Here’s our NFC division predictions for 2021

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The NFL season is almost here which means it is time for predictions. In this article, we will go into detail about our predictions for all four NFC divisions. 

NFC North

 4th place: Detroit Lions 

Although the Lions were able to draft the best Offensive Tackle in the draft, Penei Sewell, and were given an A- draft grade, we still don’t believe the will improve much from last season. The reason for this is due to their poor performance in free-agency, where they lost QB Mathew Stafford, and star WR Kenny Gollady. This, along with their 5-11 record last season, isn’t a recipe for success. However, if they play their cards right, the Lions could be looking at a bright future, but for now we have them in 4th place. 

3rd place: Chicago Bears

The Bears had a very successful draft this year receiving an A+ as their draft grade, the most successful in their division. Headlining their draft is QB Justin Fields, who they traded up to get in the first round. Fields has the potential to be a huge success for the Bears who haven’t had a great quarterback in recent years. To protect their young QB, the Bears also drafted OT  even Jenkins. Despite their great draft, the Bears are still a pretty average team overall,  they lack WRs and their offensive line still isn’t where it needs to be. As a result, we have them finishing 3rd in the division. 

2nd place: Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings ended up with a B+ grade for their draft. In the draft, they were able to fix their offensive line problem, to go along an offense that was already great. To do this, the Vikings drafted OT Christian Darrisaw, a steal at pick 23. On the defensive side, the Vikings made multiple moves in free-agency and have many important players coming back from injury. Most notably, Pro Bowlers DE Danielle Hunter and LB Anthony Barr. In all, we think the Vikings will place 2nd in their division, right behind the Packers. 

1st Place: Green Bay Packers

With last year’s MVP, QB Aaron Rodgers, and arguably the best WR in the league, Davante Adams, the Packers are looking at yet another good season. The Packers, who were just one game away from the Super Bowl last season, were able to keep most of their free agents, including Pro Bowl RB Aaron Jones. Although they finished their draft with a C-, their veterans should be able to keep the Packers at the top of the division. 

NFC South 

4th Place: New Orleans Saints

The Saints have been 1st place in the NFC South for 4 years straight, so it might come as a surprise to some that we have them finishing 4th in the division. However, the Saints are not the team they used to be as cap problems and other factors caused them to lose many players this offseason. At the top of that list is CB Janoris Jenkins, DE Trey Hendrickson, and longtime QB Drew Brees. The Saints also struggled in the draft, receiving a C draft grade, the worst in the division. Some of the Saints stars should be able to keep the Saints from becoming a bottom-five team in the league, but in their division, 4th place looks likely. 

3rd Place: Carolina Panthers

With Christian McCaffrey coming back, the Panthers should improve from last season’s record of 5-11. During free-agency, the Panthers were able to get QB Sam Darnold and during the draft CB Jaycee Horn. Both players could come in and make a difference, but there are questions about Sam Darnold.   The rest of their off-season wasn’t very exciting and they received just a B- for their overall draft. Nevertheless, the Panthers have a lot of young talent on both sides of the ball. In a few years, the Panthers could very well be at the top of the division, but for now we have them in 3rd. 

2nd Place: Atlanta Falcons

Headlining the Falcons off-season has to be their first-round selection, TE Kyle Pitts. Pitts is regarded by many as one of the best TE prospects ever, and has the skills to make an immediate impact. With Pitts, we see the Falcons having the best passing-offense in the league and a very good offense overall. On the defensive side however, the Falcons could struggle. With not many notable moves in free-agency, and a B draft grade, the Falcons defense might not improve much from their bottom-5 finish last season. As a result, we have the Falcons placing 2nd, a massive improvement from last season. 

1st Place: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Buccaneers won their second Super Bowl with an impressive 31-9 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs. In this upcoming season, the Bucs have the ability to go to the Super Bowl once again. This is made possible due to their solid performance during the offseason. In free agency, the Buccaneers were able to keep most of their stars, including the greatest player of all time, QB Tom Brady. In the draft, the Buccaneers received a B-, but being the former champs, the Bucs didn’t need a great draft. Because of this, we have the Buccaneers finishing 1st in the division. 

