Three teams stand out atop the NFC in the San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks and New Orleans Saints.
The NFC had five teams reach at least 10 wins in 2019. The New Orleans Saints, Green Bay Packers, and San Francisco 49ers all went 13-3 while the Seattle Seahawks went 11-5 and the Minnesota Vikings finished 10-6.
The 49ers ultimately made it to the Super Bowl and did not suffer any major roster subtractions this offseason, leaving the team as favorites to win the NFC yet again. They are joined in that race by the Saints and the Seahawks.
The best in the NFC
There is no reason to doubt the 49ers.
Emmanuel Sanders was the only major player lost in free agency, as he now joins the Saints. Last year was Jimmy Garopppolo’s first full season as a starter and he should realistically get better after already throwing for 3,978 yards and 27 touchdowns.
He took heat in the postseason for barely needing to throw the ball, but that shows how dominant the team’s rushing attack was. Being able to wear teams down via the run sets up the play-action pass, and Kyle Shanahan is no stranger to using that to destroy opposing defenses.
One of the team’s main competitors come from within the NFC West. The team was literal inches away from winning the division in Week 17 against the 49ers, but a key tackle near the goal line locked up the West for San Francisco and sent the Seahawks to the Wild Card round. The entire postseason could have been different if Seattle didn’t repeat history by failing to score down near the end zone.
Russell Wilson remains an elite quarterback and the team added Greg Olsen as a target this offseason. Brandon Shell and B.J. Finney also come to town to provide support for an offensive line that allowed Wilson to get sacked a league-leading 48 times last season. The fact he was able to throw for over 4,000 yards and 31 touchdowns shows why the Seahawks are once again top NFC contenders.
An improved line and a rushing attack where all the key pieces don’t get hurt will only make the team better.
The Seahawks also signed Bruce Irvin and used their top two draft picks on defenders. This won’t be the Legion of Boom 2.0, but Irvin should be able to provide a boost in his return.
Then there is the Saints. Drew Brees returning on a new deal instantly made them the favorites yet again in the NFC South. Michael Thomas is already a legendary receiver and Alvin Kamara returns as an elite running back.
The defense added veteran Malcolm Jenkins and the entire core from last season is returning. Tom Brady being in Tampa adds a new layer of competition within the division, but there is a lot for that entire team to prove before they are anointed as the division favorites.
The Packers fall out of the top three even after a 13-3 year because of several major question marks. The team failed to add a key weapon on offense in the draft and instead built for the future by drafting Jordan Love at a time when Aaron Rodgers is still playing at an elite level.
As for the NFC East? There is always drama there and teams failing to reach their potential.
The 49ers, Seahawks, and Saints are atop the NFC right now. It will be fun to see what other teams could come for that throne when the season gets underway later this year.