NFC teams have weaknesses just like AFC teams. Let’s look at them all so that we armchair GMs can fix what ails them.


While everyone is caught up in Carson Wentz-mania, the Eagles (3-0) are dead last in the NFC on offensive third-down conversions at 30.00 percent. As Mike Lombardi said on Bill Simmons’ podcast, “they’re playing Canadian Football” — because they convert on second down so often.

Another rookie quarterback who has led his team ably, the Cowboys’ (3-1) Dak Prescott has the offense running fine, but also has the team last in touchdown receptions with just three.

The offense in Washington (2-2) might be streaky, but the defense is just bad.

It allows the highest third-down conversion rate (a horrendous 57.4 percent) and the most rushing yards (144.8).

The Giants (2-2) need to apply more pressure on opposing passers. Not only are they tied for last in sacks with just four, but they are the only team yet to record an interception.


The Teddy Bridgewater-less Vikings (4-0) are a huge surprise, with their defense making things tough for opponents, but they’ve had little success running the ball. With Adrian Peterson hurt, the team has managed just 257 yards on the ground and a paltry 2.4 yards per attempt. That could change as young Jerick McKinnon appears to be acquiring his rhythm.

The Packers (2-1) have had their share of problems — like a grand total of three punt return yards — but that their receivers being able to stretch only seven plays for 20 or more yards is the most telling.

The Bears (1-3) are hurting on offense, and no stats indicate it more than their terrible 26:37 average time of possession and the fact that they have scored just seven touchdowns from the line of scrimmage.

While the Matt Stafford-led Lions (1-3) certainly can move the ball, their defense is almost powerless to stop anyone.

Giving up 12 touchdowns in exchange for just one interception, the secondary in Detroit just isn’t doing its job.


The Falcons’ (3-1) offense might be the envy of the league, but nobody would trade for their defense. Not only has Atlanta recorded just four sacks, but it has allowed 13 passing touchdowns and 20 receptions of 20 or more yards.

The young Buccaneers (1-3) and quarterback Jameis Winston are still finding themselves, and it’s reflected in the team’s 72.9 passer rating. And remember that kicker they traded up into the second round to get? Well, Robert Aguayo has made just one of three field goal attempts and also missed an extra point.

Fans expected a lot from the Panthers (1-3) this season, but they did not expect an NFC-worst 13 sacks allowed. While the offensive line has to share the blame, so does a set of receivers who are not doing a great job of getting open.

Everything you need to know about the Saints’ (1-3) season so far is that they are allowing a stunning 422.8 yards and a disheartening 32.5 points per game.


With No. 1 pick quarterback Jared Goff riding the pine, the Rams (3-1) have managed just 14.2 first downs per game on offense. Lucky for them, their defense is outstanding.

A lot of criticism has been aimed at the Seahawks’ (3-1) offensive line — and it’s justifiable — but the depth on special teams is even more glaring. While Seattle is averaging just 13.6 yards per kick return, their coverage teams are allowing more than double — 27.4. That’s a lot of field to give up.

Before the season, people said the 49ers’ (1-3) offense wouldn’t be very good. They were right. San Francisco is the only team with a lower average time of possession — 25:58 — than the Bears.

A lot of people thought the Cardinals (1-3) would be Super Bowl contenders.

They certainly don’t look at it at this point. The big problem seems to behind center as Arizona is the only team in the NFC to throw more picks (seven) than touchdown passes (six).

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