both have easier schedules. The saints are tied with the 2nd most difficult.

The teams were so close in talent that I think the strength of schedule pushes them to 3rd. The Saints dropped both games to the Falcons last year and split with the Panthers. I think Atlanta takes the NFC South the Packers and Rams have better chances of getting those wild card spots.
Interesting tid bit from the article Cliff linked:

3 of the last 4 Super Bowl champs had the 10th hardest schedule (the 4th team had the 9th hardest). This year there’s 4 way tie at 8th place (so it encompasses 8-11).

The Vikings are one of the teams in that tie. This is our year! Skol!
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