NFL 2018 Season Preview: NFC Edition

There’s no better feeling than the start of the NFL season. Well, next to your favorite team winning the Super Bowl. Unfortunately, I have not experienced the latter, so I shall have to settle for the start of a new season.
As we prepare for the start of the 2018 season, every team — playoff contender or not — have big questions. And we’re here to ask them. Let’s start with the NFC, where the Philadelphia Eagles appears to be the favorite to win the conference. But they’re not to be undone by some strong NFC South opponents or those surprise teams that always seem to emerge every year.
Let’s break the NFC down by division:

NFC East

Is it even a question whether or not the Philadelphia Eagles are going to repeat as division champions? Even with Carson Wentz making his way back from a torn ACL, Nick Foles has proven that he can lead this offense in Wentz’s absence — and he has one of the NFL’s best defenses to back him up. The Dallas Cowboys certainly have the talent, but it’s all about being a complete team that seems to be their downfall each year. Dak Prescott hit a sophomore slump last year, but with Ezekiel Elliott, that should alleviate the pressure.The Washington Redskins replaced one talented quarterback with another bringing in Alex Smith. But after losing rookie Derrius Guice, the Redskins run game looked to be in trouble, which is why they brought in Adrian Peterson. Can Peterson help balance this offense? The New York Giants have concerns on both sides of the ball. In drafting Saquon Barkley, they’ve addressed their long-term need for stability and production at the running back position. But their defense still remains a huge question mark looming over them.

NFC North

While the Minnesota Vikings are the favorite to win the division, the NFC North could be a division that’s wide open considering a variety of factors. The Vikings have one of the league’s most potent defenses, and while they brought in Kirk Cousins to replace Case Keenum, there are certainly question marks around Cousins if he can produce like he did in Washington. For the Green Bay Packers, everything hinges on the health of Aaron Rodgers. The Packers are two different teams with and without Rodgers. If Rodgers can stay healthy, he’s proven he can carry this team to the playoffs. If not, it can certainly get ugly. The Detroit Lions have been searching for a running game for the past decade, and they might have their best backfield in years with rookie Kerryon Johnson and Legarrette Blount. Can the run game help alleviate some pressure off of Matthew Stafford? For the Chicago Bears, everything stems on the success and development of second-year quarterback Mitch Trubisky, who’s entering his first year in Matt Nagy’s offense. The Bears have a Top 10 defense, and if their offense can be productive, there’s no telling how good their team can be.

NFC South

The NFC South was a three-man race last season as the New Orleans Saints, Carolina Panthers, and Atlanta Falcons fought for control of a dominant NFC South. And there’s no reason as to why we shouldn’t expect the same this year. The Atlanta Falcons have the talent and the hype. But can they live up to the lofty expectations set upon them? Especially in the year where the Super Bowl will be held in their home stadium? The New Orleans Saints offense was a balanced powerhouse last season behind Drew Brees and dual-backfield featuring Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram. But with Ingram suspended for the first four games, who will back-up Kamara in his absence? The Carolina Panthers have a talented quarterback in Cam Newton. But the biggest issue for Newton has been his accuracy as a passer. Can we expect to see Newton become a threat in the air, as well as on the ground? Then you have the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who are trying to figure out if Jameis Winston is their guy. In year four, can Winston prove to this team that he’s a franchise quarterback? That is, after his three-game suspension.

NFC West

The Los Angeles Rams proved any team can go from worst to first as they bounded to a division title last year. But can the Rams maintain that success and the high expectations that have been thrust on them with their success? There’s an immense amount of hype surrounding the San Francisco 49ers following Jimmy Garoppolo’s success in his five games with the 49ers last season. But can Garoppolo live up to the hype now that teams are ready for him? Russell Wilson has been everything for the Seattle Seahawks. And while it’s been exciting to watch, it’s far from fair. Can the Seahawks lessen the pressure on Wilson and provide some support in the form of blocking, a run game, and average defense? Then you have the Arizona Cardinals, who are bringing in a new coach and new set of quarterbacks. While it appears as if Sam Bradford will get the start for Arizona, can we expect him to be the one finishing the season? Especially with rookie Josh Rosen waiting in the wings?
What are your thoughts on our NFC Questions? Do you agree? Disagree? Sound off in the comments below and make sure to subscribe to our channel:

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