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Assessing each 2015 NFC Playoff Team’s chances to return

1. Seattle Seahawks

huffingtonpost.com

Playoff Possibility: Highly Probable

The Seahawks did not lose much this offseason, and with the acquisition of Jimmy Graham, their offense is going to be quite scary. They now have someone to turn to in the Redzone other than Marshawn Lynch. The competition in the NFC West division has somewhat shifted, with the 49ers losing Harbaugh they are probably set to take a step back. However, the Rams have sported one of the league’s best defenses, and now that they actually have a capable Quarterback in Nick Foles, they have a chance to make some noise. But the Rams are still a few years away from being able to challenge the Seahawks for the division, which means the only team that will test them in the NFC West is the Cardinals.

Forseeable Replacements: Cardinals

 

2. Green Bay Packers

rantsports.com

Playoff Possibility: Highly Probable

With the retaining of Randall Cobb, not a lot is going to change in the Packers firepower offense. With Aaron Rodgers healthy, the Packers are always contenders, even with their defense scraping the bottom. The Lions should challenge the Packers in the division, but with the potential decline of the 49ers, Eagles and Cowboys, the Packers should be more than able to lock up a wild card spot if they somehow can’t clinch the division.

Forseeable Replacments: Lions

 

 

3. Dallas Cowboys

sbnation.com

Playoff Possibility: Questionable

The Cowboys ran the ball more than any other team, with Demarco Murray easily getting the most touches out of any Running Back. Because of this, not drafting a Running Back to replace Murray was a perplexing move by the Cowboys. By relying this heavily on the run game last season, and not replacing him, what do they think is going to happen? Darren McFadden is not ready to carry this kind of load, and the Offensive Line is too good for them not to center their game plan around the running game. Luckily for the Cowboys, it looks like the Eagles have also taken a step back. Don’t count out the New York Giants.

Forseeable Replacements: Eagles, Giants

 

4. Carolina Panthers

thebiglead.com

Playoff Possibility: Probable

The Panthers upgraded their positions of need through the draft and the offseason, and the Wide Receiver position is no longer becoming a pressing issue. Also, their Offensive line should be in a much better position than it was last season, with the acquisition of Michael Oher and Daryl Williams. Cam Newton is entering the prime of his career, and they finally have decent protection for him.

The Panthers linebacker core is now officially the scariest in the league with Shaq Thompson to join Luke Keuchly and Thomas Davis. Their defense as a whole is already among the top 10 in the NFL, but it still has plenty of room to grow because they are very young. The Falcons have greatly improved this offseason, and they are the only team in the NFC South that will challenge the Panthers on their quest for a three peat.

Forseeable Replacements: Falcons

5. Arizona Cardinals

azcardinals.com

Playoff Possibility: Slightly Questionable

Yes, the Cardinals did fade down the stretch in the 2014 season. This can be blamed a good bit on the fact that they lost their 1st and 2nd string Quarterback and 1st string Running Back to injury in the second half of the season. However, the Cardinals when completely healthy started the season 9-1, and they still have a top 10 defense going into next year. If they can get back to full health they will be very much in the mix of things in 2015.

Forseeable Replacements: 49ers, Falcons, Vikings, Rams

 

6. Detriot Lions

detriot.cbslocal.com

Playoff Possibility: Questionable

A greatly improved offensive line will improve the Lions running game which failed to meet expectations last season. However, a loss of Ndamukong Suh is leaving the Lions Defensive line a position in question for 2015. With Reggie Bush gone, it seems like the Lions will once again be a pass heavy offense. With Stafford, Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate, this offense will always be able to put up points. But I just don’t think the Lions are going to be able to surpass the Packers in the division, and the NFC Wild Card race is always tough.

Forseeable Replacements: 49ers, Falcons, Vikings, Rams

2 thoughts on “Assessing each 2015 NFC Playoff Team’s chances to return Leave a comment

  1. As much as I want to back my Cowboys on this, I won’t because I may come off as biased and I know a lot of outsiders are just looking at Murray left, and not seeing the Cowboys upgraded the defensive line, secondary, and even (somehow) the offensive line this offseason. (And I agree with the Giants contesting next year)

    But the 49ers? I don’t understand where one comes from with San Fransisco. Kaepernick’s inconsistent, the offensive line isn’t what it once was, the once formidable Top 5 defense is no more. Not to mention getting rid of the only head coach of the 21st Century who did for the 49ers as much as Harbaugh did.

    I feel the Rams, Vikings, and Falcons all have the potential to being there in the Wild Card hunt. But I think the Detroit Lions still have a pretty good chance. They lost Suh and Fairley, but still have their offensive weapons, Glover Quin, and gained Haloti Ngata. Suh may have been a dominant player inside, but he didn’t mean much to the team’s win total, which is why I still think Miami has holes to fill before making the postseason.

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    • I agree about the 49ers, they don’t have much of a chance. It might seem like the Lions have a really good chance to get back, but there is definitely a new batch of wild card contenders coming in, and we don’t know what they are capable of yet.

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