The NFC East is by far the toughest, most talented and most competitive in the NFL.
Every year the players and the teams seem to take the rivalries within this division to the next level. This is part one of a series that will rank every position of the four NFC East teams and at the end tally up the rankings and announce the best team in the NFC East.
Jason Campbell is the starter and a talented quarterback that has shown glimpses of greatness. What he has failed to do however is lift his team and lead them on any kind of run during the regular season. This has resulted in the management for the Redskins attempt to trade for Jay Cutler in the offseason.
To add insult to injury, after the Redksins failed to acquire Cutler in a trade, they publicly flirted with the idea of moving up in the draft to nab Mark Sanchez out of USC. The Jets made a move first and ended up with Sanchez. Now Campbell is left thinking his team doesn't really want him, let alone support him, which must be doing wonders for his confidence.
Statistically Campbell doesn't really stand out as a franchise quarterback.
After three seasons with Washington, Campbell has averaged a passer rating over just over 80 (80.4) and has never averaged over 6.5 yards per completion.
The upside to Campbell is that he has learned to be conservative with the football and last season he threw for 13 TDs and only six interceptions, while consistently moving the chains on third down.
To wrap Campbell up, he's a quarterback with potential that could shine in a more pass heavy offense, but is outdone and out shined by the other three starting quarterbacks in the league.
Eli Manning is a leader and a quarterback that makes plays when they are most needed. What Manning lacks however, is the ability to make plays out of the pocket (except for that ridiculous one against New England) and to perform when he doesn't have a deep threat to clear the flats and short zones out.
Manning had quite a stellar season with 21 TDs and just 10 INTs and ended the season with an average 86.4 QB rating. Once it got cold and windy though, and Burress took one to the leg, Manning's play dropped off and the Giants went 1-3 in December followed up with a zero TD two INT playoff performance at the hands of the Philadelphia Eagles.
Everyone remembers that lob pass to Plaxico Burress in the endzone with under two minutes to go in Super Bowl 42. After the Super Bowl victory, Eli was hailed as an elite quarterback and some even went as far to say that he was now on Peyton's (his older brother) level.
Manning is a franchise quarterback and I would be surprised to see him end up playing any where else in the near future. He is however, to an extent, a product of his environment.
Would Manning do as well without Plaxico Burress?
Well that question was answered this season and the definitive answer is no. His stats and general play fell without Big Burress to throw to.
Now imagine if Manning didn't have that running game that produced two 1000 yard rushers.
Derrick Ward is gone, one of the thousand yard rushers. He was signed by Tampa Bay during the off season. The other 1000 rusher was Brandon Jacobs. Ward was the perfect lightning switch up back that complimented Jacobs thunderous running style so well. Jacobs has lost his wingman and unless another runningback shows up the Giants running game could be in trouble.
With a crumpling blow to the passing game and then one to the running game, it is pretty safe to say that unless a receiver steps up and steps up big, Eli isn't going to have a very good year in the NYC.
To wrap up Manning, he is a good quarterback, but needs other good players around him to really succeed. (If we just went by those two plays in the Super Bowl though, he'd be the greatest ever.)
Tony Romo is athletic, he makes plays out of the pocket, and can play at an elite level at times. He does however have a tendency to drop off in December and January, when he is needed most.
Last season Romo was injured for three games but still managed to put up some nice numbers: 26 TDs and 14 INTs and ended up with a nice 91.4 QB rating. Six of those 14 interceptions came in December games, that is almost two a game and something the Cowboys could have really done without.
Romo did become a victim of Terrell Owens last season and eight of his 14 interceptions were picked while he was throwing in the direction of Terrell Owens. With Owens now gone, Romo can go through his progressions and not feel like he has to force the ball to one receiver so that he doesn't cop abuse.
A lot has been made of how Roy Williams will not be able to fill the void left by Owens. Even if Roy can't fill the void, Romo has a three headed monster running attack he can fall onto as well as the reliable Jason Witten and Patrick Crayton.
This is the year Romo has to show that he can produce in December, if not now, then when?
To wrap up Romo, He has the talent and all the tools he needs. It ends up resting in his hands whether or not they can make it to the playoffs, because the defense is more than solid.
1. Philadelphia Eagles
Donovan McNabb is a great quarterback, he has been so his whole career. He has the rocket arm, he's got the mobility and awareness to resurrect plays when they are falling to pieces. The one knock to McNabb is his consistency.
McNabb threw for 23 TDs and 11 INTs to add up to an acceptable 86.4 QB rating. These numbers however don't really portray the kind of season McNabb had.
Last season, McNabb was benched in a week 12 loss to Baltimore. Up until this point of the season McNabb had been playing poorly and not helping his teams case at all to make the playoffs. Being benched was obviously what McNabb needed, from then on until the end of the season McNabb threw nine TDs and only one INT.
The Eagles run lead by McNabb and some great luck propelled them into the playoffs, where the Eagles made it all the way to the NFC championship game until finally being knocked off by the Arizona Cardinals.
McNabb is back this season with a new Pro Bowl left tackle in Jason Peters and a new speedy receiver in Jeremy Maclin. With these two additions McNabb will have all the weapons he needs to make another Super Bowl run.
To wrap up McNabb, he is an elite quarterback that just always seems to find a way.