Football Friday: The NFC at the Half

This week, I have decided that for the remainder of the season I will be blogging about the NFL on Fridays. As an Eagles fan, it’s most likely that these blogs will be about the Eagles quite often, but today’s focus will be primarily on how the NFL season is shaping up at the half way mark for the NFC.

Power Football

No one… there are honestly no teams that strike fear in anyone’s hearts. The New York Giants could become the powerhouse team with another couple of wins, but it’s hard to fear them just yet.

The GOOD Teams

This is where we start with the New York Giants. Hakeem Nicks is starting to become the true #1 target that the Giants have needed since Plax shot himself in the leg. The run game has begun to click again after a disastrous 2009-2010 season. The defense has played well and is closer to the Superbowl team’s D than last year’s for sure. There are still holes, but it’s hard to argue that they appear to be one of the best teams in the NFC at this point, if not the best.

The Atlanta Falcons are still the best team in the South, even if Raheem Morris disagrees. Michael Turner is a beast and Roddy White has quietly continued his reign as one of the NFL’s best WRs. The defense can improve, but is playing pretty well overall.

The Philadelphia Eagles are the other team in the East. The old saying is that a team with two quarterbacks is a team with no quarterback, but this year’s Birds squad may be the exception. The team is young and going through growing pains, but when they are at their best, they are as good as anyone in the NFC. Not to mention that Trent Cole is making a run at Defensive Player of the Year with his great play this season.

While not the Superbowl favorite team most expected, the Green Bay Packers are still a team to be considered as one of the best in the NFC. If healthy, this team could still be tops, but then again no excuse is a good excuse. Clay Matthews is most likely a robot, because he simply cannot be a human.

I’d love to include a team from each division, but why even pretend that the West has a contender. A team from the West will make the playoffs by default, that is all. Expect the winner of that division to be about 8-8 (maybe 9-7 with some luck). The St. Louis Rams are one of the most improved teams in the league, but aren’t there yet. On the other hand, the New Orleans Saints and Tampa Bay Buccaneers both are on the verge of being in this category. The Saints are unimpressive, but have a good record and a great chance to do something… though I wouldn’t hold my breath if I were a fan. The Bucs are playing well, but it’s hard to buy in just yet. If they beat the Falcons on the road this week, then I’m buying.

Ugly, Ugly, Ugly

The NFC West is ugly, as noted above. Every team could be included here as far as this blogger is concerned.

The Dallas Cowboys went from Superbowl pick to bottom of the heap. As an Eagles fan, I love what’s happening in Big D. Jerry Jones is shrewd, so I expect him to make some good business decisions as the year goes on. For example, don’t expect to see Tony for the rest of the year. Expect several other players to develop season ending hangnails. With the season out of reach, tanking for a top 5 pick makes sense and Jerry Jones knows this.

The current joke of the league is the Minnesota Vikings. I think taking a shot of that is unwarranted, seeing as they do enough of that themselves. If Brad Childress isn’t unemployed come the end of the season, I’ll be astounded.

While the Chicago Bears are not ugly yet, Jay Cutler is. With the surprise play of the Detroit Lions, don’t be surprised when da Bears end up the worst of the North.

Are the Carolina Panthers even in the league anymore?

Closing Notes

In this weak and confusing NFC landscape, I cannot pretend to have any real predictions, but for good measure, here is my guess at the playoff picture:

1 – Atlanta Falcons
2 – New York Giants
3 – Green Bay Packers
4 – Seattle Seahawks
5 – Philadelphia Eagles
6 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers

I won’t pretend that I’m confident with these predictions. The East could go to the Birds. The West could go to the Rams. The Saints may get a wildcard. Who knows? This year has been a crazy one in the NFC… and in the NFL as a whole. Next week, I’ll look at the AFC at the half-way mark.

~ by thepaintedman on November 5, 2010.

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