With the season fast approaching, there are a couple of teams that are flying under the radar that could very easily be able to make some noise this year. In the AFC, there are many contenders and few pretenders. Over in the NFC, a lot of predictions have the Seahawks, Cowboys, Giants, and Bears as the top teams. Below are three teams that I think are on the verge of being a team to look out for as the season rolls along.
1. Philadelphia – How can a team that made all those NFC Title games be under the radar? Easy. This team fell apart last season after all the distractions of T.O., and then the injury to Donovan McNabb that really set back their season. If you remember, with T.O. and a healthy McNabb, the Eagles were in the hunt early on. Now with the distractions behind them, I think the Eagles will challenge in the NFC East and could win 9-10 games again.
2. Arizona – Kurt Warner once led “The Greatest Show On Turf,” as a member of the Rams, and now with the Cards, he may be on the verge of leading “The Greatest Show in the Desert.” The Cards have a ton of offensive weapons when you add Edgrrin James to the mix, and with Denny Green behind them, the defense is going to get better. Add a new stadium to the mix and suddenly the Cardinals could be a…gulp…contender.
3. St.Louis – The Rams had a tough year in 2005, and with a coach that was ailing, a quarterback that was hurt, and a soft defense, the team could not get things going. This year is a fresh start, and with a new regime that wants to run the football, the Rams could start to turn some heads. Marc Bulger is a much more effective QB when he does not have to throw 30+ times a game, and Steven Jackson could be in the top 3 in the NFC in rushing if the Rams stay committed to it.
Overall I think based on their division and schedule, the best team of these three that could make the playoffs is Arizona. But, with that said I would not be shocked if all three are in the playoff hunt come December.