NFC East Predictions
Washington Football Team
The Washington Football Team currently has a lot going for them going into this next season. Washington's defense performed, if not at the top, near the top of the NFL in almost all categories. Washington's front seven is young and deep at each position. Whether it's newly acquired Jamin Davis or the two looming edge threats they have in Chase Young and Montez Sweat. Both combined for 16.5 sacks and six forced fumbles. The Football Team also recently resigned inside defensive lineman Jonathan Allen to a four-year 72 million dollar deal. That unit will be terrifying quarterbacks for years to come. As for the offense I am unable to say the same. Washington is going into this season with a 38-year-old quarterback in Ryan Fitzpatrick. Don't get me wrong, Fitzpatrick has proved to be a solid player in the NFL despite playing for several different teams. The thing about him is that he's never led a team to the playoffs. Despite being in the NFL for 16 seasons, Fitzpatrick has only started 16 games three times. He has yet to prove to be a viable starting option for a team that can be a serious contender. I believe he is an excellent backup quarterback to have but not a starter for a serious contending team. Quarterback is truly the only lackluster spot the offense has. A fearsome running back duo in Antonio Gibson and veteran J.D. McKissic. Gibson is a former receiver in college who has transformed into the running back position for the pros. Gibson broke out at times during his rookie campaigns, such as the game against Dallas, where he had 115 rushing yards and three touchdowns. Gibson was slowed down toward the end due to a turf toe injury that has lingered into this upcoming season. The jury isn’t out on his status yet but it is something to keep and eye on. Receiving wise the Football team has a wide receiving duo whose chemistry runs quite deep. Scary Terry and newly acquired Curtis Samuel are former Buckeye teammates. McLaurin did some recruiting as this offseason went along, bringing in an old teammate who can significantly improve that second receiver spot in that offense. Realistically I have the Football Team finishing at 9-8. It is possible for them to lose or win more games, but the uncertainty at quarterback keeps me on edge for them to win anymore games.
New York Giants
The New York Giants may have the most cutthroat situation in the entire division. That is because so much of this season rides on one person's shoulders. This season is a do-or-die season for Daniel Jones. Daniel Jones might not be the only one who will see his spot replaced if the Giants produce another down season. Offensive Coordinator Jason Garrett and General Manager Dave Gettleman could easily lose their jobs as easily as Jones can. Garrett put together the 31st ranked offense this past season. Garrett put together a mixture of curl and drag routes which lacked creativity and space for the second-year quarterback. Some can make the argument that due to Garrett's offense Jones regressed from his rookie year. Going into the offseason, many questioned if he would be let go or given a second chance. Garrett has been given a second chance and will have to prove himself to continue being the offensive coordinator for years to come. Gettleman has yet to produce a winning season in his tenure with the Giants. The best record his team has put together is a 6-10 record and that was this past season with new head coach Joe Judge. As did Garrett, many questioned if Gettleman would be let go but similar to Garrett, he was not. Gettleman has made some pretty notable moves this offseason with the signings of Kenny Golladay and Adoree Jackson, not to mention drafting Kadarius Toney and Azeez Ojulari. Going into the draft, many wondered if Gettleman would do the unexpected which was trading back. He has never traded back in all his years of being a general manager in the NFL, whether it was with Panthers or The Giants. The Giants were in a great place to do so this year. It was draft day, and nothing had happened and maybe still wouldn't have if the Eagles hadn't jumped the Giants and drafted Devonta Smith. Not only did Gettleman trade back in the first round and acquire a future first-round pick, but he also traded back in the second round and was still able to acquire Azeez Ojulari, whom many draft scouts had ranked as a potential first-rounder. Even with the possibility of being out of a job following this season, Gettleman put the team first and acquired future draft capital, which had won some fans over and maybe even bought himself some more time. Like I mentioned earlier, all of this depends on the progression of third-year quarterback Daniel Jones. Many believe Jones can take that next step in his career due to the offseason acquisitions that the team has made. Golladay, Toney, and Kyle Rudolph are all being added, and none may be more crucial than the return of Saquon Barkley. Daniel Jones has shown glimpses of taking a Josh Allen type year three jump, and those glimpses are the reason why I believe the Giants will finish the season with a 10-7 record. If the Giants can make the playoffs, it puts them in an excellent position for the future with having two first-round picks next year. If the Giants fail to complete the goal of making the playoffs, they are back to the beginning and could potentially be looking to use one of the two first-round picks on a quarterback.
The window of opportunity for America's team is closing, but it still has some time left. Having built one of the best wide receiving trio's in the league and a top ten quarterback, the Cowboys are primed for greatness offensively. This past offseason, the offense wasn't Jerry Jones's focus. He knew Dak was returning, Zeke primed for a better year due to a healthier offensive line and Ceedee Lamb improving with Dak back. The defense was the main focus considering they were ranked toward the bottom this past season. The Cowboys had fired defensive coordinator Mike Nolan and replaced him with former Falcons head coach Dan Quinn. Quinn brings hope to this lackluster defensive group the Cowboys had since he was the defensive coordinator for the Legion Of Boom squad back in 2013. That secondary group may have just been the best one we have seen in the past decade. They've also added some new additions for Quinn to play around with. Rookie linebacker Micah Parsons might not be the best in coverage, but when coming at the quarterback or securing a tackle, he has the potential to be at the top of the league at his position. Rookie cornerback Kelvin Joseph is more of a disciplined corner who doesn't take significant risks but relies on footwork and IQ to get the job done. Along with Joseph, they've got a second-year returning corner in Trevon Diggs, who had a good amount of highs and lows during his rookie year. Dallas brought in Damontae Kazee and Keanu Neal from Atlanta. It is no question that, on paper, Dallas has improved defensively but will they be able to put it together is the actual question. I don't believe Dallas improves much defensively, causing them to finish with a 9-8 record. As we saw early last year, Dak can only do so much.
The Philadelphia Eagles, without a doubt, are the most disgruntled team in the NFC EAST. The only bright spot on that offense is the offensive line, and aging veterans lead it. Jason Kelce is 33, Lane Johnson is 31, as is Brandon Brooks. Luckily for the Eagles, they have a mobile quarterback in Jalen Hurts. Hurts has been going through it during the offseason with his team not giving him the sure-fire quarterback one status until late. The uncertainty that they’ll stick with him going into the season. It had been rumored that the Eagles wanted to go for Deshaun Watson heavily. Now, most NFL players have to tune out the noise, but when it’s coming from your team, there isn’t a doubt in my mind that that’s harder than tuning out the casual fan. They were able to pull away from the draft with Heisman winner Devonta Smith. Former Alabama teammates should have a connection going into this season. Defensively the Eagles may be in more chaos than you would’ve thought. Fletcher Cox is aging, as is Brandon Graham, with Graham being 33 and Cox being 30. The heart and soul of that Eagles defense have been the two, and without them, Darius Slay would have become the leader of that defense. Slay had a mediocre season this past year, which leaves questions on if he is still the elite corner he once was. The Eagles have new coaches on the staff almost everywhere and, most importantly, the head coach in Nick Sirianni. Sirianni, the former Colts offensive coordinator, was made head coach over the offseason and was quite the show at times. The new head coach had multiple lapses in his first few press conferences, which led many to wonder if he was able to do this job in maybe the most dysfunctional team in the league at the moment. Philadelphia has way too many questions to be answered this year, and I don’t see them putting it all together. I have them finishing 3-14 at the bottom of the division.