We will take a look around the NFL at each conference as well as what team we think will take home the Lombardi Trophy in 2014.
Entering the 2014 NFL Season, the NFC might be the tougher of the two conferences from the top to the bottom. When we look around at all four of the division, making up the NFC we see multiple teams in each division that could compete for the Super Bowl. Out West, the Seattle Seahawks will look to repeat as Super Bowl Champs in a division that also includes the San Francisco 49ers, Arizona Cardinals and St. Louis Rams. The Seahawks might be the favorites heading into the season, but the 49ers are built to win now.
In the NFC North we see it as a three team race between the Green Bay Packers, Chicago Bears and the Detroit Lions. The hiring of Jim Caldwell has a direct impact on quarterback Matt Stafford and if he can get him to reduce the costly turnovers the Lions could be the team to beat. We still think the Packers are the favorite as long as Aaron Rodgers stays healthy for the entire season.
Down South we see four teams that have the talent to compete now that Lovie Smith is leading the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Last season we saw injuries take a toll on both the Atlanta Falcons and Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the teams lost key starters. Now Doug Martin and Julio Jones will be back for the upcoming season. In the end the New Orleans Saints high powered offense might be too much to stop at the division.
The last NFC division the East might be the weakest of all the divisions We see it coming down to the Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Redskins. The Redskins are just one full season removed from winning the division and added key deep threat DeSean Jackson to pair up with Pierre Garcon. The Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants will need both quarterbacks to play mistake free for all 16 games in order to compete.
NFC Division Winners:
East – Washington Redskins
West – Seattle Seahawks
North – Green Bay Packers
South – New Orleans Saints
Wild Card 1 – Chicago Bears
Wild Card 2 – San Francisco 49ers
Earlier on favorites are the Denver Broncos after the team landed key defensive free agents DeMarcus Ware, Aqib Talib and T.J. Ward. The West might be the deepest division in the AFC as the Oakland Raiders have made some moves this off-season to help put themselves in the picture with the Kansas City Chiefs, San Diego Chargers and Broncos. We see both the Chargers with the loss of offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt and the Kansas City Chiefs taking a small step back.
In the AFC North, Andy Dalton will look to get the Cincinnati Bengals back to the postseason with a very difficult road ahead of them. The Baltimore Ravens might be the team to watch as the team brought in Gary Kubiak to be the offensive coordinator. The dark horse at this point looks to be the Cleveland Browns, but that could change if Johnny Manziel plays at a high level.
Over in the East division, we have no real favorite as we like the New England Patriots defense, but concerns on the offense with the health of Rob Gronkowksi and lack of talent at the receiver position could open the division up. If Ryan Tannehill can continue his development in 2014 we like the Miami Dolphins.
The last division has Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts as the team to beat. The team added Art Jones on the defensive side of the ball to bolster the defensive line. The team to watch though will be the Tennessee Titans with Ken Whisenhunt as the offensive coordinator.
AFC Division Winners:
East – Miami Dolphins
West – Denver Broncos
North – Baltimore Ravens
South – Indianapolis Colts
Wild Card 1 – Pittsburgh Steelers
Wild Card 2 – Tennessee Titans
Super Bowl Matchup:
Green Bay Packers Verse Indianapolis Colts
Super Bowl XLIX Champion:
Green Bay Packers