Pads being clashed together, fans celebrating close wins and new narratives being built. The NFL season is around the corner. The National Football Conference enters the season with a lot to prove.
According to Diffin, the NFC has won 24 championships since 1970. The NFC is regarded as the weaker conference in the NFL. The AFC is littered with talented rosters and elite quarterbacks. The NFC is littered with teams looking to make a name for themselves.
In this article, I discuss why the NFC is an intriguing conference. I also discuss why the NFC will surprise football fans and analysts.
NFC In the Past
In the past, the NFC was a powerhouse and a force to be reckoned with. The NFC South had the likes of Cam Newton, Matt Ryan, Drew Brees and Jameis Winston. NFC South games were highly competitive because of the quarterback play. The NFC South was also regarded as the best division in the NFL.
Teams like the Green Bay Packers, Los Angeles Rams and New Orleans Saints consistently made the playoffs. San Francisco and Seattle made deep playoff runs in the past. Seattle was one of the best teams in the NFC because of Russell Wilson and the Legion of Boom.
An Intriguing Conference
The NFC is an intriguing conference because most of the conference is unproven. The fascination comes from the question marks across the conference.
Let’s start with the NFC West. The San Francisco 49ers have been close to making it to a Super Bowl. Brock Purdy and Trey Lance are rehabbing from injuries. Who will start? Kyler Murray isn’t ready to play, and the Arizona Cardinals are rebuilding. The Rams moved off large contracts and want to get back to the playoffs. Seattle had a good season with Geno Smith. Can they build on their success in 2023?
The NFC East is also filled with question marks. How will the Cowboys look with Mike McCarthy calling plays? Will they finally get to the Super Bowl? Is Sam Howell the franchise quarterback the Commanders need? Can the Eagles and Jalen Hurts improve? Will Daniel Jones become an elite quarterback who can compete with the best teams in the NFL? Was the 2022 season a fluke for the New York Football Giants? I would pay close attention to the NFC East.
The NFC South has been heavily scrutinized over the past couple of seasons. Will Derek Carr take the Saints to the playoffs? Can the Buccaneers stay competitive without Tom Brady? Will Bryce Young and Frank Reich bring winning back to Carolina? Is Desmond Ridder the answer in Atlanta? Will the Atlanta Falcons stop shooting themselves in the foot? Another division to pay close attention to.
The Detroit Lions are a young team that finished 2022 strong. Can Detroit make the playoffs for the first time since 2016? Can the Minnesota Vikings get over the hump and not settle with being average? Will Jordan Love help the Packers win games? Are the Packers ready for the post-Aaron Rodgers era? Can Justin Fields shine with his new cast of weapons?
Every division in the NFL has question marks. The questions are more significant for the NFC. The NFC doesn’t have the same pedigree as the AFC.
The Philadelphia Eagles won the NFC in 2022, but that doesn’t mean anything. Four different teams have won the NFC in the past four seasons. Any team can win the NFC in 2023. I am excited to watch the conference when the season kicks off in September.