Jibber Jabber – NFC 2017

Opinion

Chad T. Jones, Public Affairs Officer

As much as I want to jump right into the NFC preview, I have to give some credit to the Real Housewives of Fort Meade FB page, which hooked up a live stream to Saturday’s McGregor vs. Mayweather fight.

I’m not sure who did it or how. I also don’t care because you should never look a gift horse in the mouth — especially one that saves you $99!

As for the fight, McGregor deserves a lot of credit for going 10 rounds with the second-best fighter of this generation. Sorry, Roy Jones is still the best.

I know Money Mayweather is 40 and hadn’t fought for two years, but Conor hit Floyd 30 more times in 10 rounds than Manny Pacquiao did in 12.

Anyway, Conor did himself proud and now has 30 million reasons to smile. Conversely, Floyd gets to retire 50-0 and is clearly one of the greatest boxers in history.

On to the NFC.

North

Best Offensive Player: Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay

No need to do a double check on the best offense player in the North. Rodgers has thrown 109 TDs to only 20 INTs in the last three seasons. He also sports the league’s best mustache.

Best Defensive Player: Xavier Rhodes, CB, Minnesota

The Vikings are going to lean heavily on its defense this season, and that defense is going to be leaning on Rhodes, who is one of the best covermen in the game.

Best Unit: Green Bay’s Offense

Rodgers + wide outs Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb + running back Ty Montgomery + tight end Marcellus Bennett = a whole lotta points.

Actually, Rodgers + me + a few members from the Fort Meade intramural flag football team + anyone else would = a lot of points because Rodgers is that dang good. Did I mention his mustache?

Worst Unit: Chicago Bears offense

Quarterback Mike Glennon + anyone = a bad offense, even with second-year stud running back Jordan Howard (1,313 yards and 6 TDs and 5.2 YPC as a rookie).

OK, I’m done with the math symbols.

Biggest Addition: Latavius Murry, RB, Minnesota The Vikings need to run the ball if they are going to make the playoffs, which means former Raider Murray, is going to be busy.

And for something you don’t hear every day, or even every decade, the Lions made a smart move by signing RT Rick Wagner to protect the league’s highest-paid player, QB Mathew Stafford.

Final Standings: Green Bay 11-5; Detroit 10-6 (Wildcard); Minnesota 8-8; Chicago 2-14.

South

Best Offensive Player: Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta

As one NFL defender put it, Julio Jones wasn’t born; he was hatched out of an egg like a Super Bird. He’s been unstoppable since birth, and as long as he’s on the field, Atlanta will be a threat to score.

Best Defensive Player: Luke Kuechly, LB, Carolina

If Luke’s healthy, Carolina’s D will be tough to beat. (Same thing I said last year.)

Best unit: Tampa Bay’s offense

Tampa added one of the game’s best deep threats, DeSean Jackson, to a unit that already included an elite running back, Doug Martin; a stud receiver, Mike Evans; and a potential game-changing TE in OJ Howard.

Oh yeah, their QB, Jameis Winston, isn’t bad either.

Worst Unit: New Orleans Defense

The Saints Defense improve last year by only giving up 28.4 PPG. (They gave up 29.8 PPG in 2015.)

This season they are gunning for 27 PPG. I’m guessing they’ll come up short.

Biggest Addition: Christian McCaffery, RB, Carolina

Everyone wants to say Christian is too small, too slow and too white to be good in the NFL. I’m saying anyone who says that is crazy.

Final Standings: Atlanta 11-5; Carolina 11-5 (Wildcard); Tampa Bay 9-7; New Orleans 6-10

East

Best Offensive Player: Dez Bryant, WR, Dallas

Call him crazy. Call him a jerk. But do not doubt Dez’s game.

Best unit: Dallas Cowboys Offensive Line

It won’t matter if it’s Ezekiel Elliott, Darren McFadden, Alfred Morris or the #middleagedgangsta running the ball. The single-best unit in the NFL will make sure that person stays clean all the way through the Super Bowl.

Worst Unit: Washington Redskins Defense

Much to my pleasure, the Skins D gave up the fifth-most yard (377 PG), the 14th-most point (383) and had the worst third-down defense in the league.

Better yet, they didn’t do much about it, so they should stink again this year.

Biggest Addition(s): Jaylon Smith, LB and Taco Charlton, DE, Dallas

The Boys defense wasn’t bad last year, except when they were gassed and things mattered most. (See Aaron Rodgers final play in NFC Playoffs.)

These two studs will help fix that problem. Smith was a top-10 pick before a horrific injury forced him into the second round in 2015. Taco, on the other hand, just has too much sauce.

Final Standings: Dallas 12-4; New York Giants 8-8; Philadelphia 6-10; Washington 6-10

West

Best Offensive Player: David Johnson, RB, Arizona The top fantasy running back is also the best offensive player in the West. Johnson’s ability to run and catch will help Arizona keep competitive in a tough conference. bit.ly/2wiAopn

Best Defensive Player: Aaron Donald, DT, Rams The name on this list had been a Seahawk forever, but that’s no more thanks to the man who Seahawks DL Michael Bennett simply calls “a beast.” Donald makes thing happen.

Best unit: Seattle Seahawks Defense

Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril are the best DE combo in the NFL. Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas are still the best safety combo in the league.

Then, of course, there is pro bowl LB Bobby Wagner, all-pro cornerback Richard Sherman and head coach Pete Carroll.

Worst Unit: San Francisco 49ers offense

The Niners probably wouldn’t score this year if it weren’t for RB Carlos Hyde and league rules, which favor the offense. Seriously, QB Brian Hoyer, WR Pierre Garcon and a TE named George Kittle.

Biggest Addition: Eddy Lacy, RB, Seattle

The Seahawks missed Marshawn Lynch last year, but they may have found a good replacement in the former Packers back Lacy — if he can stay healthy, of course.

Final Standings: Seattle 11-5; Arizona 8-8; LA Rams 8-8; San Francisco 3-13

NFC Championship game: Dallas Vs. Seattle

We will have the AFC and Super Bowl predictions next week.

Until then …

If you have comments on this or anything to do with sports, contact me at chad.t.jones.civ@mail.mil or hit me up on twitter @ctjibber.

If you disagree, hit me up on Twitter @ctjibber.

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