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NFL 2015-16: The Seattle Seahawks – the elephant in the room…

09 Sep | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
NFL 2015-16: The Seattle Seahawks – the elephant in the room…

We take a look at every National Conference side's chances of Super Bowl glory this season

NFC East

If you’d told me at the end of last season that the Philadelphia Eagles (16/1) were going to drop their star quarterback, Tim Tebow, after finishing training camp and preseason in favour of signing the 23-year-old Stephen Morris from Jacksonville, I’d have laughed you out of the door.

But, that’s whats happened. Along with plenty of other upheaval in a new-look team, head coach Chip Kelly will need to hit the ground running.

There were plenty of other changes around the division, as the Dallas Cowboys (18/1) lost last season’s explosive running back DeMarco Murray in free agency.

With only Darren McFadden as his replacement, can they expect as good a year again?

Meanwhile, Eli Manning is still determinedly and unsuccessfully trying to claw his way out from other his brother’s shadow with the New York Giants (33/1). Can Odell Beckham Jr. provide more acrobatics to help him get there?

Finally, coming in bottom of the division is sure to be the Washington Red….the Washington NFL Team (100/1). With RGIII being thrown to the lions and more off-field turmoil, there’s a lot riding on Kirk Cousins’ shoulders.

NFL East betting

NFC North

Where would the Green Bay Packers (6/1) be without Aaron Rodgers?

The 31-year-old quarterback, twice NFL MVP and once Super Bowl MVP, shows no signs of slowing down, despite his post-season being blighted with injury last year.

Paired with wide receiver Randall Cobb once again, the team look ready for a Super Bowl charge, but questions still remain over the defence after allowing both Davon House and Tramon Williams to leave as free agents.

They will be pushed all the way by last year’s best defence in the NFL, the Detroit Lions (33/1). As mentioned in our AFC preview, the Miami Dolphins nabbed their enforcer, defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, and three other defensive players also left. Step forward, Haloti Ngata. Big shoulders, but a big weight on them.

It’s not big shoulders but a thick skin that Minnesota Vikings’ (50/1) QB Adrian Peterson will need. Vilified by many for his off-field antics, he nonetheless returns to try and fire his team to the playoffs. We’ll wait and see.

One team definitely not making the playoffs, however, will be the Chicago Bears (66/1). Stuck with expensive quarterback Jay Cutler, the trick now is to improve on a leaky defence and not let him get steamrollered too many times. But who am I kidding, sack city here we come…

NFC North betting

NFC South

We can only hope that the NFC South proves to be a little less bizarre than last season.

The Carolina Panthers (50/1) became only the fourth team in NFL history to get to the playoffs with a losing record – the tie in their 7-8-1 record swung it. Can QB Cam Newton keep it in the black this time round?

And if the Panthers made it with a losing record, it doesn’t say much for their closest rivals, the New Orleans Saints (30/1).

Sean Payton’s team seem determined to repeat last season’s struggles, letting one of their bright sparks, tight end Jimmy Graham, trade to the Seahawks. New center Max Unger will need plenty of support.

The Atlanta Falcons (40/1) will simply be hoping to avoid the same collapse as last year, giving up the league’s worst 398 yards per game. Now that head coach Mike Smith has been given the boot, ex-Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn has the chance to create a real defence as the new top dog.

Finally, last season’s worst team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (150/1), will pray their first overall pick gave them a star in quarterback Jameis Winson. He can’t possibly do any worse than Josh McCown did anyway.

NFC South betting

NFC West

It’s the elephant in the room. After an estimated 114.4 million people in the US and god knows how many worldwide watched the Seattle Seahawks (9/2 – favourites) throw away their chance at the trophy with an intercepted pass 26 seconds from time, can they come back without that hangover?

Signing a standout player in ex-Saints tight end Jimmy Graham is a very good start – a beast in every sense who made 1,215 and 889 yards in the last two years respectively.

Combined with Russell Wilson? Every other team should be very afraid. Not only are they favourites to win the NFC at 5/2, they’re also strong favourites to win the Super Bowl.

Trying to deny the Seahawks will be the Arizona Cardinals (33/1) – whose success is mainly down to the razor-sharp tactical brain of head coach Bruce Arains.

If QB Carson Palmer can stay injury-free for once, there’s another playoff place with their name on it.

If he can’t, the St. Louis Rams (40/1) and their pass-rushing defence will give anyone nightmares.

Offensively more suspect, it all depends on how their big group of rookies do without much experience.

Speaking of inexperience, the San Francisco 49ers (40/1) look to be in big trouble after losing talented head coach Jim Harbaugh, running back Frank Gore and several key players retiring. Add in line-backer Aldon Smith after another arrest, and it’s a long way back for the 49ers.

NFC West betting

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