NFC presents most exciting rivalries in NFL season

Keith Allison via flickr.com

 

The 2013 NFL season is already saturated with storylines and not one of them has to do with Tim Tebow. The season kicks off today as the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens visit the Denver Broncos.

These two teams, along with the New England Patriots, are the AFC favorites for the 2014 Super Bowl XLVIII. The AFC just doesn’t seem that deep this season. It is predictable and downright boring compared to its NFC counterparts.

Storyline number one is just how dominant will the NFC be? The two best teams in football could very well be in the same division — the San Francisco 49ers and the Seattle Seahawks.

The conference’s best quarterback, Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers, will probably go through this season in the shadow of his divisional counterpart Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings. Beyond its stars and dominant teams, the NFC is a deep conference. The Bears have a new coach, Marc Trestman, and a better offensive line. The Vikings, a playoff team last year, could see more improvement if their quarterback Christian Ponder can play at a high level. Even the Detroit Lions could win seven games this season.

As for the NFC East, everyone’s favorite bruiser division, you will find a revitalized Philadelphia Eagles team due to their hiring of new coach Chip Kelly and their dynamic quarterback Michael Vick. The New York Giants have the division’s most reliable quarterback in Eli Manning. And don’t forget about Robert Griffin and his young Washington Redskins, fresh from a division victory last season.

Somehow, you can go through the entire NFC and still not name its best regular season team from last year, the Atlanta Falcons. They’ll look for similar success, although it won’t be nearly as easy with the return of the New Orleans Saints and coach Sean Payton, who missed last season due to suspension.

The NFL’s second storyline finds its roots, once again, in the NFC. A hot topic this offseason is the debate about who will be the best of the “Gang of Four” (the four “sophomore” quarterbacks- Russell Wilson of the Seahawks, Griffin of the Redskins, Colin Kaepernick of the 49ers and Andrew Luck of the Indianapolis Colts). Three of those QBs hail from the NFC, and two have homes in the NFC West. Though Griffin has stolen the spotlight this summer

with his ACL injury, it will be intriguing to see if it alters his game this season.

Lastly, the NFL enters 2013 with a cloud over its head regarding concussion effects that seems to grow larger each day. Though they settled a $765 million lawsuit with former players just last week, new issues appear to be surfacing everyday.

Though we can, and most definitely will focus on the football in 2013, the NFL may find itself spending more of its time covering its own tragic effects.

Sam Barder is a contributing writer. Email him at sports@nyunews.com

Sam Barder is a contributing writer. Email him at sports@nyunews.com

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