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Who Will Come Out On Top In the NFC This Year? – 2011 NFL Predictions, Part 1

Eli Manning
Al Bello, Getty Images

I’m making my predictions today for the 2011 NFL season.  Over the next two days, I’ll make my picks for every NFL team.  That’s right, I’ll give a record for each club.

Today, it’s the NFC.

NFC EAST W L NOTES
Philadelphia 11 5 Remember, this is a team that finished 10-6.  They got better, right?  Does anyone deny that? Asomough, Rogers-Cromartie and a few stud defensive lineman made the defense stronger.  I like Ronnie Brown as a back-up.  Steve Smith is a solid WR.  It’s a good team – but not invincible.
Dallas 9 7 This is a talented team.  Romo will be healthy this year.  Let’s be honest, they won 6 games last year with 56-year old Jon Kitna.
NY Giants 8 8 They went 10-6 last year.  I challenge anyone to tell me they got better.  Lost Smith, Boss, O’Hara, Seubert, Cofield.  Injuries to Prince & Thomas in defensive backfield aren’t going to help.  Osi will likely miss a month.  They should be happy with 8 wins.
Washington 6 10 You’ve got to tear down the forest before it grows back.  That’s the deal with the Redskins.  A much improved defense.  Their offensive line (a weakness last year) is also improved.  But John Beck or Rex Grossman scares me.  They won’t be horrible – but they’re not a 500 team.

NFC WEST W L NOTES
St. Louis 9 7 Sam Bradford came into his own as a rookie.  He’s finally going to have healthy wide receivers this year.  The defense is improved.  St. Louis is a legit 9-win team.
Arizona 8 8 Kevin Kolb makes this team better.  They finally have a legit QB for Fitzgerald.  I’m not super thrilled with their running backs.  Their defense took a bit of a hit with the loss of Rogers-Cromartie.
Seattle 5 11 Tavaris Jackson is the starting QB – enough said.
San Francisco 4 12 Alex Smith is still the quarterback.  Why?  This team wants Andrew Luck.  Their coach was his college coach and would love him in the pros.
NFC NORTH W L NOTES
Green Bay 12 4 Hard to knock the Super Bowl Champs.  They’ve got one of the best QB’s in the NFL.  They’ve got an attack-style defense.  Good offensive & defensive lines.
Detroit 9 7 The Lions are a trendy sleeper pick – for good reason.  Solid Quarterback (if he can stay healthy), young defensive linemen, I’m not sold on their RB’s but there’s enough talent to win 9 games.
Chicago 7 9 Last year’s Bears were one of the worst playoff teams I’ve ever seen.  Their QB is erratic.  They’re just not a well-built team.
Minnesota 7 9 There’s a reason Donovan McNabb is on his 3rd team in 3 years.  He’s on his last legs.  Great RB in Peterson but they lost a lot of offensive weapons – only WR is Harvin.  I just think the Vikings are a team that could win 7 or win 11.  But I’m going with 7.

NFC SOUTH W L NOTES
New Orleans 11 5 The NFL is a quarterbacks league and the Saints have one of the best in Drew Brees.  They got some more RB depth with Ingram and they improved their defense.
Atlanta 11 5 Matt Ryan and the Falcons offense looks great with tons of weapons.  Atlanta is going to be tough.
Tampa Bay 8 8 I know the Bucs won 10 games last year but they had one of the easiest schedules in the NFL.  Freeman, Blount, Williams – are nice pieces but I think this team comes back to reality this year.
Carolina 3 13 Cam Newton is the starter.  Jimmy Clausen is the back-up. Need I say more?

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