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The NFC: A preview of the 2013 season

The run to the NFC title game was one for the ages. It saw the maturation of one Colin Kaepernick. We watched Russell Wilson of Seattle come of age too. It also saw another loss by the Falcons. A new year begins with the same hopes and dreams for each and every team.

Now comes the 2013 season and teams gather for OTA’s and camps to see who will wind up the next Ravens team. There have been deals and of course the draft. Teams that made the playoffs last year want to take it to the next level. Teams that did not make it to the playoffs now have to think playoffs. There have been the usual head coaching changes that will help shape the 2013 NFL season. Let’s take a look at the top contenders for the upcoming season.

In the NFC, the San Francisco 49ers look to repeat as NFC champs, but look to make up for last year. They were the runner ups to the Ravens and want to hold up the trophy this time. Kaepernick now has a stronghold on the QB spot. He has a year under his belt with the pistol offense and his line. He still has Frank Gore in the backfield to help, but his receiving corps is battling injuries. Mario Manningham is still recovering from a late season knee injury and Michael Crabtree tore his Achilles in practice this year. That will put the onus on TE Vernon Davis to perform at a higher level. It will take a greater effort this year to repeat as NFC champs and win the big game.

Right on their heels will be the Seattle Seahawks. Head coach Pete Carroll has brought this team back to the forefront in the league. They have one of the best defenses in football that will hold teams from scoring. Their offense is led by QB Russell Wilson, one of the most dynamic players in the NFL. When he was drafted, it wasn’t to become the starting quarterback, but to learn and compete. Instead, he showed out in his rookie camp and took the job. What followed was one of the surprises of the 2012 NFL season. Wilson would show poise beyond his years and football smarts to boot. He made the big plays and almost led the Seahawks to the NFC West title. The 2013 season looks to be even better and if that happens, a division title may be the end reward.

The Green Bay Packers have been the class of the NFC for a few years now. The problem is they have only won one Super Bowl as of late. Aaron Rodgers is one of the best in the business and is just getting better. He will need a much improved offensive line to continue to get the job done. He was hit way too many times last year and that will not get the Packers to the title. The 2013 draft got them RB Eddie Lacy from two-time defending BCS champion Alabama. He should fit in well with the style of running game Green Bay plays. The defense needs to really step up their game for them to compete for a championship. They cannot play a game where they have to match a team score for score. In order for Green Bay and Aaron Rodgers to win another Super Bowl, he will need the help of his defense.

The Atlanta Falcons are poised to make a run at the NFC title and maybe a Super Bowl. QB Matt Ryan is the next in line for that big contract, but it would help if he could win the big one. Wide receivers Julio Jones and Roddy White are two of the game’s best. When they are healthy, they are almost impossible to defend. The addition of Steven Jackson in the backfield will help tremendously. Another addition is DE Osi Umenyoira from the New York Giants. He will add speed and improve the Falcons pass rush. The fans are tired of waiting for this team to win it all. They continue to hear the raves about the team’s chances, only to make a hasty playoff exit. Now is the time for this franchise to finally get over that hump and bring home an NFL championship.

~Ralph Garcia, CEO


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