In a continuation of ranking every team by division, I now turn to the NFC East.
Home of some talented and prestigious teams, the division is rich in history.
I know going into this article that there are several things that will cause upheaval. I am expecting angry messages, but that is just a risk that comes with the writing.
And so now we begin with the talented teams in the East.
The Redskins finished last in the division, and may do so again unless things start clicking. They have some solid players, but also have holes that could hold back the team.
Offense wasn't their strong point as they finished 19th overall last year. I know the defense could have used some tweaking, but I expected some offensive picks in the draft this year.
However, none came until they took a tight end and wide receiver in the seventh round. So it looks like they are confident with what they have. They do have a decent duo at receiver, and a strong tight end in Cooley.
Portis is a grind-it-out back and can pick up some yards. The real question with the offense is how well QB Jason Campbell will do this year.
The defense was very strong, and landed itself in the No. 4 spot in the league. Though I thought they needed work on offense, Washington acquired some very good defensive players that will help solidify their defense. Most notably is DE Brian Orakpo. He will excel at end, playing next to DT Haynesworth who, at 6'6" 350 lbs, demands double-teams.
Though they play several tough teams, the Redskins schedule is not difficult. They will have to play the Giants and Eagles twice each. But they get more than enough opportunity to win against the Rams, Lions, Chiefs, Raiders, and possibly the Cowboys.
Washington has several advantages that might lead to success. Though they haven't shown much, and still have a question mark on the offense, if they play well enough, and Dallas can't find its gear, Washington could find itself third in the division.
Here is where the criticism begins. For some reason, everyone seems to think that Dallas is the best team in the division, when they have clearly not shown it.
Now granted, the Cowboys have more household names than any other team. But all these great players have not yet come together and taken control.
The offense finished 13th overall last year. And they have a lot of good players this year.
The key loss was Terrell Owens. However, the organization must believe they have some good receivers, because they did not draft a wide receiver until the seventh round. They have a strong run game and could help to open holes for the pass game.
The defense played very well finishing eighth in the NFL. They still have a good defense and could play well again. However, they ranked 20th in points allowed. So a big weakness for the team.
The Cowboys have a very even schedule. They play average teams that can swing the game either way. Of course, they should play well against KC, but may struggle against New York. No super strong teams outside of their division.
In all, Dallas is good. They have very talented players, and everything is there. They just haven't been able to connect recently.
I'm sure a lot of people are surprised that I don't have the Giants winning the division. Let me assure everyone they are just taking a quick break. I firmly believe that they will once again be in the lead in 2010. They lost a couple key spots, but had an amazing draft. All they need is a year to get everything running smoothly again.
New York was the seventh-ranked offense last year. This off season, they needed a good receiver to replace Burress, and help out the aging Toomer. They took a wide receiver in the first and third round and got some high quality players. Hakeem Nicks is strong, has great hands, and the potential to become the No. 1 receiver.
Ramses Barden is a huge 6'6" 229-pound receiver who provide a huge target in the red zone.
On defense, the Giants found their way to a No. 5 ranking. They have another strong defense this year and could end up top ten again. They seem to have the pieces in place.
The schedule seems decent, maybe a tad more on the hard side. They won't have problems with KC and Dallas but may be tested by Arizona and Philly. Momentum will play a big role in determining how it goes.
Make no mistake, the Giants have the talent. They are very strong and have very few weak spots. However, with two new wide receivers, a running back, and others, they may need a year before becoming the powerhouse they were. I can see them going to the Bowl in a year or two if they work together.
The Eagles have the pieces in place to be a great team. And with New York out of the way they have a chance to be at the top. They are strong all around the board and are coming off of a good draft.
The offense was solid and finished ninth in the the NFL. They added to their depth by drafting Jeremy Maclin in the draft. Maclin is a great all around receiver and shows excellent awareness. Playing him in slot will allow for three good wide receivers to be on the field. And any of them can score at any time. Add a good run game headed by Brian Westbrook and the offense is once again a top 10 contender.
The offense may have been good, but the defense was better, finishing third in the league. The Eagles are very confident in their defense, as they only drafted two defensive players. They should do well and will see another year in the top 10.
The Eagles have a very average schedule, and play some middle of the road teams. Wins from Raiders, the 49ers, and Cowboys could give them a lot of motivation. They don't have any top teams to play besides the Giants, but have several games that could require them to play well.
In all, the Eagles are ready to shine. They have been waiting for their chance and now have the players to do so. They can take the division by storm with the talent they have. However, they cannot afford to make mistakes as the Giants are still very strong contenders.
As I always, I end with a conclusion. This is the division I expect to get the most comments in. For one, I know many people think that Dallas will be the best. If so, tell me why. Others will think me crazy for putting Philly ahead of New York. Again, tell me why I'm wrong. I'm not saying I'm right (though I believe I am), just looking for information to make me more knowledgeable in the future.
Lastly, I still have the NFC North and South to cover. Time is running out to send your opinions. If you think you know how it will play out, tell me how and why. The more information I have, the more accurate I can make my predictions.