NFC has been the dominant conference for the last decade but somehow always ended up losing to Patriots led AFC more times than not. The times have changed and for the first time, Brady will be playing for Tampa Bay Bucs and the NFC. In the last article, we outlined the win-loss record for every AFC team. This article will go through every matchup of all the NFC teams and come up with the 7 playoff teams.
Dallas Cowboys – 10-6
Cowboys are stuck in Dak Prescott saga for the past 2 years and it is more complicated now than ever. Dallas signed Andy Dalton as their back up quarterback. Cowboys are stacked at every position and signing Dalton further proves that it is superbowl or bust for Jerry Jones. Mike McCarthy lost his footing at the end of his Packers tenure but he has been a better head coach than most in the league. Kellen Moore is the next big offensive genius and a 10-win season will require him to dial up plays like it’s 2017 and he is Sean McVay.
Best Match up – Week 1 - Los Angeles Rams: The 1st game at SoFi Stadium.
Philadelphia Eagles – 10-6
Carson Wentz proved that he is in the shortlist of best young quarterback who can lead a franchise without much talent around them. Wentz took a team without much help and boatload of injuries to the playoffs. Eagles will require a better run game than Miles Sanders from last year to achieve the 10 win season. NFC east has been a very volatile division with a below average Giants and Redskins team for the past few years.The 7 team playoff could help out the Eagles in the upcoming season.
Best Match Up – Week 7 – New York Giants: Giants will spoil the party for one of the two, Cowboys or Eagles.
New York Giants – 7-9
The more I watch Daniel Jones, the more I start to like him. The fumbling and inordinate amount of turn over is an issue but Giants team has bigger issues. Joe Judge is an unknown as a coach and the defense is not the sharpest to survive NFC east. Jason Garrett knows the division better than anyone and could be the dark horse in Giants success. 7 wins sound like a lot for a dysfunctional team but their smart drafting of offensive and defensive linemen could start the changing of trend.
Best Match Up – Week 13 – Arizona Cardinals: Murray VS Jones, 2019 draft saga.
Washington Redskins – 5-11
Redskins have finally started doing things the rightway. Ron Rivera was the hire of the year. Dwayne Haskin remains a question mark but Kyle Allen is better than media gives him credit for. The defense is old and the offense is lacking talent at skill position. It will require more than one year of work from Rivera to rebuilt this team to 90’s glory.
Best Match Up – Week 16 – Carolina Panthers: Rivera’s old team comes to DC. Revenge game.
Seattle Seahawks – 10-6
The only constant in NFL is, if you have Russell Wilson then he will win you at least 8 games on his own and then the rest of the team can conjure the remaining 2. Pete Carroll has been able to put out a competitive defense with minimal talent through his schemes and play calling. The running back position has not been the strongest for a run heavy team. An aging Lynch or signing Hyde in 2020 doesn’t sound like the solution either. NFC west is the strongest division in football and 10 wins might not even guarantee a playoff spot on the best of years.
Best Match Up – Week 16 – Los Angeles Rams: The match up always delivers.
Los Angeles Rams – 12-4
I am a Goff and McVay believer. Jalen Ramsey is in his contract year and I predict a defensive player of the year worthy performance. Even after a horrendous year, they had 9 wins. The defense will get better than last year when they were not able to stop a fly. McVay has proved enough to know that he will change his scheme and improve the playbook from last year. Goff might not be as good as Mahomes but has the potential to be a perennial top 10 quarterback for the next 10 year under the right system. 12-4 record sounds a bit exaggeration with 49ers and Seahawks in the division but I stay firm that people are sleeping on the 2020 Rams.
Best Match Up – Week 1 – Dallas Cowboys: The inauguration of SoFi stadium is a must win for LA Rams.
San Francisco 49ers – 11-5
Yes! I have predicted three 10 win teams from NFC west. The division is a monster, I am not confident with the 11 win prediction for 49ers. I trust Kyle Shanahan and his coaching but Superbowl hangover is a real thing. Has the Superbowl performance creeped in questions inside Garoppolo’s mind? No one will know till week 1. They kept strengthening the defensive line in the 1st round. Lynch has made it a point to stick with his plan on strengthening the trenches. It remains to be seen if not choosing a top end wide receiver was the best action in hindsight.
Best Match Up – Week 1 – Arizona Cardinals: What if Arizona is not bad after all?
Arizona Cardinals – 6-10
Even though Cardinals didn’t win a lot of games last year, they showed the potential of a Kyler Murray led offense under Kliff Kingsbury. Reports are coming out that Kliff is creating a transformational offense with Kyler Murray, I am hopeful. Kyler Murray has a live arm and pace unlike anyone else playing the position. He runs like Lionel Messi. Kyler Murray should be a legitimate dark horse in the MVP run for the coming season. Addition of Hopkins alongside Fitzgerald and 2nd year for Drake in the system should make the offense fascinating. Patrick Peterson had a bad year in defense but will require to return to his usual self for Cardinals to catch up with their division rivals.
Best Match Up – Week 12 – New England Patriots: How will Kyler do against chess master Bill Belichick.
Minnesota Vikings – 9-7
Vikings needs to do better than 9 wins but I don’t see a path for a better season. Stefon Diggs got traded to Bills and that adds to pressure on Adam Thielan. Kirk Cousins is a good quarterback but can he pull a team on his own like Wilson or Wentz? Vikings has a good team even after losing few key members through trade and free agency. Mike Zimmer might be in the hot seat if the season ends in mediocrity.
