The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who won the NFC title and followed that with a triumph in Super Bowl 55, were the preseason favorites to once again claim the NFC crown in 2021. The Bucs are not at the top of the NFC standings heading into Week 14 of the 2021 NFL season, but they are still the pick to take home the NFC title.
At 9-3, Tampa Bay is favored over the 10-2 Arizona Cardinals, who lead the NFC West, the 9-3 Green Bay Packers, who are the top of the NFC North and the Dallas Cowboys, who sit atop the NFC East at 8-4. The Buccaneers are No. 1 in the NFC South.
2021 NFC Championship Odds
Tampa Bay to repeat
Tampa Bay faces the biggest test of its remaining schedule during Week 14 when the club plays the Buffalo Bills at home. Outside of Buffalo (7-5), Tampa Bay has games against the New Orleans Saints (5-7), Carolina Panthers (5-7), New York Jets (3-9) and a second Carolina game left on its schedule. There is a better-than-average chance that Tampa Bay could finish the season with an eight-game winning streak. That is not the kind of momentum any NFL team wants to see a club led by Tom Brady take into the playoffs.
— NFL (@NFL) December 6, 2021
Arizona has a chance
The Arizona Cardinals were without their quarterback, Kyler Murray, for three games. The club went 2-1 in those contests behind back QB, Colt McCoy. Murray rejoined the team in Week 13 and delivered a 33-22 win over the Chicago Bears, where he went 11 for 15 in passing and connected for two touchdowns passes. There is a lot to like about the Cardinals as a team, but the club has a rougher schedule than Tampa Bay to close the season. The Cardinals face the Los Angeles Rams (8-4), Detroit Lions (1-10-1), Indianapolis Colts (7-6), Dallas Cowboys (8-4) and Seattle Seahawks 4-8) to wrap up the season. Another positive for the Cardinals is that wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins was also back in the lineup for the Chicago game after missing three games.
Kyler Murray tied the franchise record (Kurt Warner, 5 in 2009) for most games with a passer rating of 120.0+ in a single season. His 112.1 passer rating this season leads the entire NFL. pic.twitter.com/HLj2ukCWLt
— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) December 7, 2021
The Cardinals are good on both sides of the ball, which is something that cannot be said about Tampa Bay, who have struggled defensively.
Green Bay still in the mix
The Green Bay Packers had a bye in Week 13, and that was good timing for the club as a whole, but especially for quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who has a broken toe. Green Bay, like Tampa Bay, has a favorable schedule to close out the season. The only team they face in the final weeks who has a winning record is the Baltimore Ravens (8-4), who are coming off two close wins (Chicago and Cleveland) and a nail-biter of a loss against Pittsburgh in Week 13.
— Green Bay Packers (@packers) December 1, 2021
If Green Bay can get healthy and stay healthy, they have a chance to win the NFC.
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