Oddsmakers have the San Francisco 49ers as the favorites to win the NFC again in 2020.
Thanks to a playoff upset by the Minnesota Vikings, the Niners didn’t have to face the second-best team in the conference, the New Orleans Saints in the postseason. San Francisco easily beat the Vikings and Green Bay Packers on its way to the Super Bowl.
But, the NFC is loaded going into next season. The Saints added receiver Emmanuel Sanders (sigh), in free agency and have improved their offensive line, looking to make up for three years of playoff failures.
There is a lot of hype surrounding the Dallas Cowboys, who added a weapon in receiver CeeDee Lamb to help out quarterback Dak Prescott. They also signed defensive tackle Gerald McCoy to solidify their defensive line and will look to bounce back after a disappointing 2019.
Another team getting a lot of love this offseason is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. With New England Patriots greats Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski joining receivers Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, expectations are sky-high for the Bucs. Tampa addressed its offensive line issues by drafting Iowa tackle Tristan Wirfs, who will have the responsibility to keep the 42-year-old Brady upright in 2020.
I still think the 49ers are the team to beat next season. Losing Sanders, Joe Staley, and DeForest Buckner hurts, but general manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan did about as good as they could in replacing them.
As continue into the offseason, here is how I rank the top-seven NFC teams:
New Orleans and San Francisco both have continuity on their side. Each team will be bringing back a majority of their starters in 2020, and their coaching staffs are pretty much in-tact.
I had the hardest time figuring out where to put the Bucs. I do think they will be a playoff team, but with this offseason being unlike any other, they may have a tough time building up the chemistry. I don’t see the Cowboys having enough on their defense to be able to dethrone the Niners, but they could be a handful when they have the ball.
Meanwhile, the 49ers are a bad matchup for a Packers team that didn’t do enough to close the gap this offseason. Minnesota still has Kirk Cousins as its starter, so the Vikings don’t scare me.
Even though you can never count out Hobbit Wilson and the Seahawks, the team took a step back going into next season. Losing a pass-rushing demon-like Jadeveon Clowney hurts, pairing that with their lack of action in addressing the offensive line, makes me put them further down the list.
We all know the NFL is difficult to predict, especially with three months left until Week 1, but who do you currently see as San Francisco’s biggest threat in the NFC?