With season 5 just a week away from kick off, Noah Underhill gives us his opinion on who is top dog in the NFC. Where does your team rank? Do you agree with the list? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts!
16.) London Monarchs
I have been very vocal on the Monarchs in the past. They have improved and have begun to move in the right direction but they are still very young and I don’t expect them to win a ton of games this year. If Schroeder breaks out they will be a bit better but for now, they will have to prove themselves to get my attention.
15.) Chicago Tigers
Not much was expected from this team and they like it that way. They were very close to the playoffs a year ago and might be in the conversation again in season five. They don’t have many standouts or stars but they are a decent team all-around which seems to have become their brand of football.
14.) Mexico City Diablos
The Diablos are still trying to recover from the dismantling of their “super team.” Pritchett and his very solid wide receivers should make teams pay, but without a proven running back I’m a little concerned. And while they do have defensive talent, they have to play together as a unit. The playoffs are certainly not out of the realm of possibility but they have to jump better teams to get there.
13.) Salt Lake City Elks
Marshall Law has built this team up to make a run this year but I’m not completely sold yet. Darius Martin and his O-Line friends will pull the weight but you can only do so much with that. Whoever the day one starter becomes at quarterback will have to do enough to keep them in games and the defense will have to fill out around Buck and Ash.
12.) Sacramento Condors
Chase McCoy and his flock come into this season with a lot of pressure to produce. They missed the playoffs last season and in most people’s opinion took a step back from the year prior. They have several big-time players that will produce but the depth on the team is questionable in some areas. I expect them to be back in the playoff picture again this year.
11.) Dublin Shamrocks
This will be a boom or bust team. Last year’s Cinderella couldn’t get it done when it counted and many are questioning how they will do this year. There are a lot of great players on this team but I’m not totally sure they will gel together. Tom Wilson is the key to the Shams success. You can only run Gadsen so much and if Wilson isn’t great with the kind of talent on this team, they won’t make the playoffs.
10.) Austin Desperados
The Desperadoes will look brand new next year. Te’Veon Hall is expected to jump-start the offense and help out new QB Chase Mason. Signing Mason is a strange move for the future but for this season it might pay off. They have a solid defense and should have lofty expectations on this all-in run at a title, but if it doesn’t pan out it could cost some people their jobs.
9.) San Diego Crusaders
A pretty solid core that should have won a lot more over the years. Wakefield, Bryson, and Bentley are a great offense and they are solid at most positions. Knowing that they have a new Head Coach that will be looking to make changes, this assortment of talent could be gone soon if they don’t produce.
8.) Oklahoma City Lancers
The Lancers should win the NFC South this year. It is theirs to lose thanks to the high profile acquisitions of guys like Risean Gary and Cole McAnally. They have the firepower to win a lot of games and the only reason they aren’t higher is we need to see it all come together. We have seen super teams fail in the past and this may be in that category. But I see these guys as playoff material.
7.) San Antonio Marshalls
I’m not really sure how the Marshalls were as good as they were last year. They caught me by surprise and I couldn’t figure them out. I feel the same this year. Overstreet is very solid and they have gotten good production out of most of their pieces, but overall talent won’t tell me how good they actually are. I have put them this high simply because they have proven me wrong before and I would rather not fall into bias and be wrong. If Agramonte works out they should be pretty good this year. But the championship window is closing.
6.) Memphis Steamers
The Steamers will compete for a long time if their defensive draft picks pan out. Right now the offense is there but the defense doesn’t have the experience to know if they have the ability to win right now.
5.) Brooklyn Barons
The Barons have some of the biggest buzz in the league right now. JJ and Amari Manuel is a very scary duo that will make the rest of the league hot with envy. But there are some things that need to be considered. They are in (arguably) the hardest division in the RFL, The defense isn’t as crazy as the offense, and Winkler hasn’t really been as exceptional as he should be. I expect this team to compete but they need the answers to these points before they can talk about future championships.
4.) Houston Gunners
The Gunners are an offense-led team. Jabre and a great O-Line will be championship worthy but the front 7 will have to step up unless they want Jabre to carry them as he has done before. They have the talent and will probably be a contender but it is yet to be seen if they can go all the way.
3.) Portland Snowhawks
Snowhawk's fans should expect a lot from this season. Draft-Gate may hurt them for a while but they should be able to bounce back from what the early season brings. They bring back a lot of great pieces and they have a lot of young talent that should serve them well both now and in the future.
2.) Columbus Explorers
The Explorers’ are poised for a championship run. They have made a lot of moves over the off-season which may hurt their chemistry in the early going but they have the talent to win a lot of games. It all comes down to the play of Latavien Worrell. He has the weapons to get to the top but he must stay consistent and do what it takes or Columbus will be fighting for the wild card in the tough NFC North.
1.) Toronto Thunderbirds
The Evil Empire is back and better than ever after their defeat at the hands of the Huskies. There is so many young talents on this team, it makes you wonder what the rest of the coaches have been doing. The D-Line is super good and they have added a real superstar in Cornell Mickens. I would be very surprised if the Thunderbirds weren’t back in the championship window again this year.
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