Now comes part two of the National Football League Early Rankings. In my last article we covered where I believed each AFC football team stood as of this moment. Now we will cover the same for the NFC teams. Same process. We will be covering which NFC team stands where as of this very moment. Let’s get started.
#16 Arizona Cardinals
The Cardinals have the unfortunate spot coming in last place on this NFC ranking. The good news is that they will have the first pick in the 2019 Draft. There are two options hey could roll with. They could take Nick Bosa which everyone believed was originally going to happen, or you could go the crazy but very plausible option of taking Kyler Murray as their new quarterback. I don’t like that one personally because even though Rosen had a bad season I firmly believe he is their quarterback of the future. Time will tell with this one. Free agency names they got that come to mind are Marcus Gilbert from Pittsburgh and veteran Terrell Suggs from Baltimore. It will be interesting just to see how bad Arizona is this year, but they couldn’t be more terrible than last season.
#15 Washington Redskins
The Redskins finally have a quarterback in Case Keenum, but he isn’t the long term solution here. The Redskins need a quarterback especially with Alex Smith’s future in jeopardy. They have also now lost Jamison Crowder as one of their main receivers. They now only have Josh Doctson, Paul Richardson, Derrius Guice, Adrian Peterson and Jordan Reed. Now that might seem like a lot, but it is the defense here that is costing the Redskins. That is why they signed Landon Collins to such a huge deal for the 2019 season. However, Collins, Kerrigan and Norman are not enough to spark this team. They will have to make specific changes in order to get out of this slump.
#14 Carolina Panthers
Let me make it known that the Panthers will be in a very tough position this season if Cam Newton does not play. They are without Funchess now and have D.J. Moore as their number one wide receiver. Christian McCaffrey should continue to ball out on the 2019 season, but that will basically be it. This team will not have a chance if Newton doesn’t play and they can basically kiss their 2019 season goodbye. If Newton plays then the Panthers might have a shot. If not, the Panthers will likely go 4-12 or 5-11 depending on the scenarios. The only good news that comes with that is a high draft pick which they can use to their advantage.
#13 New York Giants
A lot of people are probably up in arms about this one, but Ill explain for my subjects. Even though the Giants traded Odell Beckham Jr. away they still have weapons to get the job done. They have Saquon Barkley, Evan Engram and Sterling Shepard. These three I believe will do very well in the 2019 season even if they have to catch passes from the aging and virtually ineffective Eli Manning. I am hoping the Giants smarten up and take a quarterback because if they have to go through a whole season with Eli as the starter again fans will be absolutely furious. Like I have explained in the past, Eli Manning has done wonders for this organization and has brought them two Super Bowl victories over the New England Patriots. However, the time has come for Eli to step aside and let another young buck take the helm of the team and ride with it.
#12 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Buccaneers come in at number 12 on this ranking. The explanation for it can be summed up in one name; Jameis Winston. Winston has not proven to me in my mind that he will be able to put the team on his back create magic with them. Since he was drafted with the number one overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, he has declined every year and keeps declining. It will only be a matter of time before he is moved out and they look for his replacement. It will be harder as DeSean Jackson and Adam Humphries are gone as well as his backup quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick who signed a two year deal with the Miami Dolphins. It will be interesting to see how Big Bruce can manage this team going into the 2019 season.
#11 Detroit Lions
The Lions come in a very close situation with the Buccaneers who skated by them because of their rookie running back Kerryon Johnson. He has been the big difference with the Lions and their struggling running game over the last couple of seasons. Stafford is old news when it comes to Detroit and needs to be moved somewhere else. He is overpaid and overrated. Hopefully, the Lions can find a really good defensive player in the 2019 Draft to compliment Matt Patricia’s defense. As of right now though, the Lions don’t have a lot to work with and in my mind need all the help they can get defensively to get out of last place in their division.
#10 Atlanta Falcons
The Atlanta Falcons had a miserable defensive performance in the 2018 season. I imagine having most of their players hurt didn’t help, but it is going to take a lot of convincing on their part to climb out of the hole they got themselves in last year. The offense didn’t have too many struggles with Matt Ryan finding success with Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley. However, they lost Tevin Coleman in free agency and starting running back Devonta Freeman has been less than a reliable option with his injury and concussion history. Matt Ryan looks to have another great season as the Falcon’s quarterback, but anything could happen in the NFL so who knows what is in store for the birds this season.
#9 Minnesota Vikings
The Vikings start off in the single digit part of the rankings and rightfully so. While they put incredible stats in the offensive department their defense took a back seat to what they accomplished in the 2017 season. To make matters a little more strenuous for Mike Zimmer, Kirk Cousins didn’t live up to expectation despite throwing 30 touchdowns with only ten picks. He did well in the stats, but when it came down to critical games that they needed to win he just could not deliver. He didn’t just lose these games. He played terrible in these games. Cousins has to find a way to get out of this slump or the Vikings aren’t going to get anywhere.
