Ticket Score – Guide to the Best Bets to Win the NFC Championship
The Los Angeles Rams and the Philadelphia Eagles are the overwhelming NFC favorites to reach Super Bowl 53. However, an abundance of quality teams in the NFL’s strongest conference assures that neither the Rams nor the Eagles will have a cakewalk to the big game.
Despite losing Carson Wentz to an injury, the Eagles delivered the city their first Vince Lombardi Trophy. However, in a quarterback-driven league, Philadelphia surviving the loss of its franchise quarterback was an anomaly.
The Green Bay Packers watched their season go down the drain when Aaron Rodgers was hurt in Week 6, which is what usually happens when a team loses its field general. In America’s most popular sports league, the success or failure of a franchise hinges on the performance of the quarterback.
With the exception of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Arizona Cardinals, every team in the conference has a legitimate chance to make the playoffs if their signal-callers can remain healthy and perform at a high level. Here are the five best bets to win the NFC championship this season.
Los Angeles Rams
The reigning NFC West champion is loaded on both sides of the ball. If Jared Goff and Todd Gurley can avoid serious injury, an explosive offense that added speedster Brandin Cooks in the offseason should light up scoreboards on a weekly basis. The Rams also boast an elite defense that added five-time Pro Bowler Ndamukong Suh. The only question mark facing this squad is how long it will take before 2017 NFL Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald is signed to a new contract.
Although Nick Foles was not traded this past off season, there is no quarterback controversy in Philly. Wentz will be the starter when healthy and the high-flying Eagles are hungry for back-to-back titles. The Eagles will once again showcase a passing game that will include free agents Mike Wallace, Markus Wheaton and Kamar Aiken. Winning the NFC East will not be easy, but if Wentz returns to form this squad will have a chance to defend its Super Bowl title.
Green Bay Packers
The Packers were 4-1 and looking like Super Bowl contenders before Aaron Rodgers hurt his shoulder. Although the Packers released Jordy Nelson in a surprising offseason move, Rodgers did gain a big red zone target in free agent tight end, Jimmy Graham. While Green Bay failed to improve its pass rush, the defense should see improvement after adding a pair of talented corner backs in the draft and signing former New York Jets interior lineman Muhammad Wilkerson.
The Vikings signed quarterback Kirk Cousins to a monster contract in hopes that he is the final piece to a championship squad. The return of running back Dalvin Cook from an ACL injury will be key to the success of the offense. Defensively, Minnesota added free agent DT Sheldon Richardson and used their first-round pick on Central Florida CB Mike Hughes. The Vikings missed out on playing in Super Bowl 51 in their own backyard, but will enter this season with the same championship aspirations.
New Orleans Saints
The Saints 2017 season came to a heartbreaking end due to the Minnesota Miracle. But, Drew Brees & Co. have their best team since winning Super Bowl 44 and are a serious threat to win the NFC crown. New Orleans added talented defensive lineman Marcus Davenport with the 14th overall pick and gave Brees another offensive weapon by drafting Central Florida wideout Tre’Quan Smith in the third round. The Saints have a bad taste in their mouths after last season and should be one of the elite NFC squads this season.
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