I'm a Packers' homer (obviously), and probably nearly everybody reading this is too. I do expect the Packers will hang with the top teams in the NFC and be in the mix to make it to the Super Bowl.
But coming off a 6-10 season, that hardly makes them the favorite. So who is the favorite?
- New York Giants. Vegas has them at 9-1odds to win the Super Bowl, so they expect them to win the NFC. I'm penciling them in as the favorite too. They've got some problems to overcome such as the loss of defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo to the Rams and a whole bunch of players on offense. Despite the early playoff loss to Philadelphia, they had a great 2008 season. The defense is solid and the offense was outstanding, although I'm still not a QB Eli Manning believer since he's only played well since the start of the 2007 playoffs.
- Philadelphia Eagles. They barely made the playoffs but managed to make it all the way to the NFC Championship game. They always seem to have a great team and something always seems to go wrong. It will be interesting to see if they can overcome the loss of their defensive coordinator Jim Johnson and whether RB Brian Westbrook will be healthy next season.
- Arizona Cardinals. Vegas doesn't expect them to repeat and they've got the Super Bowl loser curse to overcome, but they're still the defending champs with a high powered offense that can't be ignored. They lost both their defensive and offensive coordinators to Kansas City, although their defensive coordinator became available because he was fired.