The New Six
1. Philadelphia Eagles – NFC East Unlike the New York Jets, the Eagles seems to have reasonably settled locker room turmoil by paying the good players and tossing the bad ones. Remember, this team was considered a bust with an 8-8 record, but still put up the 4th best overall offensive in the NFL last season. Further, Philly had the 8th best overall defensive to pair with it, and with a draft spiked with big time defensive talent, the Eagles are poised to move up and make a deep post season run.
2. Chicago Bears – NFC North Wild Card Two things kept the Bears from edgingDetroit last season: ineffectively protecting Jay Cutler and not giving Jay Cutler a viable receiver. Both of those problems have been solved; the former during the second half of the season and the second with the acquisition of Brandon Marshall and the drafting of Alshon Jeffery. The defense is very hungry, and behind someone like Brian Urlacher for whom the time is quickly becoming now or never, Chicago is ready for a surge
3. Dallas Cowboys – NFC East Wild Card The Romo-Coaster is about to come screaming off the tracks. Another team that went 8-8 from the NFC East, the Dallas Cowboys cut a lot of fat this off-season and lucratively picked Brandon Carr to replace the aging Terrance Newman. With Tyron Smith immerging at left tackle, Dez Bryant looking like a Pro-Bowl talent and DeMarcus Ware easily looking at a double-digit sack season, the Cowboys should find themselves in the hunt this year. …and they drafted some cornerback from LSU too…
4. Kansas City – AFC West In this case, its divisional. Earlier,Denver’s situation was mentioned, so that much should be clear. Oakland is a consideration as a wild card, but their weakness in their linebacker corps and defensive front weren’t addressed during a tumultuous off-season. Without that, it will be difficult for them to take advantage facing down the AFC North and the NFC South. As forSan Diego?,,, The Chargers are never going to the play-offs with Uncle Norv as a head coach. Never ever.
5. Buffalo Bills – AFC East Wild Card This is a dicey call. WhileOakland seems like they might get the Wild Card scraps that the AFC North doesn’t gobble up, the Bills really only have one contender in their division to worry about and relatively weak opponents in the AFC South and NFC West. Their record will likely be deceivingly good next year.
6. Carolina Panthers – NFC South Witness the rising of Cam Newton. With Luke Kuechly, the Panthers have the quarterback of their defensive in the mix now too. Offensively, they are always the hunt, but now up to the piece-mealed secondary to see how good it can be. It’s very likely that Atlanta and Carolina will run a very tight race for the division with the winner seeing daylight and second place going back to the house.