Falcons Out Last Cowboys in Exciting NFC Conference
Written by: Quintin Bentley Crevling
The Dallas Cowboys have stolen the show in the NFC this season.
Franchise quarterback Tony Romo injured his back on an awkward tackle in a meaningless preseason game that left him injured for ten weeks. Romo’s injury put the spotlight on fourth round draft pick Dak Prescott.
The 23 year old shouldered the weight of the world’s most valuable sports franchise and the expectations of fans who anticipated seeing a deep run into the playoffs. The rookie phenom proceeded to have the greatest all around season of any rookie quarterback in NFL history.
Despite the historic rookie season the Cowboys fell victim to prophetic quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who correctly predicted that they would run the table the last six weeks of the season to make the playoffs.
It seemed as if Rodgers was unstoppable, winning six games in a row and then beating the number one seed Cowboys in the divisional round. Matt Ryan and the high flying Falcons had other plans.
Ryan surgically picked apart the injured Packers secondary, routing them 44-21, after completing 71% of his passes, for 396 yards and 4 touchdowns.
The Falcons will represent the NFC in the Super Bowl against the red hot New England Patriots.
The Dallas Cowboys front office had a fantastic draft this season as they snagged this season’s rushing leader, Ezekiel Elliott, with the fourth overall pick. Elliott accumulated nearly 2,000 all purpose yards and 16 touchdowns this season, placing the 21 year old’s name at the top of the MVP conversation.
Odell Beckham Jr. was easily the most exciting receiver in the division this year hauling in 101 passes for 1,367 yards and 10 touchdowns. Beckham Jr. broke three impressive milestones early in the season: most 100 yard receiving games (16) in his first 30 games, the first player to ever record 200 receptions in his first 30 games, and lastly the first player to ever eclipse 3,000 in his first 30 games.
The Redskins had a decent year from quarterback Kirk Cousins who had signed with the team on a one year contract. Free agent super star Josh Norman performed adequately this season, but Washington will definitely need more production if he wants to keep his current contract.
The Eagles rookie quarterback Carson Wentz had a good season and proved himself to be a serviceable quarterback for the organization in the near future. The team will need to draft wisely and surround him with talented playmakers.
The Green Bay Packers had a date with destiny this season as quarterback Aaron Rodgers willed his team to the NFC Championship game. Rodgers was connecting with a duo of receivers that lead in NFL in touchdown receptions; Jordy Nelson hauled in 14 touchdowns and DaVante Adams caught 12 touchdown passes.
The hallmark of Detroit’s season was their 0-5 record against teams that made the postseason. The Lions continued that streak, along with their 25 year run without a playoff victory, as they lost handedly to the Seattle Seahawks in the wildcard round of the playoffs, 26-6.
Minnesota had too many obstacles to overcome this season with injuries to their starting running back, quarterback, and left tackle. Head coach Mike Zimmer also missed some actions this season as he had to have emergency eye surgery to repair a torn retina.
The Bears had an uphill battle this season as two quarterbacks were lost to injuries, leaving the team in the hands of Matt Barkley, who hadn’t taken more than one snap since week 8 of the 2014 season.
Bears receiver, Alshon Jeffery, predicted that the team will win the Super Bowl next season.
MVP candidate Matt Ryan has lead his Falcons to the Super Bowl!
Ryan threw for nearly 5,000 yards for 38 touchdowns and an extremely low 7 interceptions. Head coach Dan Quinn will be playing in his third Super Bowl, having lost once to the Patriots as a defensive coordinator in 2014.
Mike Evans was the go to playmaker all year for the Buccaneers, hauling in 96 receptions for 1,321 yards and 12 touchdowns. Two late season losses were all it took to thwart the Bucs goal of reaching the postseason.
Drew Brees showed that he still has what it takes to win a Super Bowl, having thrown for 5,000 yards for an NFL record fifth time in his career. It didn’t matter how many points the Saints offense scored because their defense finished the season ranked 31st in points allowed.
The Panthers were not the same 15-1 team as last year. Cam Newton and his top receiver Kelvin Benjamin had the worst seasons of their respective careers. I fully expect the Panthers to regroup this offseason and return to playoff form.
The Seattle Seahawks have won the NFC West for the third time in the last four seasons.
The defensive juggernaut was lead by All-Pro middle linebacker Bobby Wagner, who lead the NFL with 167 tackles this season. The Seahawks will need to invest some money into their patchwork offensive line as quarterback Russell Wilson was hit 111 times this season.
David Johnson powered the Cardinals offense this season amassing 2,118 all purpose yards and 20 touchdowns. Larry Fitzgerald, moved up to third on the all time receptions list with 1,125 catches. The 33 year old, is reportedly mulling retirement this offseason.
The Rams have returned to Los Angeles! The team invested the number one overall pick on quarterback, Jared Goff, who struggled in the 7 games he started, throwing for a dismal 63.6 passer rating.
The 49ers are still in the process of rebuilding after losing several key players to early retirement two offseasons ago. The team finished the season with 2 wins, and the organization fired general manager Trent Baalke and head coach Chip Kelly. This marks the second season in a row the 49ers have fired a head coach after one year.