By Russell S. Baxter
A season ago, the NFC was the dominant conference in the National Football League. In the head-to-head match-ups with the AFC, the NFC dominated. And when it came to Super Bowl LII, the Philadelphia Eagles handled the New England Patriots, 41-33, at Minneapolis.
The season of resurrection
Keep in mind what transpired a year ago. All four teams that won division championships – the Eagles, Minnesota Vikings, New Orleans Saints and Los Angeles Rams – failed to produce a winning season in 2016. In fact, the Birds were a last place team in the NFC East that year. When the proverbial smoke cleared, the only team in the conference to go back to the playoffs in 2017 that had reached the postseason the previous year was the Atlanta Falcons.
Now six weeks into the current year, the NFC is muddled and that’s an understatement. Every team in both the NFC East and NFC North has at least 2 losses. The New York Giants are 1-5 and the Detroit Lions own a 2-3 mark. Meanwhile, the other six clubs in the two divisions combined own at least a .500 record. Elsewhere, the Saints are 4-1 and the Rams are 6-0. They are the only teams in the conference with one loss or fewer.
So what’s the point? If anyone is trying to forecast which teams are going to make it to the postseason, good luck. While both New Orleans (4) and Los Angeles (6) are riding impressive winning streaks, the only other team in the NFC to own at least a two-game streak of success at the moment is the Minnesota Vikings (2).
Interesting Week 7
The upcoming schedule features a lot of key encounters between teams in the conference. The 3-3 Dallas Cowboys travel to Washington to meet the 3-2 Redskins. The 3-3 Philadelphia Eagles host the 3-2 Carolina Panthers. And while the San Francisco 49ers own only a 1-5 record, they could prove to be a handful for a Rams’ team playing its third consecutive road game.
There’s obviously a long way to go this season but early on, there hasn’t been a lot of separation in the NFC. The again, NFL 2018 is just getting warmed up in many ways.
Russell S. Baxter is the founder of ProFootballGuru.com and a member of the NFL media for 35 years and counting. You can follow him on Twitter at @BaxFootballGuru.
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