NFL “One Name Game” : NFC

This is the other half of the “One Name Game” for the NFL. Here, we’re going to hit on the 16 NFC teams. For the new readers, this is where we take each team and describe them in one word. So, let’s get started: 

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Arizona Cardinals – Relevant 

Finally! Ever since Carson Palmer days ended, this team has been irrelevant and a forgotten team. They stepped it up last year with Kyler Murray lighting up the field after moving on from Josh Rosen after just one season. They became relevant once they made the trade for the elite receiver DeAndre Hopkins without even giving up a first-round pick. Hopkins joins veteran and future Hall of Famer Larry Fitzgerald and the rising Christian Kirk. Will Fitzgerald finally win a Super Bowl? 

Atlanta Falcons – Redemption

The Falcons have been looking for redemption since their 28-3 loss in Super Bowl LI. It’s redemption time for head coach Dan Quinn after the team put together wins at the end of the year to save his job. It’s going to be yet another year as to why Quinn should keep his job, as well as a year for Matt Ryan to prove he still is an elite quarterback. In a packed NFC South division, it might be hard to put together a winning season. 

Carolina Panthers – Rebuild 

With new head coach Matt Rhule, the Panthers might not have a good season once again. It’s going to be an offense led by Teddy Bridgewater, who has the opportunity to get his career going again after his injury-filled past. They also bring in Robby Anderson to go along with a returning DJ Moore, Curtis Samuel, and the best running back in the league in Christian McCaffrey. For now, the Panthers are going to be adjusting to their new identity and might sneak in a surprising finish if they get their things together early. 

Chicago Bears – Doink 

There are lots of questions as to who the starting quarterback is going to be for Chicago. I do think that if Nick Foles beats out Mitch Trubisky this year, then drafting him over Mahomes or Watson is another doink. Unless he beats out Foles and puts up MVP numbers, I think that Trubisky is going to be out of Chicago.

Whether it be a trade or just releasing him, he’s going to have to revamp his career elsewhere. On the other hand, it’s time for playoff football to return to Chicago. They haven’t won a playoff game since the 2010 season, where they defeated Seattle in the Divisional Round. Maybe there is hope for them to return to the postseason without a double doink along the way. 

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Dallas Cowboys – Disappointment 

Each year, “America’s team” is always hyped up by their fanbase and some analysts, and for good reason too. The team has so much talent on the offense. An elite running back, top tier wide receivers and a solid offensive line is just the beginning of the talent they have. The quarterback position on the other hand…that’s debatable.

Sure, Dak Prescott is a solid quarterback, but the money he’s asking for is too much. They do have veteran Andy Dalton as a backup, so maybe he sees some action. It’s a new beginning for the Cowboys this year now in control by Mike McCarthy. Is this the year the Cowboys year to finally get to an NFC title game? Or will they continue to disappoint their fanbase? 

Detroit Lions – Judgement 

Similar to the Falcons and Dan Quinn, I think head coach Matt Patricia is also on the hot seat. It hasn’t been a successful tenure for Patricia as he is 9-22-1. The dispute with Darius Slay also added fuel to the already burning fire in Detroit. Matt Stafford continues to be the face of the franchise despite not getting past a Wild Card game in his career. If it’s another losing season for Detroit, expect some changes from the front office to the locker room. 

Green Bay Packers – Favre 

In the next couple of years, we might see what happened to Brett Favre happen to Aaron Rodgers. The selection of Jordan Love gives a clear way to tell that the Packers are preparing for the future and not the present. What’s wrong with that? Rodgers needs receivers to work with. They went 13-3 and made it to the conference championship game with bad receivers outside of Davante Adams. This is the same narrative the Packers wrote with Favre: wait for the right time to move on and then start the new guy. The Vikings and Jets might be on the phone lines calling in for Rodgers soon…  

Los Angeles Rams – Downslope 

It’s something to do with losing Super Bowls…it’s almost like it’s inevitable (Thanos, anyone?). In all seriousness, the Rams ended the season 9-7 last year and missed the playoffs. If we had the 14-team format, then they would’ve made it which makes it for extremely unfortunate timing. The downslope might not last long, but they are definitely going to have to play better with a rising NFC West division, arguably the most competitive division in football. 

