The Atlanta Falcons just finished up a season that was at least mildly disappointing, and it was also a season where they won 10 games in the regular season and made it to the NFC Conference Championship against a first place schedule. Next year, I’m hopeful they’ll be better, and they’ll have an easier schedule in theory to work with.
Figuring out which teams are going to be good in 2018 is a little bit of a crapshoot. The Panthers may take a step back with Norv Turner and family at the helm, but the Buccaneers might finally take a step forward. The Giants and Bengals probably won’t be quite as awful next year, the Browns may tick up, and the Packers will have Aaron Rodgers back. It’s unlikely to be as easy as it would look if you were playing the 2017 versions of some of these teams.
That said, this is not an absurdly difficult schedule. The Eagles will be a challenge and the Steelers will be too if Ben Roethlisberger doesn’t hang it up, but I feel good about their chances against everyone from the Giants to the Redskins to the Cardinals. If the team has a good offseason and heads into the season healthy, I think it’s more than reasonable to expect them to contend once again in the NFC. Of course, we gotta see that offseason again.
Here’s a fresh look at that slate of opponents for you to discuss. How many wins do you see here?
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
New Orleans Saints