Wait, what’s that?
You say that the Atlanta Falcons are the team to beat in the NFC based on last year’s trip to the Super Bowl?
Well, if last Sunday night’s rematch of Super Bowl LI at Foxboro, Massachusetts was any indication, I have serious doubts. As though that game wasn’t enough, back-to-back losses to the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins the two previous weeks offer more evidence that the defending NFC Champions might not be the class of the conference.
Two years ago it was the Carolina Panthers who strolled into Levi’s Stadium to bring about the end of the Peyton Manning era, but lost to the Broncos in Super Bowl 50. Most glaring is Carolina’s record of 10-13 since that loss.
The Seattle Seahawks were kings of the NFC for Super Bowls XLVIII and XLIX, but weren’t the same team a year ago in finishing 10-5-1 and now sit 4-2 in the NFC West – still a good team, but certainly beatable.
The Rams are 5-2, but held on to beat the winless ‘Niners and still lost to the Washington Redskins and the aforementioned Seahawks. There’s some impressive wins in there, but I need to see a lot more before deciding that L.A. is the team to beat in the NFC. With Dallas’ current defensive lineup on the field a few weeks ago, the Cowboys might have blown out the Rams on Week 4.
The New Orleans Saints?
I’m not buying that yet.
Same goes for the Vikings, although Minnesota could also be a dark-horse candidate to make noise in the playoffs.
And that just about covers the NFC – oh, wait.
The Philadelphia Eagles.
How could we forget?
Second-year quarterback Carson Wentz is the talk of the town on that non-playoff schedule, right?
Look, if we’re going to acknowledge that the Cowboys don’t have many quality wins, then the same could be said for the Eagles, who are 1-1 in what I consider tough road games. The Eagles lost to the Kansas City Chiefs on Week 2 and then held on to beat then-winless New York Giants and Los Angeles Chargers by a combined five points.
The five-point win at home against Carolina at home qualifies as the other quality road win. Sorry, but two wins against the Washington Redskins don’t exactly make you world beaters, but they do help in the standings. There’s a blowout win at home against the rapidly fading Cardinals as well.