The fact of the matter for Eagles fans is that Carson Wentz won’t be back for the playoffs and Nick Foles hasn’t exactly looked like he’s caught up to the pace of the season.
The Eagles will win the Super Bowl if they can establish a dominant running game with Jay Ajayi and LeGarrette Blount to keep the pressure off Foles.
Philadelphia need their defense to better than they did during parts of the regular season, and replacing the season that Wentz was having isn’t easy; Foles has performed at a high level before and the Eagles will need him to do it again.
The Vikings are looking to become the first team ever to play a Super Bowl in their home stadium. The Super Bowl is a neutral site game and if the Vikings were to succeed in being the first team, the NFL has announced that the Vikings would act as the home team even though the NFC is the designated road team for this year’s Super Bowl.
Would they be allowed to use home-game features such as the Gjallarhorn, fire-breathing dragon ship and prompting the crowd to make noise? I’d highly doubt it.
Lead by their defense and breakout players Keenum and Thielen the Vikings have everything they need to make a run for the championship this year. I’m a firm believer in that defense wins championships and the Vikings have exactly that with the #1 ranked defense in yards allowed and yards/play.
Los Angeles Rams
The NFL’s highest-scoring offense comes into the playoffs with an 11-5 record off the back of (in my opinion) MVP Todd Gurley and a rejuvenated offense with Coach McVay at the helm.
The Rams will win the Super Bowl if nobody can stop their offense; if they can maintain scoring 30 PPG throughout the NFL Playoffs, they’ll be a hard team to knock off.
The only question marks are the inexperience of the Rams, as they are a very young team, and whether their mediocre defense can play at a high enough level for them to stop other teams from scoring.
The Rams will be one of the least experienced teams heading into the playoffs; will they be able to overcome that?
New Orleans Saints
The Saints come into the playoffs with a historic running back combination of Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram. If they can successfully manage to dominate the run game throughout the playoffs, and maintain control of the ball to keep their defense off the field they’ll win the Super Bowl.
Drew Brees will be looking for his second championship, and just like his first championship, he’ll have a good defense behind him lead by first-year CB Marshon Lattimore.
The Saints are my pick to make it out of the NFC. They have the experience, and have the best dual-threat running combination on this side of the bracket.
The Panthers are a wildcard team both figuratively and literally. They have a mediocre offense and a mediocre defense. Cam Newton will be the sole factor on whether the Panthers can win the Super Bowl.
Newton is one of the more inconsistent QB’s in the NFL: one week he’ll play like the NFL MVP he once was and the next he’ll throw for 100 yards.
The Panthers will win the Super Bowl if they can get past the Saints as the #5 seed, which in the NFC is an advantage if you’re able to win the Wildcard game as you’ll match the Eagles in the second round.
The Falcons come into the playoffs as the defending NFC Champions and will be looking to get back into the Super Bowl for the second year in a row. They’ll be able to do it on the back of Matt Ryan and Julio Jones; if the Falcons offence can find their footing they have the potential to beat anybody in the NFL.
A matchup against the Rams - who don’t have anybody that can reliably cover Julio Jones - will be important for the Falcons as it’ll lead them to a second-round matchup against the Eagles due to the Falcons being the 6th seed.
Establishing a running game with the duo of Freeman and Coleman will be important for the Falcons as they will look to keep the pressure off Matt Ryan and give him more time in the pocket.
I personally think being a low seed in the NFC with the unfortunate injuries to Carson Wentz is an advantage and the Falcons come into the NFC with the lowest seed.
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