Mark Craig's look at the NFC

  • Article by: MARK CRAIG , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 3, 2014 - 6:48 AM

– even possibly too poised – to repeat

Signs say Seattle?

It’s so hard to pick Seattle to repeat as Super Bowl champions because it makes too much sense. And the NFL’s popularity is built on Fantasy Football, gambling and things not making sense.

The Seahawks were a young champion a year ago. They’re amazingly intact. The Legion of Boom secondary is dominant and then some. They can still rush the passer. Their running game is top shelf. And their quarterback is young, poised, elusive, confident, accurate and, oh yeah, underpaid — for now, at least.

But it has been 10 years now since the Patriots were the last team to repeat.

Signs say Seattle. And that’s probably a bad sign in this league.

Jason & Jerry, final chapter?

If Adrian Peterson’s alleged desire to play for the Cowboys includes hangin’ with Jason Garrett, he’s probably out of luck, barring a midseason trade and switch to the defensive line.

Garrett is 29-27 and hasn’t done much besides perfect the art of finishing 8-8 and never reaching the playoffs. His contract is up after this season, which appears to be primed for a lot of passing offense and an even more laughable defense than a year ago, if that’s even possible.

Eli? Is that you?

Is it us or does everyone get that urge to doubt Tom Coughlin and Eli Manning every three or four years? Then they win a Super Bowl and for some reason the feeling goes away.

Well, they haven’t hoisted a trophy since way back in February of 2012. And things could be better for Eli.

Example: In Oakland this week, Matt Schaub lost his starting job to rookie second-round draft pick Derek Carr. This is the same Matt Schaub whose 2013 passer rating (73.0) ranked two spots higher than Manning’s 61st-ranked 69.4.

Manning did complete a lot of passes. But a league-high 27 of them went to the wrong team, including three for touchdowns.

Even Mannings don’t play forever. And this one is only signed through 2015. In other words, now, Eli, would be another good time to win a Super Bowl.

It’s the system, right Chip?

Confidence in your system is getting rid of a DeSean Jackson when the pain in your buttocks becomes too great and then not caring when he ends up with a division rival.

Evidence that your system works is watching Nick Foles come out of nowhere to lead the league in yards per attempt (9.1) while throwing for 27 touchdowns and only two interceptions in 10 starts.

  • related content

  • Predicting the AFC

    Wednesday September 3, 2014

    In the AFC, the Broncos hope balance between offense and defense yields a titleBroncos ante up on ‘D’Denver’s record-setting offense...

  • Quarterback Nick Foles quickly took to coach Chip Kelly’s offense in Philadelphia, passing for 27 TDs with only two picks.

  • Cowboys coach Jasson Garrett, in the last year of his contract, has delivered exactly zero playoff appearances to owner Jerry Jones.

  • It would behoove Giants quarterback Eli Manning to have a bounce-back season, especially after throwing 27 interceptions in 2013.

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Team Irvin 7:15 PM
Team Carter
Miami 48 3rd Qtr 11:44
Chicago 38
Oklahoma City 2:30 PM
Cleveland
Dallas 5:00 PM
New Orleans
Indiana 5:00 PM
Orlando
LA Clippers 5:00 PM
Phoenix
Minnesota 5:00 PM
Atlanta
Detroit 6:00 PM
Toronto
Milwaukee 6:00 PM
San Antonio
Boston 7:00 PM
Golden State
Washington 7:00 PM
Denver
Houston 8:30 PM
LA Lakers
Team Toews 4:00 PM
Team Foligno
South Florida 53 FINAL
Connecticut 66
Boston College 34 2nd Half 17:39
Georgia Tech 26
Virginia 33 2nd Half 17:04
Virginia Tech 34
Indiana 25 1st Half 4:00
Ohio State 30
Stony Brook 4 1st Half 15:57
Binghamton 6
Cincinnati 3 1st Half 18:14
UCF 2
Maine 7 1st Half 15:23
Hartford 2
Monmouth 7 1st Half 13:33
Manhattan 11
Fairfield 10 1st Half 15:06
Marist 8
Rowan 8 1st Half 13:20
Princeton 8
St Bonaventure 6 1st Half 16:18
Rhode Island 4
Duke 2 1st Half 18:28
St Johns 3
Saint Peters 13 1st Half 13:07
Siena 10
Drake 2 1st Half 16:17
Wichita State 9
Vermont 8 1st Half 14:02
UMass Lowell 7
Seton Hall 2:00 PM
Butler
NJIT 2:05 PM
South Alabama
Northern Iowa 3:00 PM
Illinois State
Louisville 3:00 PM
Pittsburgh
UMBC 3:30 PM
Albany
Niagara 3:30 PM
Iona
Notre Dame 5:30 PM
NC State
Belmont 5:30 PM
Tennessee St
Creighton 6:00 PM
Villanova
Northwestern 6:30 PM
Maryland
Washington 7:30 PM
Utah
Senior-North 34 FINAL
Senior-South 13
Seton Hall 99 FINAL
Georgetown 85
St Johns 69 FINAL
Villanova 81
Arkansas 58 FINAL
Florida 72
Maine 34 2nd Half 14:11
UMBC 24
Vanderbilt 37 2nd Half 14:42
Alabama 31
Lafayette 32 2nd Half 15:59
Lehigh 34
Delaware 1:00 PM
Drexel
Towson 1:00 PM
UNC-Wilmington
Iona 1:00 PM
Canisius
Fairfield 1:00 PM
Monmouth
UCF 2 1st Half 19:25
SMU 0
Utah 2 1st Half 15:18
Washington 14
James Madison 5 1st Half 17:03
Coll of Charleston 1
Hofstra 6 1st Half 15:10
William & Mary 15
Hartford 3 1st Half 16:23
Albany 4
Binghamton 8 1st Half 16:06
Stony Brook 8
Wake Forest 8 1st Half 16:05
(17) Florida State 13
Georgia Tech 6 1st Half 15:41
Virginia 6
(22) Georgia 2 1st Half 14:38
(5) Tennessee 2
Drake 18 1st Half 12:53
Evansville 12
Northwestern 10 1st Half 14:16
Penn State 8
Wisconsin 10 1st Half 12:57
Michigan State 12
Ohio State 7 1st Half 15:59
Purdue 8
Northern Iowa 2 1st Half 16:05
Indiana State 5
Butler 1:30 PM
Xavier
Creighton 2:00 PM
Marquette
Providence 2:00 PM
DePaul
Northeastern 2:00 PM
Elon
(2) Connecticut 2:00 PM
Cincinnati
Oregon 2:00 PM
Arizona
Bradley 2:00 PM
Loyola-Chicago
NC State 2:00 PM
(23) Syracuse
(7) Maryland 2:00 PM
Indiana
Illinois State 2:05 PM
Missouri State
Colorado 3:00 PM
Washington St
Tulane 3:00 PM
South Florida
(14) Kentucky 3:00 PM
Missouri
(9) Oregon State 3:00 PM
(13) Arizona State
Vermont 3:30 PM
UMass Lowell
Iowa State 3:30 PM
(8) Texas
Southern Ill 3:45 PM
Wichita State
(15) Duke 4:00 PM
(12) North Carolina
Miami-Florida 4:00 PM
(4) Louisville
(21) Minnesota 4:15 PM
(25) Rutgers
California 5:00 PM
UCLA
(11) Stanford 7:00 PM
USC
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami NoonX37-35
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago NoonX13-9

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