Those in the NFL NFC with Super Bowl aspirations will have to come through a loaded conference.
The road to Super Bowl LV in the NFC is a challenging one given the depth in the conference.
That was illustrated by a 2019 season that saw three teams finish the year tied for the best record in the conference.
It should be similarly competitive again in 2020, though two teams stand out as the favorites to be representing the NFC in Tampa come February.
Here we rank the top five Super Bowl contenders in the NFC.
5. Philadelphia Eagles
Philadelphia’s draft, particularly the selection of Jalen Hurts in the second round, may have split the Eagles’ fanbase, but this is a team that comes out of the offseason better equipped to deal with the kinds of injury crises that derailed their previous two campaigns.
The Eagles were the most injured team in the league in 2018, according to Football Outsiders’ Adjusted Games Lost metric, in which they ranked 32nd two seasons ago. They finished the 2019 season 21st in AGL but made the playoffs in each of those campaigns.
That is a testament to the work of head coach Doug Pederson and his staff but Eagles general manager Howie Roseman made moves to protect against injuries at the two positions where they have hit hardest in recent years, wide receiver and quarterback.
The selections of Jalen Reagor in the first round, John Hightower in the fifth and Quez Watkins in the sixth, along with the acquisition of Marquise Goodwin, give the Eagles significantly more strength in depth at receiver, where they were decimated in 2019.
Meanwhile, Hurts’ arrival offers Philadelphia a young backup capable of keeping the team afloat if Carson Wentz is sidelined again.
Philadelphia won the NFC East by the skin of its teeth in 2019 and the stellar draft the Dallas Cowboys enjoyed, highlighted by the selection of wide receiver CeeDee Lamb in the first round, makes them favorites to come out of the division in 2020 in the eyes of many.
However, the Eagles had the edge on defense last year and the addition of Javon Hargrave to the interior of the defensive line in free agency solidified what is an imposing front.
The Cowboys have more questions than answers on that side of the ball and the impact of the disrupted offseason is more likely to impact Dallas and its new head coach Mike McCarthy.
While they’re a level below the class of the conference, the Eagles are the most complete team in the East and have a recent history of getting hot at the right time. After a successful offseason, that makes them a very dangerous proposition for their NFC rivals.