Jeff Reinebold's NFL Season Preview Part 1: The NFC
The BC Lions Special Teams Coach previews some NFC teams that could be worth watching.
The Eagles are the current champs and look in pretty good shape to have another good season. The saying goes that it’s hard to win a Superbowl, but even harder to retain it. They will have to adapt from not being the underdogs anymore (Which they were somewhat last season after Carson Wentz’s injury), but it’s something the coaching staff and in particular Head Coach Doug Pederson will have been doing for months.
The bookmakers have the Patriots as the favourites for this year’s Superbowl but when I look up and down both rosters, I prefer the Eagles. They have depth in offensive positions and it will be interesting to see how Wentz fares after such a tough injury.
Speaking of QBs, the 49ers have gone all-out to secure theirs and Jimmy Garoppolo will be tasked with helping turn around a storied franchise. I really like the way that Kyle Shanahan handled the whole affair: He didn’t go straight in when he signed last season and was given time to learn the playbook and get used to his new surroundings.
The 49ers reaped the rewards of this with their five straight wins at the end of the year and there’s lots of talk that they could really surprise a few people in the weeks to come. I feel like they’ve got some issues to address and they’re not a playoff team just yet, but franchises can turn around very quickly, as we have seen in the last few years with the likes of the Rams.
Having said all that though, if Richard Sherman still has plenty in the tank, he can transform that 49ers defence: His story will definitely be one to watch.
Another team that has gotten a lot of attention this off-season was the Seattle Seahawks, particularly for their draft choices.
They have to try and rebuild a legendary defence and the likes of Shaquem Griffin could well help that. Some people weren’t sure about drafting a RB first, but their threat on the ground by what could be committee should be good to watch, and Russell Wilson is such a talent. They’ll be fun to watch this year.
Finally, one team that I like the look of and could well overachieve is the Chicago Bears. They’re a good football team in my mind, with Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel and Trey Burton all coming in during free agency to help out Mitchell Trubisky. He’s a young QB and will now have help where he didn’t last season.
Oh, and that's not even mentioning Khalil Mack. A six-year, $141m extension that guarantees $90m is a huge statement. Make no mistake, they've just got themselves a game changer.
There could be some interesting times down at Soldier Field!
Jeff Reinebold is the current BC Lions Special Teams Coach and a long time Sky Sports pundit. He will be Oddschecker's NFL Ambassador throughout the 2018 season.