Best Match Up – Week 8 – Green Bay Packers: It will probably be a primetime game. Will Kirk rise under the lights or fall short, again?
Detroit Lions – 6-10
This will be the final year before Matt Patricia gets fired, I am not happy I said it but it sounds like a given. Matthew Stafford and his talents would keep getting wasted in motor city. The cycle of occasional victories sandwiched between sorrow and anger will continue for the Lions’ fans till the leadership improves at the ownership level.
Best Match Up – Every game sound boring.
Green Bay Packers – 11-5
This is shaping up to be a great Packer season. Jordan Love draft shook the Packers hierarchy. Aaron Rodgers is probably really pissed and no one should ever get Rodgers angry. Matt LeFluer wants to run the ball more like the 49ers after they ran all over the Packers defense in the championship game. That sounds like the wrong move when your quarterback is one of the best in the business. Even after making it to the top 4 teams, Green Bay feels like more turmoil than calm. 11 win might be few games too many and could easily switch record with the Vikings.
Best Match Up – Week 6 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Brady VS Rodgers, sold.
Chicago Bears – 3-13
Are they losing for Lawrence? Mitch Trubisky is not the answer and Foles is not good enough. David Montgomery was not good enough as the running back after being traded to replacing Jordan Howard. They picked Cole Kmet at TE position, who is not the best blocker and not the greatest of athlete. Their best offensive player Kyle Long retired and the first OT was picked in the 7th round by the Bears. Ryan Pace has managed to keep his job but for how long? If it comes to choosing another quarterback next draft, it won’t be him.
Best Match Up – Week 9 – Tennessee Titans: Derrick Henry VS Khalil Mack will be a great match up.
New Orleans Saints – 11-5
Saints probably have the most talented team and the deepest roster in the league alongside Dallas Cowboys. As good as Saints have been in the regular season, they have faltered consistently in playoffs. Tampa Bay improved exponentially on paper with the addition of Tom Brady as well. Theoretically, it looks unlikely for Saints to win less than 11 games unless Brees and Winston get hurt and Payton gets stranded in an island all at the same time. Brees’ age could catch up sooner than later but I am confident of Alvin Kamara having a bounce back season.
Best Match Up – Week 1 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Brady VS Brees. Holy Moly
Carolina Panthers – 3-13
The Panthers have a fairly new ownership, a new coaching staff and a new quarterback. The team is in ultimate transition within a very competitive division. Matt Rhule has been the ultimate success story but it will take him more than a season to establish the philosophy in Carolina. The team only drafted defensive tools this year but keeping up with high scoring Saints, Bucs and Falcons would be a big question.
Best Match Up – Week 7 – New Orleans Saints: Teddy Bridgewater revenge game.
Atlanta Falcons – 8-8
Falcons have the most 8-8 vibe of all time. They are the 2016 LA Rams under Jeff Fischer with a borderline hall of fame quarterback. Dan Quinn is also on the hot seat if they can’t make the playoffs. Injuries have derailed their season for the past two years but overpowering competition and underwhelming offensive playcalling will more than likely be their downfall in 2020.
Best Match Up – Week 15 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Atlanta Falcons shiver every time they see Tom Brady on the other end. Now they have to face him twice.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 11-5
Right after Tom Brady signed with Tampa Bay, I thought they could be chalked in for a minimum of 9 wins. After the schedule came out the win total has definitely gone up. Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Rob Gronkowski alongside everyone else is a lot to handle. The defense wasn’t the best but they had a very good run defense and the pieces in place to improve when playing with a lead. Bruce Arians is one of the most offensive minded coaches in the league and Bucs are prepared for a full blown fireshow. It is a now or never post Patriots vengeance tour for Brady .
Best Match Up- Week 7 – Las Vegas Raiders: Brady’s career kicked into the fast gear after the tuck rule game against Raiders and Jon Gruden. How will the first rematch in Tampa Bay Jersey go?
The new playoff rules will have 7 team instead of 6 coming out of each conference. The rule also reduces playoff bye from 2 teams per conference to only the 1. The May 2020 playoff prediction for NFC:
1. Los Angeles Rams
2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
3. Green Bay Packers
4. Dallas Cowboys
5. San Francisco 49ers
6. New Orleans Saints
7. Philadelphia Eagles
Wildcard Round Predictions:
#2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers VS #7 Philadelphia Eagles –
WINNER: #2 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
#3 Green Bay Packers VS #6 New Orleans Saints –
WINNER- #3 Green Bay Packers
#4 Dallas Cowboys VS #5 San Francisco 49ers –
WINNER – #4 Dallas Cowboys
#1 Los Angeles Rams VS #4 Dallas Cowboys –
WINNER: #1 Los Angeles Rams
#2. Tampa Bay Bucs VS #3 Green Bay Packers –
WINNER - #2 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Conference Championship Round:
#1 Los Angeles Rams VS #2 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
SUPERBOWL bound from NFC
#2 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
SuperBowl Match Up –
Cleveland Browns VS Tampa Bay Buccaneers –
WINNER: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Regular season MVP –
Jared Goff, Baker Mayfield, Patrick Mahomes
Defensive Player of the Year –
Myles Garrett, JJ Watt, Aaron Donald
Rookie of the Year –
Comeback Player of the Year –