2008 NFL Preview: The NFC

Before I begin the NFC preview, here is a thought on Tom Brady. Brady seems to be a very good guy and a great competitor. For that, I am sorry that he was injured, as nobody should wish injuries on any player unless his name his Tony Romo. As for Bill Belichick, I think most of us would like to say this: good luck covering up this injury and running up the score on the rest of the NFL now you lying, cheating, arrogant S.O.B. Now, on to the NFC, where the balance of power in the league has suddenly shifted.


1. N.Y. Giants: Why not? I have not seen one NFL preview that has put the Giants on top of their own division. I have seen several that have ranked them third or last. Sure the Giants lost Strahan and Osi, but they have more than enough depth to compensate, as shown by their opener against Washington. The Giants secondary has improved and the linebacking corps is strong and was bolstered by the addition of Danny Clark. Furthermore, the D-line remains one of the best in the league. On the other side of the ball, one of the best O-lines in the league protects a now confident Eli Manning, who has as many weapons to throw the ball to as any quarterback in football. Plaxico Burress is finally happy, healthy and ready to tear up the NFC. As for the running game, ask LaRon Landry how tough Brandon Jacobs is.

2. Dallas Cowboys: Everyone’s favorite to win the Super Bowl this year, America’s team looked sharp in their opener. They are extremely talented on both sides of the ball and are stacked with big names and Pro Bowlers. Unfortunately for the Cowboys, the same was true the last two years, and they have no ring to show for it. As talented as Tony Romo is, to borrow a line from a favorite sportswriter of mine, the man loves winning more than he hates losing. That mindset is not going to work in the hostile Meadowlands in the playoffs.

3. Philadelphia Eagles: It can be argued that the Eagles are one of the top seven teams in the league. That still leaves them third in the NFC Beast. McNabb is healthy and Westbrook is one of the best in the league. Yet there still remain questions in the receiving corps and on the defensive front.

4. Washington Redskins: Every year the Skins make a big signing, and every year they end up towards the bottom of the division. The team certainly has talent, but Jason Campbell is a question mark and rookie Head Coach Jim Zorn looked very shaky against the G-men.


1. Chicago Bears: What do you think Kyle Orton’s record as a starting quarterback is? Bet you wouldn’t have guessed 12-6. If Trent Dilfer can win the Super Bowl, why can’t the Bears win a relatively weak NFC North? They proved they can beat the powerhouses with a convincing Week 1 victory over Indy.

2. Green Bay Packers: Yes, the Packers played a game without Brett Favre last Monday. And yes, the sun did rise on Tuesday. There is a world without Brett Favre, and surprisingly, it seems to be a good one for the Pack. Rodgers looked very good in the opener and with the weapons he has on offense, things look bright for the Pack.

3. Minnesota Vikings: Adrian Peterson is unbelievable. Tavaris Jackson is unbelievably bad. As long as Peterson can stay healthy, the Vikings will have a shot at the division. The Vikings have the best defensive line in the league, yet their secondary is relatively weak. If Jackson can somehow put forth some decent efforts, the Vikes may have a shot at the playoffs.

4. Detroit Lions: Same old Lions. Kitna is decent, and there is plenty of talent at the receiver position. The defense is still terrible, GM Matt Millen is still terrible at what he does, and the Lions will again finish at the bottom of the division.


1. New Orleans Saints: For anyone who even began to write off Reggie Bush, he responded in Week 1. If Reggie begins to fulfill his immense potential with Drew Brees at the helm and Marques Colston and Jeremy Shockey receiving, the Saints offense will be one of the best in the league. If the defense can keep pace, the Saints will do some damage.

2. Carolina Panthers: The Panthers have not made too much noise in the past couple years, but Jake Delhomme is back after Tommy John surgery and looks as good as ever. The Panthers have one of the best receivers in football in Steve Smith and a rookie running back in Jonathan Stewart, who has impressed so far. Julius Peppers is one of the best players in the NFL period, and the Panthers have a strong secondary to boot.

3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: No John Gruden team will ever go down without a fight. That being said, Jeff Garcia is on the downside of his career. Their starting running back is Earnest Graham, if you haven’t heard of him, neither has most of America. It is unbelievable that Joey Galloway is still in the league, let alone starting at wide receiver for the Bucs. Tampa may be in for a tough year.

4. Atlanta Falcons: Matt Ryan was awesome in his first game. Michael Turner was even better. Everybody wrote off the Falcons before the season even started, and the 34 spot they put up in week one may change some minds.


This division is absolutely atrocious, and it does not deserve my in-depth analysis. Not only is it possible, but it is likely that the winner of this division finishes under .500. I think that Colgate’s IM flag football champion could compete in this pathetic excuse for an NFL division. That’s all I have to say about that.


It is not going out on a limb to say that a team from the NFC East will represent the conference in the Super Bowl, as arguably the three best teams in the NFC are in the East. Which one of the three will do it? Ask any true Giants fan the one way last season’s magical run could have been better. The answer: if Bruce Springsteen played at the Super Bowl Halftime show. The Boss himself will grace Tampa Bay with his presence for Super Bowl XLIII. As will the New York Football Giants, who will defeat the Pittsburgh Steelers to repeat as champions.