September 10, 2009

NFC East preview

by Dan Bilicki In: Football

Last but certainly not least in our NFL division previews, we have the NFC East. The Beasts of the East will be at it again this season with all the storylines and controversies in tow. Dallas jettisoned T.O. and look to take the franchise in a new direction (up), the Skins threw down $100 million for Albert Haynesworth, the Giants smartly cut Plaxico Burress loose and the Eagles took on a newly freed Michael Vick.
New York Giants (Last season: 12-4).
While the Jersey Giants drafted two wide-outs in the early portion of their draft, neither are the type of game-breaker that Plaxico Burress was. His absence from this offence will make it one-dimension, much the same as last season when we couldn’t move the ball as well as needed. They did bolster their pass rush even more with their free agent signings, but depth on the D-line wasn’t something they really needed. Now, it’s just a luxury.
Predicted record: 9-7.

Philadelphia Eagles (Last season: 9-6-1).
The Eagles lost of key on-the-field figures during the off-season, especially on defence, but their biggest loss was on the sidelines. The death of Jim Johnson leaves a void too big to fill with individual player talent because it was his schemes and pressure-based defence that made players. I have a hard time believing the Eagles will measure up to years previous this season while the offence has taken a bit of a step up by landing a few key linemen and another speedy compliment for Desean Jackson in Jeremy Maclin. But who gets the ball in the red zone?
Predicted record: 9-7.

Dallas Cowboys (Last season: 9-7).
The Cowboys suffered last year when Tony Romo went down and Brad Johnson and Brooks Bollinger were forced into action. The result was a losing streak that including an L in St. Louis, one of the Rams two wins last season. This year, without T.O., Roy Williams will be forced to step up into the No. 1 receiver role and the running game will be asked to plow their way down the field and work for field position. As long as the defence can hold some teams off as well as they did last year (which wasn’t too special), the Cowboys should be seeing the post-season this year.
Predicted record: 9-7.
Washington Redskins (Last season: 8-8).
The Redskins are destined to be the bottom feeder of this great division for seasons to come. Until they can find a way to do at least one thing better than their division rivals, it will be very hard to overtake them. Having Jason Campbell at QB may be a tenuous situation after shopping him for the entire off-season before eventually settling on him. Apparently the popular opinion around the league was the same that the Redskins share: He’s not a great starting QB.
Predicted record: 8-8.

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