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Mike McCarthy's squad has made the Divisional Round in six of the last seven seasons, and this year's version looks better than usual. Green Bay won six games in a row to close out the regular season and has better weapons this year. I was leaning toward Minnesota here, but I can't see the playoff picture without Aaron Rodgers.
The offense was good before Martellus Bennett and Lance Kendricks. It's even better now. Dalvin Cook and a revamped offensive line thrive as the defense rebounds.
If not the Packers in the North, then who? Green Bay's the obvious choice here The Falcons will recover from their Super Bowl meltdown to win the division again, but the Bucs will give them a run for it. Yep, I'm in on this trendy pick. This hard-hitting defense is going to cause an uptick in its opponents' dental-implant budgets.
Jameis Winston is firing on all cylinders. Jameis makes enough plays to push the Bucs to the top. The Falcons have enough talent to avoid the dreaded Super Bowl hangover.
The team's improving defense and depth throughout the roster should stave off any Super Bowl hangover. The offense appears to be picking up where it left off and the defense is improved.
The fear of a Super Bowl hangover is very real, but it's still hard to imagine this offense not rolling up 30 points every week. Dirk Koetter and Jameis Winston lead the Bucs to the top of possibly the toughest division in football. The defensive improvement will offset the slight setback they have on offense. Ticket the Falcons for a first-round bye. They won't skip a beat while scorching teams with the NFL's most dangerous attack. The Falcons are loaded and even better than last year!
I've had an 11th-hour epiphany: I do buy the idea of a Super Bowl hangover A strange offseason with indications of tension and trade speculation gives way to what could be a surprisingly easy division title for the Seahawks.
There is a frightening edge to these guys entering the season -- and that is frightening knowing how much of an edge they've always possessed. Pete Carroll's defense is still one of the best in the league, and you can't count the offense out with Russell Wilson under center.
A healthy, prime-year Russell Wilson with the best defense of the decade should be ready to make another Super Bowl run. The Legion of Boom is happy again with the re-signing of Kam Chancellor. They face the same questions as last season: Can their offensive line and run game do enough to help this team return to another Super Bowl? Seattle has a healthy Russell Wilson and a defense that will be enough.
It feels like this team has one more big run in it. This team should have home-field advantage from playing in a weak division. Despite a few questions on offense, more often than not the defense takes Pete Carroll's group to the top. Russell Wilson and the consistent defense make the difference. The offensive line remains a concern for this team, but the defense will carry the day.
Russell Wilson looks healthier than ever. The backfield is deep. The defense remains a beast. Russell Wilson is healthy and that changes everything. Seattle's D is still special. This team's on the cusp of a shake-up from the head coach on down. I say they go out with a bang. With Jameis Winston ascending to the top tier of quarterbacks, the only question is: Are the Bucs are a wild-card team or can they edge the Falcons for the division?
Desmond Trufant is back and this lightning-fast unit should get the ball back to its offense quite a bit. Aaron Rodgers is a magician.
This whole team returns and is hungry for another go at a title. The loss of suspended running back Ezekiel Elliott puts this team in a deep hole to start the season.
They'll have the best offense in the league. Jameis Winston will play smarter and the Bucs will become a better team because of it. Playing without Ezekiel Elliott for a while keeps them from winning the division. But, they still win 10 games. This offense -- even without Zeke -- is dominant.
It's an offense that controls the clock and really boosts the defense, which this team needs. They overcome a slow start and still make the playoffs.
Aaron Rodgers alone isn't enough to win the division, but he's good enough to deliver another wild card. One of the league's most watchable upstarts finally brings joy to Tampa. Written by Brian Spaen Sep Minnesota and Detroit begin their division series on Monday night at Comerica Park. The Twins had a rough showing in Written by Adam Rauzino Sep Louis Cardinals in the series opener Monday The Rays continue to keep Written by Chris Altruda Sep Framber Valdez looks to get back on track and help the Houston Astros take another step closer to the AL West title as Written by Nick Raffoul Sep The San Francisco Giants will hope to finish off the regular season strong as they head on the road to Petco Park for a Winners and Whiners is the premier source for the complete analysis, along with actual predictions on every game for every major sport in America — every day!
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