Colin Kaepernick

San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick is one of the NFL's standout players, but are his receivers capable of maximizing his talents? (Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press / June 12, 2013)

The AFC has the Lombardi Trophy.

The NFC has everything else.

That is, the NFC boasts last season's most valuable player, Minnesota's Adrian Peterson; offensive rookie of the year, Washington's Robert Griffin III; defensive rookie of the year, Carolina's Luke Kuechly; and the majority of the league's best teams.

There are always surprise teams in the NFL. Who could have predicted that Indianapolis would go from 2-14 to reaching the playoffs with a rookie coach and quarterback at the helm? Or that Baltimore would win the Super Bowl despite ending the regular season with four losses in five games?

But with training camps kicking off all over the league in the next week, it's the NFC that has more championship-caliber teams and a 39-25 record against the AFC last season, with those victories by an average of 15.1 points.

Whereas the AFC has Denver and Houston — along with question marks hovering over perennial contenders New England, Baltimore and Pittsburgh — the NFC has San Francisco, Atlanta, Seattle, Green Bay, the New York Giants. Any of those teams could rise and make a Super Bowl run.

A look at the big questions for the NFC teams, ranked by predicted power:

Seattle: Can the Seahawks get out of their own way?

No one wanted to face this team at the end of last season, and that includes San Francisco, which lost to Seattle, 42-13, in December. But the Seahawks need to get a handle on the failed drug tests. In May, defensive end Bruce Irvin was slapped with a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing drugs. He's the fifth Seahawks player to test positive in the last three seasons. That's a big blow to a team with an already thin defensive line, and it means Irvin will sit out the Week 2 game against the 49ers.

San Francisco: Who will Colin Kaepernick throw to?

With Michael Crabtree out for at least most of the season because of a torn Achilles' tendon, the 49ers are painfully thin at receiver. It's Anquan Boldin, tight end Vernon Davis and a lot of unproven guys. (There's no indication the team will re-sign Randy Moss.) Davis wasn't targeted much in Kaepernick's first several starts. He finished the regular season with six catches in the last six games. But Davis was a big part of the passing offense in the NFC title game and Super Bowl, and probably will continue to be.

Green Bay: What's that ringing sound?

It's an alarm — the Packers are running a fire drill on their offensive line. Their starting center is staying put, but the four other starters are switching spots. Coach Mike McCarthy wants to have his best linemen on the left side, and moving tackle Bryan Bulaga and guard Josh Sitton there might help. Aaron Rodgers was sacked 51 times last season, and the Packers haven't been better than 20th in rushing since 2009.

Atlanta: Are the Falcons swinging for the fences?

Every team tries to win the Super Bowl every year, but the Falcons look especially intent on making one big push. They signed running back Steven Jackson, who will be 30 this season, along withveteran defensive end Osi Umenyiora, and they convinced Tony Gonzalez, a likely future Hall of Fame member, to stick around for one more year. They also addressed a glaring need by using their first two draft picks on cornerbacks Desmond Trufant and Robert Alford. This could be Atlanta's year.

New York: Why do the Giants have their fingers crossed?

All teams have to contend with injuries, but the Giants are dealing with pivotal hobbled players on offense and defense. Receiver Hakeem Nicks is coming off a knee injury, and defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul is recovering from off-season back surgery. Losing either of those players could deal a serious blow to the team's season. Nicks participated in a June minicamp and probably will be limited in training camp. If there are no hiccups in Pierre-Paul's recovery, he should be back for the season opener.

Dallas: Can Bill Callahan transition from the "dumbest team" to America's team?

Offensive coordinator Callahan will call plays for the Cowboys this season, the first time he has been the play caller since 2003, when he was fired as Oakland's head coach. He famously called those Raiders "the dumbest team in America in terms of playing the game." Callahan got the Cowboys assignment when owner Jerry Jones stripped the responsibility from Coach Jason Garrett, who had called plays for the team since 2007.

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