#8 Green Bay Packers
The Packers were one of the biggest disappointments in the 2018 season going 6-9-1. I don’t see things getting a whole lot better in Green Bay this year as they have lost quite a bit in free agency with players such as Randall Cobb and Clay Matthews leaving the organization. They did pick up significant free agents though with three huge names; Preston Smith, Za’darius Smith and Adrian Amos which tremendously boosts their defensive struggles. As for the offense they will need to draft a replacement wide receiver and also a tight end replacement for Jimmy Graham as I imagine he will be moved in the offseason. Aaron Rodgers is the captain now, and he will need all the help he can get to prove it.
#7 Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles fly into the number seven spot on my ranking. They posted a very successful comeback in the 2018 season, but it wasn’t Carson Wentz at quarterback. It was Nick Foles. Now do i believe Carson Went can get it done. We’ll go with sure for now. However, not being able to finish the last two seasons because of injury scares me for this team. They don’t have a reliable backup to put in for quarterback if Wentz were to go down with another injury. They have plenty of offensive and defensive talent on their team, but they have also been known to go in both directions unexpectedly. They could play really well against a good team, but they could also play bad against bad teams. Time will tell how Wentz will be able to lead this team to the promise land once again.
#6 San Francisco 49ers
Oh yeah I’m hopping back on the San Francisco 49ers train. I honestly picked them to win their division last year and had it not been for the unfortunate injury to starting quarterback Jimmy Garappolo they probably would have done just that. Sadly, 49ers had the second worst record in the NFL for the 2018 season. Now they are getting back Jimmy G and also Jerick McKinnon who they also lost to injury before the season even started. They are also adding new talent such as Tevin Coleman from the Falcons and Dee Ford from the Kansas City Chiefs. Let us also not forget about stud tight end George Kittle. I have them taking Nick Bosa in the 2019 Draft, and if that is the case the 49ers will have a very deadly pass rush to go along with their destructive offense.
#5 Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys did really well in the 2018 season. The new addition of Amari Cooper and unexpected defensive star Leighton Vander Esch really propelled Dallas into new heights on both sides of the ball. Prescott played a lot better than he did in 2017, and I can understand why. He now had new weapons to work with in Cooper and Gallup. Elliot continues to ball out in the running game so that should continue into the 2019 season. They also acquired Randall Cobb off of free agency and Jason Witten is returning as their tight end. Dallas has a lot to prove in order to get back to the promise land, but I think they will do just fine this season.
#4 Seattle Seahawks
The Seattle Seahawks soar into number four. This team impressed me a lot this last season for having a really bad offensive line. The Seahawks just unfortunately came up short against the Dallas Cowboys in the wild card for the 2018 playoffs. I believe this team will still be one of the most dynamic playmaking squads to come at you in the NFC. Wilson still throws well and the rushing attack by this team is unrelenting. They’ll run so much they’ll jam it down your throat until you gag feathers from the attack of these birds.
#3 Chicago Bears
I can’t even blame the Bears for not winning their game against Philadelphia last year in the playoffs. The defense did come up short, but the real damage came at the hands of their kicker Cody Parkey as he missed the field goal that would have given the Bears the win over the Eagles. Instead, the Bears lost and went home. They have a real chance to prove they were the rightful winners by coming into the 2019 season. Even with the loss of their safety Adrian Amos, they managed to pick one up not too far from across the pond in Ha Ha Clinton Dix. The defense will once again be strong and the offense should still mark an aggressive assault as well.
#2 Los Angeles Rams
The Rams had an incredible 2018 season. Then the Super Bowl happened… That was not only one of the worst Super Bowls to watch, but the Rams were just flat out awful in this game against the New England Patriots. It will be interesting to see how this team does considering how many of their star defensive players they have lost in free agency. However, they gained a decent amount of players to replace those ones including Clay Matthews, Eric Weddle and an odd one in Blake Bortles. Todd Gurley needs to step it up after a very disappointing end to an amazing 2018 season. If they can keep going forward in the positive direction they might break it past our number one team.
#1 New Orleans Saints
This team should have been in the Super Bowl. This team should have won the Super Bowl. End of discussion. Drew Brees was on his way to the offensive MVP and if it wasn’t for Patrick Mahomes he probably would have won it. Bree and the Saints took the world by storm in the 2018 season. From offensive powerhouses and defensive titans at the Saint’s disposal it will be virtually challenging for any team to take down this juggernaut of a team. Will they make another run at a Super Bowl or will they be screwed out of their chance once again? Only time will tell.