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Minnesota Vikings – Primetime 

Kirk Cousins has been the joke of the NFL after signing a big contract when many believe he is an average quarterback. It was all guaranteed money too, so the expectations for Cousins were big. Unfortunately, he doesn’t perform well in the big game. He’s struggled in primetime games and can’t seem to get over that hump. There’s room for improvement there and definitely a need for Cousins to play better to get Minnesota back on top. 

New Orleans Saints – Roadblocks

Every year, this year looks like the Saints are going to go to the Super Bowl and get Drew Brees his second ring, but they have been shut down for the past three years. It all started with the Minneapolis Miracle, then transitioning to the “no-call” NFC Championship game against the Rams. If you thought that was bad enough, their luck was tested once again after the shocking and heartbreaking loss to the Vikings once again last year. They have the talent to win Super Bowls but just can’t seem to get there.

New York Giants – Hogmolly 

There’s no better way to describe a huge lineman than the word hogmolly, and this is just what GM Dave Gettleman wants. Yes, the offensive line has struggled for the G-Men for years now and they addressed it in the draft by taking Andrew Thomas. They are also returning with Daniel Jones, who seems to be the franchise quarterback along with the stud running back in Saquon Barkley.

Just like the Cowboys, New York is bringing in a new head coach. It was surprising who it was, but it’s always good to see someone prove people wrong. They’re still in their rebuilding stages, but I think the Giants are going to be good once again in the next couple of years. For now, it’s all about getting those hog mollies to keep Jones vertical and off the turf. 

Philadelphia Eagles – Injury 

Another 9-7 division-winning season for the Eagles came with a Cowboys choke and a slew of injuries. It seemed as if Philly was going to have to start their waterboys at the receiver position. If you thought that was bad enough, Carson Wentz went down in their Wild Card matchup against Seattle after a pretty dirty hit by Jadeveon Clowney, forcing veteran Josh McCown to come in. They brought in Jalen Reagor to help bolster the receivers, but then made a head-scratching move by drafting Jalen Hurts in the second round. This is probably because of Wentz’s durability. Hopefully, 2020 brings fewer injuries for the Eagles. 

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San Francisco 49ers – Hangover 

Hopefully, they won’t go down like the Falcons did after their 28-3 loss in the Super Bowl. Another blown lead in the big game for Kyle Shanahan could lead to disaster for the franchise that has lots of promise. I don’t think they will suffer that bad from their loss, but it is possible they will regress this year. It’s a division packed with talent and rising teams, so it’s crucial for little to no errors from San Francisco this year. 

Seattle Seahawks – Twelve 

The power of the 12th man is one of the strongest fan base reactions in sports. It’s hard for away teams to go in and win because of the volume. It’s good to have the volume during the regular season to get a lot of home wins, but it’s useless come playoff time and you’re on the road. Since 2015, the Seahawks have only had one home playoff game. Russell Wilson is an elite passer and an MVP-caliber quarterback. DK Metcalf is proving to be a good receiver and they have a solid ground game. If they can get past the hump of a wild card spot and perform a little better when it matters most, then the 12th man can carry the Seahawks on a playoff run. 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers – GOAT 

It’s not Jameis Winston leading the way anymore, it’s the new old guy Tom Brady, who gets to go to a team with young star receivers in Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, along with a rising defense. On paper, they are a scary team this year, but all good things don’t come true until they hit the field. I like the Bucs and think they can definitely shake up the NFC South, but remember they are still in a division that has Drew Brees and a high-octane offense. It’s going to be fun to watch the “Senior Bowl” twice a year and possibly in the playoffs. 

Washington Redskins – Mediocre

Ok, I’m not hating on the Redskins. This team was decent at one point when they made the playoffs in 2015. But, it seems as if since then the Redskins are in a never-ending spiral towards the bottom. They did select Chase Young out of Ohio State, but he is only going to help the defense. So basically he can’t help one of the worst offenses. However, Haskins is entering his second year and will be led by one of the better coaches in the league in Ron Rivera. They’re still going to be one of the bottom teams this year, but I do see them getting better in the foreseeable future.

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