The New Playoff Teams of the 2008 NFL Season (NFC Edition)

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The New Playoff Teams of the 2008 NFL Season (NFC Edition)

After the games played on Week 1 the playoff picture has remolded into a clearer picture, some perennial favorites go down swinging and others are a few games close to cruise control.


NFC East

The Eagles air it out against a terrible pass defense and the Cowboys do the same.

The Eagles run all over a bad rush defense and the Cowboys do the same.

The Eagles blew out a usually good offensive team and the Cowboys did the same.

The Eagles special teams unit flaunted their muscles and the Cowboys did not… the deciding factor of who may win this division.

With the McNabb of old, mobility and all, Philadelphia looks primed to take back the NFC East. The receiving group of DeSean Jackson, Hank Baskett, and Greg Lewis seems like a more capable, sure handed version of James Thrash, Todd Pinkston, and Freddie Mitchell, with Kevin Curtis coming back sooner than expected. Brain Westbrook is still the dependable running back Eagles fans have fell in love with, but the returners of Jackson and Quintin Demps are the new reasons coaches will have long nights for the rest of the season.

Dallas, the favorite to win the NFC, has a reason to brag about being the best. With Tony Romo at quarterback, Terrell Owens and Jason Witten as his go-to guys, and the rushing tandem of Marion Barber III and Felix Jones is enough for other teams to catch grief. Point blank the matchup of Eagles-Cowboys in week 2 will go to determine the division. However what also must be said is “How ‘bout those Giants!”

Giants? Yes the defending champion New York Giants may be without Michael Strahan and Osi Umenyiora but the pass rush is still going strong. Their dismantling of the Redskins not only showed pressure on the faces of Jason Campbell but also of Santana Moss and Antwan Randle El. The Eli Manning to Plaxico Burress connection is on high alert and Brandon Jacobs is using the Madden truck stick every time he takes a carry.

The Washington Redskins will need a while to get back on track, perhaps a year or two when the offense is not as new to the players and the defense has healed.

Division Winner: Philadelphia Eagles (1)

Wild Card(s): Dallas Cowboys (5) and New York Giants (6A)


NFC North

So Aaron Rodgers didn’t suck after all!

In fact his team had prevented him from getting a multiple passing touchdown game. The Viking’s defense is yet again suspect, the again all of Detroit’s defense is abysmal.

The Packers have proven to be the cream of the NFC North yet again and Aaron Rodgers will be constantly compared to the Douglas MacArthur of quarterbacks in Brett Favre. Green Bay’s defense is picking up where they last left off and Ryan Grant is proving that he is the worth of his new contract. Look forward to the Pack being a bye in the playoffs.

Minnesota has a brilliant one-two punch in Adrian Peterson and Chester Taylor, but Tarvaris Jackson will need more time to become a fourth quarter quarterback. He will make some progression though facing both Green Bay’s and Chicago’s defenses will force struggles this year. Also it appears that Minnesota will have a hard time limiting passing offenses all season so the door for the number two team in the NFC North is open for…

Daaaaaaa Bears! Da Bears! Da Bears! Da Bears! Their stunner over the Colts with that stifling defense and Rookie of the Year candidate Matt Forte made the usually Bob Saunders run strong Indy D look incredibly pliable. Kyle Orton is not a big time passer but will not turn over the ball, a la Chad Pennington. Expect them to contend for a wild card this given the defense stays healthy. And of course Devin Hester

As for the Lions…well Kitna might want to hold off on those 10 wins this season. Kevin Smith is a nice young piece for the team and the talented wideouts of Roy Williams and Calvin Johnson are to die for, but their offense still could not keep up with Atlanta’s equivalent. That startling contrast is a product of their terrible defense allowing Michael Turner 10 yards per carry.

Division Winner: Green Bay Packers (2)

Wild Card(s): None (but the Chicago Bears are 6B to the New York Giant’s 6A)


NFC South

Can someone please get the dice from the Monopoly box? Thanks.

Here we go…

Come on Panthers. Come on Falcons. Come on Saints. Come on Bucs. Dang, crapped out on Tampa with mental and physical stability questions over Jeff Garcia.

Come on Panthers. Come on Saints. Come on Falcons…

Ok so it’s a three-way fight for now in the NFC South but I am giving the edge to the Panthers.

After using a two headed rushing attack and kicking four field goals to stay in the game against the Chargers Jake Delhomme manage to connect for a last second touchdown for the win. That’s bonus points in my book for a close win against an elite team without your star receiver.

The Saints with their win over the Bucs can make an argument but the loss of Marques Colston will hurt them at Denver in week three forcing them to start playing catch up with Carolina until his return. Hopefully he returns healthy by the Panthers game or the door will open for…

The Atlanta Falcons? Ok so Detroit does not have a defense but 220 yards on 22 carries still should not be lost on people’s minds. Now we see why San Diego wouldn’t want Michael Turner become a free agent a few years ago, and why Atlanta paid for him even when they had Norwood. It’s not a Roethlisberger situation for Matt Ryan but with that ground game and receivers Roddy White and Michael Jenkins as targets he’ll manage.

Division Winner: Carolina Panthers (3)

Wild Card(s): None


NFC West

Oh how the mighty have fallen…

I think Dick Cheney hit a bird this time or the Seahawks receivers’ knees.

With Deion Branch lost in the offseason and Bobby Engram lost during the preseason, Seattle’s offense was struggling before Nate Burleson torn his ACL at the Bills. To make matters worse their best rusher Maurice Morris is out for the next few weeks and Matt Hasselbeck plans to keep playing with a bulging disc in his spine. Is Holmgren ready to patch things up with Shawn Alexander?

For the sake of the argument the Rams will be excluded for a secondary so bad that the pass rush ends up sucking, and an offensive line that’s 4/5th garbage to the point Matt Bulger can barely pass the ball.

Now it’s down between the Cardinals and the 49ers, especially after their showdown on Sunday.

The thought of a Martz making a dominant passing attack and weak running game was in fact the complete opposite. Frank Gore had 96 yards rushing and a score on 14 carries with an additional 55 yards receiving (fantasy drafters who passed on him: insert foot in mouth). O’Sullivan only managed 195 yards passing and a pick with Frank Gore as the leading receiver. If Josh Morgan is as they advertised they better start him immediately.

For those of you who crushed Ken Wisenhunt for starting Kurt Warner over Matt Leinart to get to the playoffs this year, he has a message for you: Playoffs! Right now Arizona has all the right pieces and the perfect timing. With Seattle suffering succotash and San Francisco being the inferior team the Cardinal are the team to beat in the NFC West.

Division Winner: Arizona Cardinals (4)

Wild Card(s): None

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