Before this NFL season started, I made up a list of three questions for each team to answer throughout the season. In this article, I will answer all of these questions for the NFC teams.

Green Bay Packers
Can the Packers’ cornerbacks play well enough to where they won’t need to depend on the offense scoring all the time?

They did not play well enough and their offense wasn’t up to the task of scoring enough points thanks to Brett Hundley at quarterback. The secondary was quite banged up this year and the cornerbacks were young.

How will former Badger Vince Biegel fair during his first year with the hometown team?

Well he played in nine games.. so that’s a start. He made seven tackles in those nine games. Not much.. but he can only improve from there.

What will there be more of: Aaron Rodgers’ catchphrases such as “run the table” or Aaron Rodgers’ Hail Mary passes?

I don’t believe there were any of either choice, so I’ll call this one a draw. But only because ARod was hurt for a majority of the season.

Detroit Lions
Is a steady running game the only thing standing between the Lions and an NFC North title?

I still believe this is true. They have a quarterback, two playmakers on defense, and two solid wide receivers. The only thing missing is a consistent running game. The Lions invest in small receivers who are able to catch out of the backfield. In order to be successful, I think they need to invest in a big back that will be able to power through defenses.

Will Matthew Stafford lead the NFL in comeback victories again, or will he be consistent enough where he doesn’t get his team into that situation?

I don’t know how much more Matt Stafford can do for this Lions team. They still don’t have a running game and went 9-7 thanks to their QB. Stafford only led four game winning drives this year, compared to eight last year. Stafford was the only consistent piece on the Lions’ offense.

Can Ziggy Ansah take charge of the Lions defense?

Ansah isn’t bad, but Darius Slay is the Lions’ defense. He consistently makes plays in the Lions secondary.  He was voted to the Pro Bowl and voted First Team All-Pro. In a league full of tough cornerbacks, Slay is definitely up there.

Chicago Bears
How will Chicago’s offense perform without Alshon Jeffery (and of courseJay Cutler)?

The Bears had an inconsistent season, accompanied by an inconsistent offense. To replace Alshon Jeffery, the Bears relied on Kendall Wright, Jordan Howard, and Tarik Cohen all season. But they really hurt from not having Jeffery on their side.

Will Jordan Howard repeat his incredible and unexpected rookie season?

Howard was good this year for the Bears. He didn’t have as many yards, but he had more touchdowns. However, was inconsistent all season. Some games he would have 140 yards and then the next game he would only have six. In order for the Bears to be able to rely on him, he will need to work on his consistency.

Will the Bears regret giving up so many draft picks or will Mitch Trubisky be worth it?

It’s too early to give a verdict on Trubisky. He played in 12 games this season and looked like a rookie quarterback should.

Minnesota Vikings
With Sam Bradford playing in a contract year and uncertainty surrounding Teddy Bridgewater, what will become of the Vikings’ quarterback situation?

Plot twist: neither! Neither of these two quarterbacks made a difference in the Vikings season. Sam Bradford only started two games before getting injured. Teddy Bridgewater was still recovering from his gruesome knee injury that happened in the 2015 training camp. Enter Case Keenum. Keenum had a quietly impressive year. He proved he could be a starter in this league after throwing 22 touchdowns and only seven interceptions. Uncertainty still remains as to what the Vikings will do this offseason with all three of these quarterbacks.

Will the Vikings earn themselves the honor of having the #1 defense in the NFL?

They certainly did. The Vikings without a doubt had the BEST defense in the NFL. They gave up the fewest points, the fewest yards, and the fewest touchdowns in the league.

How will the Vikings’ backfield perform without Adrian Peterson in the mix?

The Vikings rushing attack ranked seventh in the league this year. Which is pretty good considering they got rid of their future Hall of Fame running back. The Vikings drafted Dalvin Cook and he was off to a promising start until he tore his ACL early in the season. Latavius Murray had a good first year in the purple and yellow, with just under 1,000 yards. Again, not bad for a team trying to find their identity on offense.

New Orleans Saints
How will Adrian Peterson perform in the Bayou?

Well.. that was short lived. After just four games, the Saints decided to send Peterson to the Cardinals. He had just shy of 600 yards this season. Not AP’s best season..

Will the Saints’ defense be good enough that Drew Brees won’t have to throw for 500 yards and 6 touchdowns just to have a chance at winning?

Wait… the Saints have a defense now? Yeah, they do! The Saints drafted the Defensive Rookie of the Year in Marshon Lattimore. Lattimore snagged five interceptions for the Saints. They also have veteran defensive end, Cameron Jordan, who was selected to the Pro Bowl and voted First Team All-Pro.

