Last week we took a closer look at the projected win totals for the AFC for the 2012 regular season so now it is time to turn our attention to the real heart of the matter; the NFC.
The Green Bay Packers have been opened as 13/2 favorites along with New England to win Super Bowl XLVII and 10/3 favorites to win the NFC. Their projected win total for the season is 12 games. With probably the best quarterback in the NFL along with a wealth of supporting talent on both sides of the ball, it would be hard to make a case against the Packers winning 13 or 14 games as well as the conference and Super Bowl. Throw in the motivation factor after last season's disappointing loss to New York at home in the Divisional Round of the playoffs after finishing the regular season 15-1 and you have all the makings of another championship run for Green Bay.
Lurking in the wings are our beloved birds. The Eagles have the second-highest projected win total in the NFC at 10.5. Last year I predicted a 12-4 finish and was way off base but I am sticking my neck out again this year with a prediction of at least 11 wins. This team fully realizes that it has not lived up to its potential and that all the pieces are in place for a championship run of its own.
Much of Philly's chances will hinge on Michael Vick's ability to return to the form that earned him the starting role (and fat contract) in the first place. Part of that form includes taking much better care of the ball as well as taking care of his health. Vick has to realize he is no use to the team if he is not in the starting line-up.
The other key factor to an 11+ win season is a much more consistent defense. Juan Castillo took the brunt of the heat last season as a first-year inexperienced defensive coordinator and for good reason. This unit had all the talent it needed but it lacked leadership and a true sense of team work. The fact that they have had an entire offseason to work out the bugs should ultimately produce a much more cohesive and effective product on the field. Do not be surprised if the defense ends up carrying this team over a few rough spots during the year.
The following is a link to an article that was originally posted on Bang the Book that covers all 16 NFC team's projected win total for this season along with my 'over' or 'under' prediction.
2012 NFC Wins Totals Preview and Predictions