Special to Sports News Highlights

(SNH) — We’re gearing up for franchise tag deadlines and, at the beginning of August, the Hall of Fame game to kick off the preseason.

Believe it or not, the NFL season begins in less than 100 days. With all notable offseason events like the draft and free agency over, we have a good idea of what opening day rosters will look like pending injury.

With that, we will look at the projected seedings in the NFC.

NFC Playoff Picture

No. 1 Seed: San Francisco 49ers

The NFC feels a bit more predictable than the AFC, and the 49ers feel like the clear favorites to run the table of the conference once again.

The team already had dominant weapons in Bradon Aiyuk, Deebo Samuel, Christian McCaffrey and George Kittle, but now they’ve added Ricky Pearsall, a first-round wide receiver, to the fold.

Other draft picks include a potential starting cornerback in Renardo Green, a depth receiver in Jacob Cowing, and a backup interior offensive linemen in Dominick Puni.

This team didn’t lose any notable pieces this offseason via free agency and should be poised to hopefully get over the hump and win the Super Bowl.

No. 2 Seed: Atlanta Falcons

This might surprise some, but the Falcons are in an excellent position to succeed this season.

Kirk Cousins is coming off a torn Achilles, but before he got injured last season with the Minnesota Vikings, he was averaging nearly 300 passing yards per game.

Now, he has an offense with Bijan Robinson out of the backfield and weapons like Drake London, Kyle Pitts, Rondale Moore, Darnell Mooney, and even Tyler Allgeier as backup running back.

They could’ve made their team even better with a player that could start ideally along the defensive line at No. 8 overall, but instead, they chose a quarterback.

The Falcons’ schedule is a bit tough in the first few games with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs, but after that, they get three straight divisional games, and round out the year against only two teams that made the postseason, which include the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Dallas Cowboys.

Despite some defensive concerns, they should win double-digit games and be a force in the NFC during the regular season.

No. 3 Seed: Detroit Lions

Yes, having the Lions finish as the No. 3 seed underneath the Falcons seems a bit insane, but their schedule includes a few tough games, including matchups with the Los Angeles Rams, Dallas Cowboys, Green Bay Packers, Houston Texans, Buffalo Bills and San Francisco 49ers.

The Lions are built in a way to win all of those games, but it’s something to consider.

The team drafted Terrion Arnold and Ennis Rakestraw Jr. to help shore up their secondary, which was a massive area of need.

Their offense remains relatively similar, and quarterback Jared Goff got a massive extension.

All is well in Detroit, and they should be in the mix for the No. 1 and No. 2 seed.

No. 4 Seed: Philadelphia Eagles

It was a rather disappointing 2023 regular season for the Eagles, and while they made the playoffs, it was short-lived as they lost to the Buccaneers in the Wild Card round, 32-9.

Now, the team has added players like Johnny Wilson and Ainias Smith in the draft and signed running back Saquon Barkley. Barkley and quarterback Jalen Hurts will make for a dominant duo in the rushing attack.

On defense, they somehow drafted both Quinyon Mitchell and Cooper DeJean, addressing their biggest need, which was the secondary.

This team is loaded, and both top wide receivers have received contract extensions. Get ready for an Eagles revenge tour.

No. 5 Seed: Green Bay Packers

The Packers showed last season that Jordan Love is a legitimate starting quarterback in the NFL, and they’ll pick up where they left off.

They beat the Dallas Cowboys as a No. 7 seed to advance in the postseason before losing to the 49ers, but they made it a close game, losing 24-21.

They drafted Jordan Morgan to presumably be their starting left tackle and took MarShawn Lloyd as a backup running back to Josh Jacobs.

On defense, they drafted Edgerrin Cooper and Javon Bullard, who should start at middle linebacker and free safety, respectively.

This is a young but proven team, and they have moved up a couple of seeds this year compared to last year.

No. 6 Seed: Los Angeles Rams

The clocking is ticking on Matthew Stafford, just like any other aging quarterback, but there’s still a lot left in this Rams’ tank.

This year, we’ll see Puka Nacua step forward as the No. 1 with Cooper Kupp aging and facing injury issues, but this offense still has plenty of weapons, including Jordan Whittington, who they took late in the draft out of Texas.

The Rams focused a lot on defense in the 2024 NFL Draft, taking Jared Verse and Braden Fiske, who will both aim to help Kobie Turner rush the passer.

The backfield will be led by Kyren Williams, but Blake Corum was also selected to help take some pressure off him.

The offensive line also saw some valuable depth with Beaux Limmer and KT Leveston.

This team isn’t going anywhere in 2024. Per these predictions, they’ll have a date with the Lions again.

No. 7 Seed: Chicago Bears

Okay, you thought the Falcons as the No. 2 seed was a bit outlandish, but what about the Bears making the postseason the No. 7 seed and taking on those Falcons in the first round? What a matchup.

The Bears, of course, drafted Caleb Williams No. 1 overall, and in 2024, he has a chance to become the greatest Bears quarterback of all time as the bar is set extremely low.

No Bears quarterback has ever passed for 4,000 yards or 30 touchdowns in a single season. That’s jarring.

He’ll have weapons like Keenan Allen, D.J. Moore, Rome Odunze, D’Andre Swift, and Cole Kmet as his disposal, which is a supporting cast unlike any other we’ve seen for a quarterback taken No. 1 overall.

Defensively, they have many of the same players, and they were a more than solid unit a year ago.

Here we go. Get ready for the Bears 2024 playoff run.

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