It’s around the halfway mark of the season for most teams in the NFC. What this means is that we’re already starting to get a clear picture of the teams that could push for the NFC title and go on to compete in the playoffs. If you are wondering which teams are flattering to deceive, and which ones are surprising everyone and looking like making a realistic challenge for the Super Bowl in 2019-20, read on to discover the leading quartet for the NFC title.
New Orleans Saints
Although the San Francisco 49ers have made everyone sit up and take notice with seven successive wins, it’s still the New Orleans Saints that most NFL sportsbooks listed on Oddschecker believe have the best chance of winning the National Football Conference (NFC) overall. Many believe that the Saints are playing the best football out of any team in the NFL right now.
The Saints are streets ahead of everyone else in the NFC South, leaving the Panthers and the Buccaneers trailing in their wake. Although the NFL trade deadline is approaching for teams to tweak their rosters, it would seem a rather foolhardy move for the Saints to change things up with a trade. Some fans may be feeling a little miffed that their team haven’t moved for some of the big names, but there’s probably no need for the New Orleans’ hierarchy to unsettle the current equilibrium that they have on and off the field.
San Francisco 49ers
Caption: The team spirit in the 49ers’ camp is hard to beat right now
It really has been a remarkable start to the 2019 NFL season for the 49ers. Seven successive league victories have seen the San Franciscans start to dream of a first Super Bowl success since 1995. Their most recent 51-13 demolition of the Panthers was particularly impressive. They scored consistently in all four quarters against Carolina, whilst shutting the Panthers out in two of the four quarters at the other end of the field.
Surely the 49ers cannot be considered pretenders for the NFC and the Super Bowl any longer? Another key point of note from San Fran’s recent hammering of the Panthers is that Carolina had a fortnight to rest and prepare for the game and were still overawed and overpowered by Kyle Shanahan’s troops. Shanahan has been the real mastermind of the 49ers’ success to date and would surely be up for Coach of the Year if he can pip the Saints to the NFC title.
Green Bay Packers
The Packers underlined their NFC credentials with a hard-fought 31-24 victory at the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs are still clear favorites for the AFC West, so it’s fair to say that the Packers really did turn on the style in this contest. Green Bay are in a far tougher NFC North than the AFC West though, with the Vikings breathing down the necks of the Packers right now.
The Packers could be one of the few contenders for the NFC title that benefit from the use of the trade deadline. Defensive tackle, Leonard Williams has been tipped as a potential target for Green Bay coach, Brian Gutekunst. Now a fifth-year DT, Williams is a proven player and someone that has demonstrated durable physical and mental fortitude, featuring in all but one game for the New York Jets, and could be a reliable addition to the Packers’ roster.
There are distinct parallels between the Cowboys and the San Francisco 49ers. Both teams enjoyed successful spells in the 1990s and have fallen on harder times since. However, both are in contention for the NFC title this time around. In arguably the most competitive NFC division, the NFC East sees the Cowboys and Eagles going head to head for a place in the playoffs.
Dallas defeated Philadelphia 37-10 during Week 7 to underline their superiority, but it’s consistency that will need to be key to stave off the threat of an Eagles fightback in the coming weeks. As NFL fans know all too well, the Cowboys have found it difficult getting over the line in the last couple of decades, which is what happens when you lose that winning mentality for so long.