It’s been a known fact for a while that the NFC East is the most unpredictable division in all of the National Football League. As a matter of fact there hasn’t been a team to win the division consecutively since the Eagle (from 2001 until 2004). Though, calling the NFC East one of the toughest divisions in the NFL wouldn’t be absurd either. So here are my predictions of who will win the division this year (weakest chance to strongest).
This was probably the easiest pick to make in this division. The Eagles are the only team here still in the rebuilding phase, and they have a new rookie head coach in Chip Kelly. With an addition of a QB controversy that sums up trouble for them. Their defense took a huge blow on the line and in coverage losing Cullen Jenkins (Giants), Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (Broncos), and Nnamdi Asomugha (49ers). All three of which started every game last season for them. The only light in this tunnel is the RB core. I see LeSean McCoy and Bryce Brown keeping the Eagles in a lot of close games.
There are a lot of good pieces in Dallas, but the chess set isn’t complete. They didn’t really lose anyone in the free agency that made a stir in “Cowboy Nation”, but their front seven did sustain a hit. They lost four players who started a games for them to other teams (Kenyon Coleman, Victor Butler, Dan Connor, and Marcus Spears). DeMarcus Ware, Brandon Carr, and Morris Claiborne should all be solid defenders as usual though. DeMarco Murray is a solid running back, but he can’t seem to stay healthy enough to play. I love the Dez Bryant and Miles Austin tandem but they stats aren’t consistently good throughout the entire season. I still think Jason Garret isn’t adequate enough to be their head coach.
Sophomore Slump is something to be feared. The buzz has surrounded RGIII in the summer and he will have to prove he was worth the hype (and 15th rank in NFL’s top 100) as soon as week one against the Eagles. To me, there season will be determined by how well they do that game. Their offense is predicated on the Pistol Option and what a way to show that type of offense is the future of the NFL by doing it against another running offense (I believe Vick will win the starting job for Eagles). It will be hard for RGIII to repeat his success this season. NFL defenses are adaptable.
The Giants are the most obvious team to win this division. It seems like they always miss the playoffs by one game then comeback and dominate (they won their last two Super Bowls like that). They lost both Ahmad Bradshaw (Colts) and Osi Umenyiora (Falcons) to free agency, but second year RB David Wilson can fill the void left by Bradshaw with his speed, quickness, and explosiveness (as shown in week 14 against the Saints). Umenyiora’s presence could be harder to fill, seeing how Jason Pierre-Paul is coming off injury. Their defense needs to improve in all aspects of the ball, but their new additions should plug up some of their holes. On offense, the only problem would be contract issues-and the right tackle spot, but there shouldn’t be any worry about it. Hakeem Nicks’ is in his last year of his rookie contract and Victor Cruz still has not signed a long term deal. Jerry Reese and Tom Coughlin has a lot to think about.