Last season the NFC’s Green Bay Packers won the Super Bowl and put away the “Favre curse” once and for all. So, the Packers get to start the regular season on Thursday, September 8 (8:30 Eastern) by hosting the New Orleans Saints. Kid Rock, Lady Antebellum, and Maroon 5 will help “kick off” the season (at 7:30 Eastern). It’s on NBC.
This just in: President Obama will give a speech that night, too.
The Philadelphia Eagles are the Miami Heat of the NFL. There will be much love and much hate for the Eagles this season, but one thing for sure is that Michael Vick is loving his second $100 million contract of this lifetime. There are questions about him staying healthy, but just about every NFL team will see a drop-off in their offense if their starting QB goes down.
So I’ve read the stories, checked the schedules, read what the teams and the fans are saying and here are my predictions for the National Football Conference for the 2011 season. Remember – your team is undefeated right now!
2010 Finish: 1. Seahawks, 2. Rams, 3. 49ers, 4. Cardinals
The 7-9 NFC West winning Seahawks made the playoffs last year and stunned the Saints in Seattle (not to mention most of the NFL with the 7-9 record).
By the way, what do you call a NFC West team that wins the division with a 7-9 record? Answer: Division Champs. This year the Seahawks may see the Rams dethrone them in 2011. Of course all this depends on the health of Rams QB Sam Bradford and how the Rams handle a very tough first half of the season.
2011 NFC West Predictions:
1. Rams 10-6
2. Seahawks 9-7
3. 49ers 5-11
4. Cardinals 5-11
2010 Finish: 1. Falcons, 2. Saints, 3. Buccaneers, 4. Panthers
The Atlanta Falcons will find themselves in a dogfight with the New Orleans Saints again in 2011 and if either team trips and falls, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers may catch them. The Carolina Panthers may play spoiler late in the season.
2011 NFC South Predictions:
1. Falcons 12-4
2. Saints 11-5
3. Buccaneers 9-7
4. Panthers 4-12
2010 Finish: 1. Eagles, 2. Giants, 3. Cowboys, 4. Redskins
The Philadelphia Eagles have the talent to go all the way and it does not appear anyone in the NFC East can stop them this year. The Giants should be in the mix for a wildcard spot, but this division will soar with the Eagles in 2011. The Cowboys and the Redskins will disappoint their fans once again, although they will have better records than 2010.
2011 NFC East Predictions:
1. Eagles 13-3
2. Giants 9-7
3. Cowboys 8-8
4. Redskins 7-9
2010 Finish: 1. Bears, 2. Packers, 3. Lions, 4. Vikings
The NFC North will probably have two teams in the playoffs. The Super Bowl Champion Packers should win the division. One has to wonder if Bears QB Jay Cutler can get over the pounding he took in the media (and on the field) last year. If the Bears stumble, the Lions may end up in second, but I do not see them in the playoffs just yet.
2011 NFC North Predictions:
1. Packers 12-4
2. Bears 10-6
3. Lions 8-8
4. Vikings 7-9
The Wildcard teams from the NFC will be the Saints and Bears. This is the year that the Philadelphia Eagles make it to the Super Bowl.
I predict the Ravens and the Eagles will meet in the Super Bowl. Of course, all that goes out the window in week one…
Have a great season and may your team bring you joy and happiness – unless they are playing my Chiefs. You can follow me @TheWesternWord for updates about everything from politics to football!