For our Ticket King NFC 2018 preview, we turned to T.J. Bryce to give us his picks, winners, losers and (Panthers, I’m talking about you) the wildest of winner picks for the year. You may not agree with T.J.B. but we are going to move forward and post this. Take it away T.J.B.
When I look at the NFC, I see a stark contrast when compared to the AFC. To begin 2018, the NFC is the most loaded conference in recent memory. All but about two teams are serious playoff contenders even though the records may not show it, because after all, somebody has to lose.
1. Eagles 12-4- The reigning Super Bowl champions are a trendy favorite according the Vegas books. However, Carson Wentz will not be ready for week one and Nick Foles had a lousy preseason, so there are no guarantees here. I will say this though, this is the one team that could stick “Joe Shmuck” at quarterback and win.
2. Cowboys 10-6- After a tumultuous 2017, “The Boys” are ready to get back in the saddle, and the return of their All-Pro running back Ezekiel Elliott will help. Elliot should be an MVP candidate this season.
3. Redskins 7-9- What a mess this team has turned into. After finally finding a franchise quarterback in Kirk Cousins, they rubbed him the wrong way and have replaced him with the veteran Alex Smith
4. Giants 7-9- Okay, maybe I was too high on this team a year ago. But the Beckham contract is finally done, so that is a start.
1. Panthers 13-3- The Panthers already had an incredible defense and now have a reloaded offense to go along with it. This could be Cam Newton’s best year to date.
2. Falcons 10-6- Another solid year for the Falcons, not much else to say here.
3. Saints 8-8- The Saints had magic last year. I don’t think history repeats itself in 2018. Drew Brees is an old man who needs to call it a career.
4. Buccaneers 4-12- Jameis Winston will sit the first three games and I don’t think the Buccaneers will recover from that.
12-4- This is a great team. But are the Vikings Super Bowl
worthy now with Kirk Cousins under center?
10-6- This the true wild card team of 2018. If Aaron Rodgers can get back to being Aaron Rodgers, and that defense comes together under new DC Mike Pettine, they could win 14 games. Or, it could go the other way. Rodgers is nowhere close to his old self and the defense struggles. If that happens this is a 6-win team, so I settled on the middle.
3. Lions 8-8- New year, same old Lions.
4. Bears 5-11- The Bears have given up a ton of draft capital for two players now. That may come back to bite them in the long haul.
1. Rams 12-4- The Rams made a ton of changes this offseason, turning themselves into an All-Star team, but as we have seen in the past. All-Star teams do not necessarily mean Super Bowl.
2. 49ers 9-7- Okay before we crown Jimmy Garoppolo as the second coming of the Dali Lama, let’s see how he performs for an entire season first.
8-8- This team is a mess right now, and I mean a mess. The only reason they win 8 games
is because of Russell Wilson.
4. Cardinals 3-13- The Cardinals have a new franchise quarterback, but he may not be the man under center out of the gate.
Seeds: 1. Panthers 2. Eagles 3. Rams 4. Vikings 5. Cowboys 6. Packers
Wild Card Weekend
Rams vs. Packers- The Rams are an All-Star team now. The Packers pull the upset 34-27, because, well, that is what they do.
Vikings vs. Cowboys- Ezekiel Elliot has a monster season, but he has never faced a run defense like this before, so it ends here. Vikings cruise on 30-16.
Divisional Playoff Weekend
Panthers vs. Packers- This is the new bad matchup for the Packers. The Panthers are just too much, and they move on 34-20.
Eagles vs. Vikings- A rematch of one of the biggest playoff blowouts in recent memory. This is much a closer game, but one the Eagles still win 27-20.
Panthers vs. Eagles- This is a fantastic matchup on paper. This could be one of the best football games ever played. The Panthers win 30-27 as Newton marches them down the field just enough in the last two minutes for Graham Gano to kick the game-winningfield goal.