The NFL season is approaching fast with just over two weeks left until the Seattle Seahawks host the Green Bay Packers in the regular-season opener. Are those two still among the favorites to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl?
We gathered our staff and posed this question to them:
"Who is your favorite to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl?"
The NFC has more championship caliber teams than the AFC, but I am going with a team that has been mostly forgotten – the Green Bay Packers. They still have the best QB in the NFC (if not the entire NFL) in Aaron Rodgers, they have good weapons surrounding Rodgers (Nelson, Cobb, Lacy, Boykin) and they have improved their defense with the addition of a Pro Bowler in Julius Peppers, and a potential impact safety in Ha Ha Clinton-Dix.
Until they get knocked off their throne, I have to go with the Seattle Seahawks. With a defense that outstanding, they should be in every game this season and have the opportunity to continue what they showed the league last season.
The San Francisco 49ers were a few inches away from beating Seattle in the NFC Championship game last season. Since then, they've added offensive weapons including Stevie Johnson and Brandon Lloyd. The 49ers are the best team in the NFC and should be the favorites.
I think it might be San Francisco this year. Seattle will be neck-and-neck with them, while teams like New Orleans, Arizona and even a sneaky Washington, don't call them the Redskins, squad.
The NFC has a lot more teams that are capable of making Super Sunday. It's going to be extremely hard for the Seahawks to get out of this division again. I can see a Super Bowl hangover costing them home field advantage this year, thus no 12th man throughout, no repeat.
The 49ers have too much off-the-field baggage this year for my liking. Crabtree is in a contract year, Kaep just got a big deal, and Aldon is being Aldon. I am going with a little bit of a shocker for the NFC winner; all hail the new NFC champions, the New Orleans Saints.
Rob Ryan with his weird hairdo has turned this once porous defense into one that is much, much better. It is now a unit they can be relied on to make stops when they are needed. Jarius Byrd and Kenny Vaccaro are controlling the middle of the field and Champ Bailey is providing leadership to Stanley Jean-Baptiste, one of my top CBs in the class on my board.
This defense will be a middle of the road, if not better defense. With Drew Brees and Jimmy "grab every ball in sight" Graham on the other side of the ball, that is all they will need. The offense will be just as potent as in previous years with Brandon Cook filling the Darren Sproles void.