The brilliance behind the Sixers’ tanking plan is that the Eastern Conference isn’t good as it is presently constructed, and may only be getting worse. Sure, the Cavs are going to be a problem, but injuries to Derrick Rose and Paul George have greatly decreased the long-term viability of the Bulls and Pacers. The point is, once the Sixers get good again, not only will they be the most watchable basketball team in this town in over a decade, but they will be in an Eastern Conference that is only a few bounces away from being their’s. Had they been in the Western Conference, that dream might be too far-fetched to become a reality.
The Eagles, on the other hand, didn’t get that same luck. Sure, they are already good, which is probably the harder part, except they weren’t blessed with being in the easier conference. The Eagles enter a season where, on paper, seemingly every team could compete for the playoffs, even teams like the Redskins and Vikings, two teams that struggled last year, but were playoff teams just two seasons ago.
In the AFC, the Broncos, Patriots and Colts are the three clear-cut Superbowl favorites. In the NFC, the Seahawks and 49ers may enter the season as the two prohibited favorites, but teams like the Saints and Packers are certainly right in the thick of the NFC playoff picture, especially if they could manage to land homefield advantage in the playoffs. Even teams like the Bears and Eagles, could seemingly make a run in the playoffs behind high-powered offenses.
So Section 215 staffers were polled on who will be the best team in the NFC in 2014. The question was left as open-ended, so it could be taken as who will be the number one seed entering the playoffs, or as asking who will ultimately be the 2015 NFC champion. In a lot of senses, the two could really go hand in hand.