NFL Divisional Preview: NFC Eastern Promises
Every year the teams from toughest division in football eat each other alive during the season.
Last season the New York Giants took the division with a record of 12-4 by playing a physical, run the ball down your throat style of play, with Brandon Jacobs leading the way.
The Philadelphia Eagles clinched a Wild Card berth during Week 17 by finishing 9-6-1. They definitely had their ups and downs during the season, but their ability to finish the season 4-1, and the play of Donovan McNabb, got them into the playoffs.
The Dallas Cowboys started the season with Super Bowl hopes. Tony Romo failed to produce in the month of December, and the Cowboys got thrashed 44-6 by the Eagles in the final week of the season. They just barely missed the playoffs.
The Washington Redskins started the season off with a strong 6-2 record. They spiraled during the second half of the season and finished 8-8.
Here's how the toughest division in football will shake out this year.
Washington Redskins: 9-7
The Redskins won't be able to get over that hump and into the playoffs this year. Jason Campbell will perform well, and maintain a high QB rating, as he did through the entire season last year.
The lack of depth on the offensive line will spell trouble for them.
Also the Redskin's receivers will hold them back as well. Jason Campbell will not have a true No. 1 dependable receiver, and will play more conservatively than the year before. He'll be more likely to throw the ball away instead of taking a chance.
Their defense will remain in the top five with the addition of Albert Haynesworth, and will carry them to a 9-7 record.
Dallas Cowboys: 10-6
The Cowboy's have a lot to be excited about coming into the 2009 season. They may have the best running back trio in the NFL. Wade Phillips is once again making the calls for their defense, which can only be a good thing. Tony Romo and Jason Witten are on the same page as always.
The major problem for the Cowboys will be a lack of production in close games. Their running game is great; until you need to score quick and fast during the last two minutes of the game. Check downs to Jason Witten can only get a team so far.
Another problem is the lack of depth on their offensive line. If Marc Colombo or Flozell Adams goes down, then Tony Romo and the running backs are going to be in a lot of trouble.
Despite what Romo and Roy Williams are saying, they are NOT on the same page. The Cowboys will fail to replace T.O.'s production and fall short of the playoffs.
New York Giants: 12-4
The Giants are going to be a very good team this year. With Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw leading the way, their running game is as good as ever.
Both of the lines are rock solid, and have the potential to be the best in the league. The Offensive Line has been together for a long time, and that chemistry can only help.
The Defense picked up Chris Canty and got Osi Umenyiora back. With more players the rotation will be much deeper, allowing the Giants to keep their D-Line fresh.
The only problem that will face this team is the lack of explosiveness in their WR core.
Dominic Hixon and Steve Smith are not ready to lead this team in receiving yards and receptions, and while everyone is fanatical about Hakeem Nicks and Ramses Barden, they are still rookies learning the system and forging a relationship with Eli Manning.
I predict that the Giants will make the playoffs with the No. 5 seed wild card spot.
Philadelphia Eagles: 13-3
Finally, the Eagles will take the NFC East by storm!
They fixed the short yardage problem they had last year with the acquisition of a real fullback in Leonard Weaver; they acquired a deep threat in Jeremy Maclin in the draft; they ensured the health of Brian Westbrook with the acquisition of LeSean McCoy in the draft, and they gave DeSean Jackson another year to develop into what I believe to be the most dominant receiver in the NFC East.
There's also someone on the team named Michael Vick...
For all of you still confused about the signing let's go through a scenario.
Remember last year during both the Cincinnati and Baltimore games when the offense just wasn't getting it done for some reason? The games almost got boring!
Well imagine if the Eagles took McNabb out for a play or two(Vick will NOT be a fulltime starting QB as long as Reid is head coach). Vick definitely could have changed the outcome of a couple of games last year.
The Eagles look to take the No. 1 seed in the conference this year!