PFW is listing the Falcons are 12:1 odds for the Super Bowl this upcoming year, according to one Vegas place.
It's interesting, since it lists us at #2 for NFC teams behind the Eagles (4:1), but tied with the Panthers (12:1) and slightly ahead of hte Packers (15:1).
I can agree with that, because I don't particularly see the Falcons being significantly better this upcoming season than a team like Carolina. Despite our success last year, I don't think the team was as good as the record. Like the Panthers the year before, I really think we benefitted from a poor conference. We've only upgraded significantly 1 starting position, and we've improved depth, but relatively those are cosmetic changes when you consider what a team like Minnesota has done this off-season.
As for how strong the NFC will be this year, I think it will be stronger. I really think the Panthers are a Top 3 or 5 team in the conference and getting healthy will really benefit them. Not to mention adding Lucas, Wahle, and McCree which strengthens them at arguably their 3 weakest positions from last year (excluding injuries).
The Packers, I'm not so sure of. At the skill positions they are still tough, but they've lost a lot on the offensive line, and their entire defense is still very questionable, even more so with losing a guy like Sharper. I think they'll be a playoff team, but I think it's going to be tough for them to get a 9-7 record this year.
The Vikings are intriguing and have made a lot of additions on defense. I think it's going to take some time for that unit to gel, so I don't expect them to see a dramatic improvement this year, but they should be much better and more consistent on both sides of the ball. They should be the class of that division.
I also expect bigger things next year from the Cowboys, Lions, Bucs, Cardinals, and Rams. I know it's really early, but here are more playoff team projections:
NFC East - Eagles, Cowboys
NFC Central - Vikings
NFC South - Panthers, Falcons
NFC West - Rams
And unlike last year, I really think all those teams are capable of winning at least 9 games this upcoming season. So we shouldn't be seeing 7-9 teams sneaking into the playoffs anymore.
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