Addy’s Four Division Winners

Addy Bates, Reporter

NFC Teams 

1. New Orleans Saints (13-3)

2018 marks one of the most devastating seasons for any Saints fan. After getting a playoff berth ripped for them because of one of the worst calls in NFL history, the Saints are coming into the 2019 season with a vengeance. During the offseason, the Saints extended powerhouse WR Michael Thomas with a five-year, $100 million contract extension, making him the highest-paid wide receiver in the NFL.  With an offense built around Brees, Thomas and running back Alvin Kamara, the Saints offense will put every opposing team’s defense to the test. On the defensive side, the Saints have struggled historically, but with key players such as defensive end Cameron Jordan and cornerback Marshon Lattimore, Saints fans saw huge growth in the 2018 defense. The most anticipated game for the Saints this season will be against the Los Angeles Rams in week two, where they will attempt to fight back after their 2018 playoff-ending loss. The only thing that holds the Saints back this year will be the refs, so Saints fans should expect good things to come this season. With arguably the strongest offense in the NFL and a strong defense to back it up, I predict the Saints will post a 13-3 record this season.


2. Los Angeles Rams (12-4)

After the Rams’ embarrassing showing at the 2018 Super Bowl, only scoring three points, the Rams are looking to redeem themselves this season. With QB Jared Goff’s four-year contract extension, the Rams are going to be seeing consistency through the 2024 season. Alongside Goff, is RB and Offensive Player of the Year Todd Gurley, who was a key player for the Rams before he missed the final two regular-season games due to inflammation. Even though he struggled in the playoffs, a healthy Gurley will be vital for the Ram’s 2019 success. On the defensive side, the Rams defense is arguably the best defense in the NFL. With the help of DT and Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald, who led the league in sacks with 20.5, the Rams defense will be as strong, if not stronger than it was in 2018. For Rams fans this year, a more powerful offense will have to be present in order to send them to the playoffs again and Goff will need to recover from his inconsistencies from the 2018 playoffs. If Goff can return to his 2018 regular season state, then the Rams will come back stronger than ever in the new season. I predict that the Rams will finish the season 12-4 and will be more successful when they make the playoffs.


3. Chicago Bears (11-5)

After winning their division last year for the first time since 2010, the Bears have proven that they have the upper hand in their Bears-Packers rivalry. Despite the devastating loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in the Wild Card Round, the Chicago Bears’ defense is going to be what pushes them into back-to-back postseason appearances. With the help of big-name players such as outside LB Khalil Mack and defensive end Akiem Hicks, the 2018 Bears defense was more powerful than ever. With running backs struggling to break through defensive tackle Eddie Goldman in the middle and facing Hicks on the outside, opposing team’s rushing yards will be at a minimum against the Bears this season. On the offensive side, the Bears struggled in 2018. QB Mitch Trubisky had trouble reading defenses and lacked the confidence to make quick passes when under pressure, this season is looking more promising for the young QB. With the help of Matt Nagy behind him and WR Allen Robinson on the field, Tribisky has the prime tools to help him get over his 2018 roadblock. With the help of a more confident offense to an already dominant defense, I predict that the Chicago Bears will put their devastating season-ending loss behind them and will go 11-5 this year.


4. Philadelphia Eagles (11-5)

It’s no secret that the Eagles haven’t lived up to their 2017 season glory days. After winning the Super Bowl, the Eagles only posted a 9-7 record in 2018, making it the Wild Card Round. With injury-prone QB Carson Wentz leading the team, the Eagles struggled in the backfield and couldn’t dominate as they did in 2017. The strengths for the Eagles this season will be a healthy Wentz being led by arguably one of the best coaches in football, Doug Pederson. Another reason why Eagles fans should be hopeful is that the team has extreme depth on both sides. With dynamic duos like safeties Malcolm Jenkins and Rodney McLeod, the defensive chemistry is going to be stronger than ever and it doesn’t stop there. The defensive depth extends into the backup players, which GM Howie Roseman emphasized in the offseason. While the 2018 season was cut shorter than anticipated for Eagles fans, the 2019 season looks more promising. If Wentz stays healthy this season, I predict that the Eagles will go 11-5.