With the NFL season nearly three-quarters of the way gone, I figure now is as good a time as any to check back on my preseason picks for each division.
We start with the NFC. In the North, I picked the Minnesota Vikings, which still looks okay. At the same time, I completely wrote off the Lions, who now look like a serious threat to win the division. Green Bay is still hanging around as well. Really, I could see any of these three teams winning the division. For now, I stick with my preseason pick.
I picked Dallas to run away with the East, so that looks pretty good at the moment. That said, the division is much more competitive than I, or just about anyone else, had expected before the season began. Washington has looked increasingly impressive as the season has gone on. That said, they still look a class below Dallas. Meanwhile, the Giants have had an outstanding season when you consider how low preseason expectations were for them. Nevertheless, Dallas is still the easy choice here.
In the South, I picked the Panthers to run away with it. Coming into the year they looked to be the most complete squad by far. Naturally, they are dead last in the division and all but mathematically eliminated. Tampa Bay has been coming on lately and the Saints are hovering around .500, but I think at this point it is Atlanta’s division to lose. I think they take care of business down the stretch and win the division.
Finally, we have the West. Coming into the season, I thought Arizona would continue to be one of the hotter teams in the NFL and that as long as Carson Palmer stayed healthy, they would run away with the division. Turns out I was way off. Theirs is one of the more head-scratching collapses of the season. The Rams and the Niners are just as awful as we thought they’d be. The O-line issues that I thought would doom Seattle still persist, and will eventually end their season, but not until the playoffs. Seattle runs away with the division.
It looks like at this point I should go 2-2 on my division winners.