How much will the Saints’ offense suffer without deep threat Brandin Cooks?

The Saints knew what they were doing when they traded Brandin Cooks to the Patriots. They had another deep threat receiver in Michael Thomas and they got an additional first round pick. I don’t think they really suffered from losing Cooks, because they had two running backs who could work when the passing game couldn’t. Alvin Kamara (Offensive Rookie of the Year) and Mark Ingram (former Heisman winner) were the dynamic duo in the Saints backfield. They rushed for the most yards together in the NFL.

Carolina Panthers
Which Cam Newton will show up this year: Superman or the Cam we saw last year?

Cam looked like Superman again in his game-winning drive against New England and I really thought he was back for good. But, Cam was again average.

Will rookie Christian McCaffery live up to expectations?

McCaffery was one of the many impressive rookie running backs this season. The thing McCaffery did so well was catch the ball out of the backfield. He was the elusive running back that the Panthers needed.

Is the return of Julius Peppers just what the Panthers need to return to glory?

Peppers homecoming was welcomed warmly. But, everyone knows that the defensive player to lead them to glory wears #59 and goes by Luke Kuechly.

Atlanta Falcons
Can the Falcons bounce back from their devastating Super Bowl loss or will they “Embrace the S.U.C.K.”?

Eh… they were fairly average. They weren’t the NFC Champions but they also still made it to the playoffs. They won a game in the playoffs before falling to the eventual Super Bowl champions.

Will Matt Ryan, the reigning MVP, play lights out again this year?

No. Matty Ice cooled down this year. He didn’t play at an MVP caliber but he did once again lead his team to the playoffs. He was good, just not as dominant as last year.

Is Julio Jones the best receiver in football?

This wasn’t Julio’s best season, statistically. He only caught three touchdowns. But, I still think he is the best receiver in the league, besides Antonio Brown.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Could the duo of DeSean Jackson and Mike Evans reach unthinkable heights with Jameis Winston at the helm?

Jameis Winston was riddled with lingering injuries this year and was not consistently playing at his best level. Evans went just over 1,000 yards while Jackson, who they signed in free agency, had 700 yards. I would expect the duo to perform better as Jameis consistently develops.

Will the Buccaneers make the playoffs for the first time since 2007?

No.. the Buccaneers did not live up to the expectations they were supposed to. No playoffs.

Can the Buccaneers live up to the hype surrounding them this offseason?

Again, no. The Buccaneers went 5-11 this season and were in last place in their division. They will need to do better within their competitive division in order to be a contender.

Seattle Seahawks
Will the Seahawks stand together against recent reports about rifts in their locker room?

Despite reports in the preseason about rifts in the locker room, the only thing that kept the Seahawks apart this season were injuries, especially on their defense. The Legion of Boom was left to pretty much nothing after Earl Thomas and Richard Sherman were hurt. The Seahawks need to get healthy.

How much better will the Seahawks be able to run the ball this season after bulking up their offensive line?

Seattle still hasn’t found a solution to protecting Russell Wilson despite the money they invested into their offensive line.

Who will have more rushing yards this season: Thomas Rawls or Eddie Lacy?

Rawls wins this one very narrowly. He had 251 total yards while Lacy had 226. It was actually Russell Wilson who led the team in rushing yards with 586.

Arizona Cardinals
Could David Johnson be the first running back to win MVP since Adrian Peterson in 2012? 

Insert crying emoji face here… Johnson only played in one game this season before he injured his wrist. Johnson was my pick for MVP before the season started. Now, I’m picking him to be Comeback Player of the Year in 2018.

Can the Cardinals compete with the Seahawks for the NFC West?

They weren’t even close! I clearly never thought that the NFC West title would be between the Rams and the Seahawks. The Cardinals team from 2015 is long gone and the Rams are back.

Could this be the last year of Larry Fitzgerald AND Carson Palmer?

Well, Larry Legend is back but Carson Palmer is gone. The 38-year-old quarterback is hanging up the cleats after 13 seasons in the league. But Larry is back for at least another season.

Los Angeles Rams
Will Jared Goff make the Rams thankful that they took him 1st overall in the 2016 NFL Draft?

Goff was okay this year. He played like a young quarterback but he still found himself playing in the Pro Bowl. The Rams could have quite the offense if Goff can continue to progress and Gurley plays like the MVP every year.

Can Todd Gurley recover from his inevitable sophomore slump?

It’s crazy to think I even had to ask this question. Gurley was the heart of the Rams offense and made himself an MVP candidate. He had the most all purpose yards in the league and 19 touchdowns. He earned Offensive Player of the Year and he deserved it.

Can Aaron Donald prove himself as the best defensive player in the league?