 

NFC WEST

4th Place: Arizona Cardinals 

The Cardinals missed the playoffs and finished 3rd in the division in 2020, despite their eventful 2020 offseason. During the 2021 offseason, the Cardinals were active yet again. They acquired Robert Woods, Cam Akers, Cooper Kupp etcBoth players should be able to come in and make a positive impact on the team. The Cardinals are going to have an explosive offense and a solid defense, so they should be competitive in most of their games. However, the teams in their division are some of the best in the league which leaves the Cardinals 4th in the division. 

3rd Place: Seattle Seahawks

The Seahawks didn’t have a very successful 2021 draft, only receiving a C draft grade, the worst in their division. However, last season they topped their division by two wins, going 12-4. To add on to their very strong offense, they picked up D’Wayne Eskridge as their first pick in the draft. Eskridge is a smaller sized wide receiver, but to make up for it he has great route running and footwork. The only player on defense that they picked up is cornerback Tre Brown, and he was the Seahawks second pick. The Seahawks did have a successful year last year, and they have a strong looking offense, but their defense may cause them problems this year, causing them to finish 3rd in their division.

2nd Place: San Francisco 49ers

Don’t be fooled by the 49ers 6-10 record in 2020, as many injuries kept them from performing at a high level. These players included DE Nick Bosa, RB Raheem Mostert, and TE George Kittle, all of whom helped the 49ers get to the Super Bowl back in 2019. In this year’s draft, the 49ers received a solid B+ grade and added QB Trey Lance with the 3rd pick. In 2021, the 49ers are looking for a comeback with their stellar defense leading the way. As for their QB, Jimmy Garropalo should be the day 1 starter, but don’t be surprised if Trey Lance makes an appearance. If the 49ers can stay healthy, then they are sure to be a very competitive team, but their awkward QB situation has caused us to put them in 2nd place. 

1st Place: Los Angeles Rams 

The Rams had a successful draft to start off their 2021 NFL season. They received an A draft grade which will add even more talent to their team. Without Jared Goff, Matthew Stafford, (their new quarterback acquired from a trade) will be the one leading the offense. Their offense,  which consists of players like Robert Woods, Cam Akers, Cooper Kupp, etc., will likely be top-10 in the league. This strong offense will go along with their top-tier defense, filled with great players like Aaron Donald, Jalen Ramsey, and Leonard Floyd. As a result, we think the Rams will end up 1st in their division with a possibility of a long playoff run. 

NFC EAST

4th Place: Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles had a very poor 2020 season, finishing last in their division with a 4-11 record. They didn’t have a great offense or defense last year, which caused many problems for them. To put them in a worse situation, they didn’t have a good 2021 draft, only receiving a B- draft grade. As their first pick, they chose Heisman winner DeVonta Smith who produced a 94.9 PFF grade with 23 touchdowns last season. However, Jalen Hurts, who will be starting at quarterback for the Eagles, isn’t the most accurate passer with only a 52% completion rate. He is a good running QB on the contrary. But the Eagles still aren’t a very strong team, resulting in them finishing last in their division, just like last year.

3rd Place: Washington Football Team

The Football Team received an A- draft grade, which is exactly what this team needed. The team recently lost their quarterback Alex Smith due to his retirement, so Ryan Fitzpatrick, their new quarterback, should be starting for them in the 2021 season. The team already has star players like Terry Mclaurin, and Chase Young who produced great things for the team last season, but this team is in need of other components and great players to really succeed this season. Overall, we rank this team 3rd place in this division and believe this team will see brighter seasons as the years go by.

2nd Place: New York Giants 

The New York Giants got an okay draft grade receiving a B+. The Giants got Kadarius Toney, with their first pick. This was a great addition to not only their receiver line but their offense. The Giants only problem right now is their quarterback situation. Daniel Jones, their quarterback, is looking to be a bust as the seasons go on, not producing greatness as he was supposed to do so. In this case, we give the Giants 2nd in their division but not enough to power for the playoffs. 

1st Place: Dallas Cowboys 

The Cowboys had a decent 2021 draft, receiving a B draft grade. With their first pick, they drafted linebacker Micah Parsons, one of the best linebacker prospects seen in years. The Cowboys didn’t draft many offensive players this year. Last season, their offense was looking very strong until quarterback Dak Prescott, who was having an excellent season, suffered a terrible ankle injury in October. The good news is he will return for the 2021 season.  However, the Cowboys defense was not strong last year, resulting in them drafting eight defensive players. Their offense is now looking very strong, and with an improved defense, the Cowboys look like they will top their division.