NFC

Who Will Earn Top Seed In The NFC?

  • NFC
  • NFL
By Andy Davies November 28, 2020 0 Comment
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The NFC has seen 6 different winners of the conference in the past 6 years, compared to the AFC that has seen just 3 different conference winners in the past 6 seasons.

This season, the AFC seems all but set to be won by either the Kansas City Chiefs or the Pittsburgh Steelers. Both teams are at least two wins ahead of the current third seed Buffalo Bills.

A Competitive NFC

Meanwhile, in the NFC, the second seed Los Angeles Rams share 7 wins with the third seed Green Bay Packers.

Whilst the Chiefs and Steelers have been the dominant two in the AFC playoff picture, the NFC seems to have a different leader each week.

With an 8-2 record, the New Orleans Saints currently occupy the number one seed. It wasn’t too long ago that their division rivals the Tampa Bay Buccaneers led the NFC South.

A week is a long time in the NFL and the NFC is an epitome of this.

Seattle Seahawks fans would have thought their team was destined to win the NFC West and possibly get that number one seed. Two back to back losses, including one to the Rams, have moved the Seahawks off top spot in the division and into the fifth seed in the NFC.

In an uncertain 2020 across the world, the NFC has been no different.

So who will be the number one seed in the NFC after the conclusion of the regular season?

New Orleans Saints (Current Record: 8-2)

Currently, New Orleans leads the NFC after a brilliant run of form that has seen them win seven straight games. The Saints are amazingly 6-0 without Drew Brees as the starter. This is stretching back to last season when Teddy Bridgewater filled in for the injured Brees and won 5 games.

Taysom Hill was the man to fill in for Brees, with Bridgewater now playing for the Carolina Panthers.

Hill had a great first career start in the 24-9 win over the Atlanta Falcons, recording 51 yards on the ground and two rushing touchdowns. He also Threw for 233 passing yards and a 78.3% completion percentage (18 of 23).

Jameis Winston was expected to be the replacement for Brees but Payton went for Hill and it appeared to work. The Denver Broncos, Atlanta Falcons, Philadelphia Eagles, Kansas City, Minnesota Vikings, and Carolina Panthers await the Saints in their final six games of the season.

These are mostly winnable games, with a combined record of 27-33-1 for their remaining opponents.

Running back Alvin Kamara is an MVP candidate with 8 rushing scores and 4 receiving touchdowns this season. He is 22nd in the league for receiving yards (648). Travis Kelce is the only non-wide receiver to be higher than Kamara for receiving yards (896).

Defensive end Trey Hendrickson shares the lead with Cleveland Browns’ Myles Garrett for sacks recorded this season (9.5). New Orleans also lead the league in total rushing yards allowed, with only Tampa Bay allowing less rushing yards than the Saints.

The Saints have been excellent in every aspect in recent weeks. They have had a running back who has rushed for and caught touchdowns and defensively have the NFL’s joint sack leader and are the best in the league for rushing yards allowed per game. They have been able to both stop the run and get to the quarterback.

Los Angeles Rams (Current Record: 7-3)

The Rams have gone under the radar this season, with the Rams appearing to be back to their best without anyone talking about them.

Whilst you aren’t seeing the same type of offense you saw in the 2018 season, what you are seeing is a more efficient team.

Quarterback Jared Goff has thrown for 16 touchdowns and 8 interceptions. Aaron Donald has only recorded 0.5 sacks less than the aforementioned two current sack leaders this season. Jalen Ramsey continues to assert himself as the best cornerback in the league.

Sean McVay must have felt disrespected after the criticism he received following the disappointment of Super Bowl 53 and the subsequent 2019 season. He has managed to bring his reputation back to how it was a couple of years ago. This will be a huge factor for the Rams in the postseason and future seasons.

Green Bay Packers (Current Record: 7-3)

It is simple, as long as any team has Aaron Rodgers as their quarterback, anything is possible.

Rodgers is sixth so far this season for passing yards recorded this season (2,889). Only Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson has thrown for more touchdowns than Rodgers this season.

Vikings receiver Adam Thielen is the only player this season who has caught for more touchdowns than Packers wideout Davante Adams. Rodgers and Adams have a brilliant relationship on the field.

Allen Lazard was a great number two option for Green Bay in the opening three weeks before his injury. Now he is back, this could ease the load off Adams. Having no legitimate number two option has been the Packers’ downfall this season. Now Lazard is back, the Packers are capable of getting that number one seed and a first-round bye, especially with the 31-30-1 record of their remaining opponents.

Seattle Seahawks (Current Record: 7-3)

Russell Wilson is another MVP candidate. Wilson has thrown for the most touchdowns so far this season (30). Only Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes have thrown for more passing yards.

Defensively, Seattle has been poor against the pass. They have allowed the most passing yards in the league this season (3,437). They have been better against the run, with only three teams allowing for less rushing yards this season than Seattle, who have allowed 912.

This has to be a concern for Seattle, but their offense will continue to win them games. Wide receiver D.K. Metcalf has caught the joint fourth-most touchdowns so far this season (9). He has also managed to record 862 receiving yards. This will be the route for success unless Seattle’s defense can relive their ‘Legion of Boom’ days.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Current Record: 7-4)

There has been no playoff appearance for Tampa Bay since the 2007 season and no win in the postseason since the 2002 season when they went on to win the Super Bowl. A playoff appearance is very likely this season, with a plethora of offensive talent. Defensively, the Buccaneers have been excellent. They have allowed the least rushing yards per game, but it is the offense where Tampa Bay is particularly exciting.

Tampa Bay has a player in Tom Brady, who has won 9 AFC Championships and 6 Super Bowls. Not only do they have the ‘GOAT’, but they also have wide receivers such as Mike Evans, Antonio Brown, and Chris Godwin. They also have an excellent tight end room, with Rob Gronkowski, Cameron Brate, and O.J. Howard all sharing the load. This is a good reason as any for Tampa Bay to have a chance of getting the number one seed in the NFC.

Arizona Cardinals (Current Record: 6-4)

The outsiders. They have an exciting team but sadly not enough to get the number one seed. However, they should not be counted out. With quarterback Kyler Murray and the best wideout in the league in Deandre Hopkins, these are two reasons why Arizona should be considered a dark horse for the number one seed.

Overall Verdict

For me, I am giving the number one seed to the New Orleans Saints. They are in the best form and this is something you need coming down the stretch. They have the most complete team, having overcome a 1-2 start to now find themselves 8-2. Hill has shown he is a capable replacement for Drew Brees. They have a running back that can do it all. The Saints will want that number one seed and a first-round bye in the playoffs. They hope this will guide them to just their second-ever Super Bowl appearance, they’re first since they won the Super Bowl after the conclusion of the 2010 season.

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