Friday, August 27, 2010

NFL Predictions: NFC East

I hate you so much

This year, the NFC East is going to be one of the most interesting divisions in football. There are plenty of story lines to follow, and any of these teams has the potential to grab a playoff spot. It should make for some ultra-competitive football and plenty of twists. Without further ado:

4) Philadelphia Eagles - The loss of Donovan McNabb, especially to a rival within the division, will hurt more than most people think. With the unproven Kevin Kolb at QB, the Eagles will only go as far as he can carry them. The departure of Brian Westbrook will greatly affect the running game. Don't expect LeSean McCoy to be able to fill his shoes right away. Also, with DeSean Jackson (5'10"), Jeremy Maclin (6') and Jason Avant (6') as their top 3 receivers, Kolb doesn't have a target to throw to that can go up and get the ball. The defense will be solid, once again. Something to watch is the lack of size in the secondary as well, with former Patriots Ellis Hobbs (5'9" in heels) and Asante Samuel (5'10") lining up at the cornerback spots. I've got the Eagles at 7 wins.

3) New York Giants - The Giants are my pick to underachieve in this division. Brandon Jacobs is coming off of his worst season since Tiki Barber hung up his cleats, and backup Ahmad Bradshaw is nothing special. There is a lack of talent at WR, with a bunch of guys who would be rated around an 82 in Madden expected to catch the ball for Eli. Kevin Boss is a TE with great size, but he doesn't move that well and should only be a serious threat in the red zone. The defense will be stacked up front, with Justin Tuck, Osi Umenyiora, and rookie Jason Pierre-Paul dominating opposing offensive lines. However, the only other players on the defensive side of the ball that will make any impact will be the aging Keith Bulluck and impact safety Kenny Phillips. The G-Men will be a pedestrian 8-8.

2) Washington Redskins - Albert Haynesworth is the most talked about player in the NFL not named Brett Favre this offseason, and for all the wrong reasons. His lack of effort and dedication to the team, as well and his bad attitude and constant clashing with coach Mike Shannahan will be disastrous for a team that could have been going places. That being said, with McNabb at QB throwing to Santana Moss, Devin Thomas (who is posed for a breakout season), and Chris Cooley, and with Clinton Portis pounding the rock, the 'Skins offense will be potent. Their defense will be better than most think. DeAngelo Hall is still a good CB, and Philip Buchanon can play some ball too. If Haynesworth decides to play, he should be a huge factor in stopping the run along with London Fletcher, and Brian Orakpo can put on tons of pressure rushing from the OLB spot in the 3-4. The Redskins could win 10 games.

1) Dallas Cowboys -  The Cowboys are stacked, and look ready to take this division. With Tony Romo at the helm, and newly acquired Dez Bryant lined up opposite Miles Austin, the passing game will be potent. Jason Witten is one of the best TEs in all of football, and the running game will be a force with Marion Barber and Felix Jones. The defense is going to be very strong as well. The line consists of the very talented trio of Igor Olshansky, Jay Ratliff, and Marcus Spears. Keith Brooking and DeMarcus Ware will anchor the LBs, and while Terrence Newman may not be Marcus Trufant, he certainly can cover recievers. The Cowboys are the most complete team in this stacked division, and should win 11 games before tanking in the postseason.

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