With the AFC being dominated by the New England Patriots‘ for nearly two-decades without fail, the NFC has failed to find an elite team. While some teams have emerged victorious in Super Bowls, there seems to be a lack of long-term success coming from the conference. With this in mind, people are wondering if some of the teams from the current flock could break out and become the next elite team in the NFC.
Why is there no elite team in the NFC?
A look at the teams who have recently come out of the NFC shows that none of the teams besides the Seahawks have been able to maintain any form of success after their Super Bowl victories or losses. While teams like the Green Bay Packers have been consistent playoff threats, their 2011 win remains the only time they were able to even make the big game, let alone win it.
The Seattle Seahawks made two-straight, but they haven’t been able to sniff it since 2014. The Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints, Philadelphia Eagles, San Francisco 49ers, and now, apparently, The Los Angeles Rams are all teams who made it to the big game only to fall off rather quickly.
There are different reasons behind this, and in the one-and-done playoff that the NFL plays, making the big game is hard. However, as the Patriots have proved since the turn of the millennium, a team is capable to build prolonged success if they can put in the work and keep some form of consistency. Despite this recent crop of inconsistencies, could a new team soon reach elite status?
Who’s up to bat in the NFC?
As of week 6, The 49ers are the only undefeated team. Behind them, at 5-1, are the Seahawks, Packers, and Saints. The Cowboys and the Minnesota Vikings are the only teams who appear to have a chance to join these teams given their early-season play, but do any have what it takes to dominate for years to come?
The Packers could very well be headed toward another Super Bowl season if everything goes right, but Rodgers is in his mid-30s and any success he has during his late-career would be hard to keep up. Other teams, like the Niners, could be headed toward a great season, but Jimmy Garoppolo has not yet shown that he can be a consistent quarterback that instills this kind of hope.
The Cowboys have a star quarterback and a star running back that instill hope, but the Jerry Jones effect cannot be ignored, and the team had drama before the end of the season. The Seahawks have had an intriguing season and Russell Wilson is playing some of his best football, could this be the start of their next elite run?
Are the Seahawks for real?
Russell Wilson made history with his lucrative extension this year, and he is still in the prime of his career. He has been able to get that elusive second Super Bowl appearance, even if he has been dry since. The Seahawks have surrounded Wilson with talent that could show up for many years to come, and Wilson has proven that he is utterly fearless under pressure.
Nobody can predict the future. The current hot teams could go down with disaster on any given week. With the Seahawks, however, they have the experience, the leadership, and the youth that could make them favorites for years to come. Now, they just have to get back to the place they were when Wilson was still wet behind the ears.
Whether it’s the Seahawks, the Cowboys, or another team emerges from the pack or he NFC needs to find its own juggernaut. While parity is great, the difference between a memorable team and a dynasty is a team’s ability to not only win but keep that up for many years to come.