The Dallas Cowboys have won the NFC more times than any other team in the conference, but America’s Team has not been to the NFC Championship Game since 1995. That has allowed others to emerge and make the Super Bowl, including their long-term rival San Francisco. The 49ers are seen as one of the top contenders to win the conference in 2021, but it’s last year’s Super Bowl champions that are the favorites.

Favorite

Tom Brady continues to defy critics and conventional wisdom alike. Brady led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to their second Super Bowl title in his first season with his new team, and they have a great chance of repeating as all 22 of their starters from last season are back. This is one of the best receiving corps with Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Antonio Brown, and Rob Gronkowski, and the offensive line did a good job of keeping Brady upright.

This defense is extremely underrated. Tampa Bay’s defensive line dominated the line of scrimmage against Kansas City in the Super Bowl, and now Vita Vea is fully healthy once again. Devin White is one of the best young linebackers in the game, and the whole linebacking corps is fantastic. The secondary is the only real concern, but they don’t have to cover long given the pass rush.

Contenders

Green Bay is a favorite in the NFC for at least one more season. The Packers were able to come to an agreement with Aaron Rodgers that kept the future Hall of Fame quarterback in green and gold for this year, and he will likely leave the team next March. With Rodgers at the helm, the Packers do have an offense that can put up points. The defense has been better than we have seen in previous years, but this team has lost in the NFC Championship Game in back-to-back years.

Kyle Shanahan has said that Jimmy Garoppolo is his quarterback, but we’ll see how long that lasts. Garoppolo’s poor playoff performance two years ago is still running through the minds of many 49ers’ fans, and Trey Lance has looked impressive in training camp. San Francisco suffered a myriad of injuries that submarined this team’s postseason hopes in 2020. However, there is a ton of talent on both sides of the ball, so this team could easily be the top seed in the NFC with good play from the QB position.

Best Longshots

Minnesota has alternated between being a playoff team and a .500 team since 2014. The Vikings are good enough on both sides of the ball to contend, and this power run game is one of the best in the league with Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison toting the rock. Justin Jefferson was the best rookie receiver in last year’s class and could be one of the top wide-outs in the NFL. The front seven has been rebuilt and bringing in Patrick Peterson and Bashaud Breeland at cornerback has shored up this secondary.

The Atlanta Falcons might be an interesting pick too as a longshot. This offense is going to light up the scoreboard if Matt Ryan stays healthy, and they will pull off at least a few upsets behind their ability to put up points. If the defense shows any kind of stability and progression, the Falcons could be the second-best