YES! Donald was named the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year after an incredible season. He was the anchor of L.A.’s defense with 11 sacks and five forced fumbles. Him and Todd Gurley single-handedly led the Rams to the post season.

San Francisco 49ers
Will the 49ers target a quarterback in the next NFL draft after withstanding a season with either Brian Hoyer or Matt Barkley?

The 49ers got themselves a quarterback! In late October, they traded the Patriots for Jimmy Garoppolo and have now signed him to a five year contract. Garoppolo went 5-0 with the team and is now the highest paid NFL player of all time.

Will star linebacker NaVorro Bowman recover from an injury riddled 2016 outing?

The 49ers released Bowman (who eventually signed with the Raiders) in October. NaVorro played in just five games with the 49ers.

Will Carlos Hyde be the difference maker on offense for the 49ers?

Hyde had his most productive season in the NFL this season. He had over 1,200 yards from scrimmage and eight touchdowns, compared to only two fumbles. Even though he had his best year, I can’t say that he was the difference maker. The 49ers didn’t start winning until Garoppolo was traded to them. He was the difference maker.

Dallas Cowboys
Will Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott suffer the sophomore slump?

Zeke didn’t play in enough games for us to determine if he suffered a sophomore slump. He looked like the same old Zeke that was destroying defenses last year, but he missed six games because of a suspension. Dak’s numbers were fairly similar to his rookie year. The only one with a staggering difference was the interceptions. He threw 13 this year and only four in 2016. He wasn’t able to rely on Zeke all the time, so that explains why that number is particularly higher.

Will the Cowboys regret getting rid of veteran Tony Romo?

I’m going to say no. Dak didn’t have as great of a season as his rookie year, but he was still productive with Elliott being sidelined for a good portion of the season. Plus, it is safe to say that Romo found his true calling in broadcasting games.

Tacos are great on Tuesdays, but can Taco Charlton make Taco Sunday a new tradition in Dallas?

When Taco Charlton was drafted, all anyone talked about was how funny his name was. And after having an uneventful rookie season, it looks like that is all we will have to talk about again. He played in all 16 games but failed to make a single start.

New York Giants
How will outspoken wide receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Brandon Marshall play together?

They didn’t get much of an opportunity to play together this season. Beckham only played in four games (starting two of them) while Marshall only played in five before they both found a spot on injured reserve.

Are the Giants right to depend on Paul Perkins and Shane Vereen in their backfield?

The Giants rushing attack was ranked 26th in the NFL.

Will the Giants’ defense prove to be a force to be reckoned with once again?

The Giants season was rough. Even their remarkable defense from last season was not good. They gave up the second-most points in the league all year and per game. Their defense wasn’t scary compared to last year.

Washington Redskins
Can Kirk Cousins have a good enough year that will make the Redskins want to sign him long-term?

Kirk Cousins didn’t have a bad season. But still, the Redskins seem to be moving on from him as they traded for Alex Smith. Cousins threw for over 4,000 yards and 27 touchdowns. The Redskins have commitment issues and it is time for Cousins to move on from that toxic relationship.

How will the Redskins fill the void of DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon?

The Redskins signed Terrelle Pryor in free agency last offseason. But he wasn’t nearly as productive as he was in Cleveland. Instead, it was Jamison Crowder who took over the Redskins offense. He led the team in receiving yards. Another player who filled the void of Jackson and Garçon was tight end Vernon Davis.

After a disappointing 2016 season, will Josh Norman play like he did in 2015?

It seems that the Josh Norman from the Panthers’ Super Bowl team is long gone. He didn’t snag an interception this season. He did force two fumbles and recovered one, but he isn’t the shut-down corner he was in Carolina.

Philadelphia Eagles
How successful can the Eagles’ offense be with offseason additions such as Alshon Jeffery, Torrey Smith and LeGarrette Blount?

Well, apparently the Eagles offense was good enough to win a Super Bowl? Despite losing Carson Wentz to a torn ACL in December, the Eagles still managed to win it all. Nick Foles filled in and with their carousel of running backs (Blount, Ajayi, Clement) they were successful against the best defense in the league in the NFC Championship and outsmarted the best coach of all time in the Super Bowl.

Can Carson Wentz show the Eagles why they were right when they picked him 2nd overall in 2016?

Wentz was a viable MVP candidate all season long until he tore his ACL in December against the Rams. Wentz is the Eagles franchise quarterback and the only person upset about his success has to be the Cleveland Browns, who passed on him in the 2016 draft.

What will there be more of: wins or Nelson Agholor-dropped passes?

Both of these results were surprising. The Eagles had 11 wins in the regular season and Nelson Agholor only recorded three drops all season.

Advertisements