NFC Playoff Teams Struggle

Five of the eight teams that represented the NFC last season in the playoffs have started 1-2 or worse, 0-3.  Atlanta, Green Bay, and San Francisco have started their seasons 1-2.  Minnesota and Washington, also playoff teams from a year ago, have started their 2013 campaigns 0-3.

Why such a slow start for teams that were contenders a year ago? Well each team has their own problems that I’ll address, but one problem I see across the board is an overconfidence stemming from last years playoffs.  For instance, the Vikings had every reason in the world to believe they’d beat the Browns this past weekend.  They were probably confident they could handle a Trent Richardson-less Browns team.  They were wrong.

The same goes for the other teams listed above.  The Falcons probably felt they had an easy win over Miami, a team that struggled a year ago (wrong).  The 49ers probably thought they’d bounce back at home against the Colts after a blowout loss in Seattle (wrong).  Green Bay has had a relatively tough draw to start the season, but still did not expect a 1-2 start.  Washington had to have thought they could win their first two home games against Philadelphia and Detroit, but fell to both.

Though the upsets have not had as bad an impact as they would near the end of the season, they still hurt nonetheless.  Now, it’s time for these teams to correct their most glaring problems in order to get back to postseason play.

Atlanta needs to score touchdowns in the red zone, not settle for field goals.  Sunday, the Falcons were deep in Miami territory six times, but could only settle for two touchdowns.

San Francisco needs to realize that Collin Kaepernick has only started in 14 NFL games dating back to last year.  Defenses are learning game-by-game how to stop Kaepernick and the read-option offense, maybe its time for a change in scheme.

Green Bay and Washington both need their secondaries to step up on defense.  The Packers defense is giving up 311 passing yards per game, 27th in the league.  Washington is giving up 333 yards per game, 31st in the league.

The Vikings need to get back to what made them a playoff team a year ago, running the ball.  After Adrian Peterson took the first play of the season 78 yards for a score, he’s only generated 203 yards rushing.

Each team has problems they need fixed, but before they do, each must look in the mirror and realize its a new season, every team at this point has a chance.


2 thoughts on “NFC Playoff Teams Struggle

  1. Anna Tarullo

    Nicely written! Your post was easy to follow and you had some really nice insight!

    One thing I personally would consider changing is in the lede when you mention Minnesota and Washington as “also playoff teams from a year ago.” It’s tough when you’re reading through your own writing to decipher what can be presumed from previous information and what needs to be blatantly stated. This mention just seemed a little repetitive since the reader was able to gather that from your first statement!

    One more statement I think you could consider deleting was in your second graf, “each team has their own problems that I’ll adress.” I think it reads better without the “that I’ll address” because the reader will find this out anyway if they continue on!
    And in the same sentence, “each team” should be followed by “its own problems” rather than “their own problems.” Same thing in your last graf as well!

    Third graf one teeny thing I noticed was in “(wrong).” the period should go on inside of the parenthesis!

    What I liked about your piece was the team by team analysis at the end. What made your post a really great read was that you not only observed these teams’ problems and their potential sources, but you also offered a little insight on what improvements could be successful! Nice job.

  2. cpace2016

    I think this starts out a little bit awkward. Not sure there’s a need to emphasize 0-3 as being worse than 1-2 since it’s the only outcome worse than 1-2 through three games. Also, I wouldn’t have listed each of the teams in the lede, probably should have been a second graph because, “Five of the eight teams that represented the NFC last season in the playoffs have started 1-2 or worse” is enough to keep people reading. I think you developed your point well and quickly. I was skeptical when you referenced overconfidence, but I feel like you justified it well in each case. Your analysis on each of the teams is on-point and well supported with statistics. Good blog that’s short and easy to follow.


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