Sunday, July 6, 2008

The NFC East Predictions

As we approach another NFL season, it is time to take a look at the season ahead of us.

The NFC East is probably the most difficult division to predict. This season any of the four teams could come out with a division crown. Predictions By: Hudson Belinsky

1. The Philadelphia Eagles. Last Season: 8-8. Off-season Grade: A- Predicted Record: 12-4

The Eagles shored up their secondary by adding Asante Samuel and improved their offense by adding the talented wide receiver from Cal, in Desean Jackson. Assuming Donovan McNabb stays healthy, the Eagles will be the team that they were a few years ago, before the T.O. days. The team was good down the stretch last season, and if they avoid distraction this year they should be the best in the division. A big part of their off-season was making sure that McNabb was able to stay healthy. The quarterback is apparently in the best shape of his career and has never felt better. Brian Westbrook should, again be the great RB that he was last season. Watch out for the Eagles in the regular season, as well as the playoffs.

2. The Dallas Cowboys. Last Season: 13-3. Off-season Grade: B+ Predicted Record: 12-4
The obvious key additions are in the secondary, with Mike Jenkins and Adam "Pacman" Jones. The Cowboys secondary now becomes one of the best in the league. By drafting Felix Jones, the Cowboys have a very good, young duo at running back with Marion Barber and the Arkansas product. The better running game should open up the pass and we will likely see less pressure on Romo, and thus a much better passing game. The Cowboys filled their major needs and will return this season as a highly successful team in the regular season. They will be very good, but not as dominant against a much better division this season. Whether or not the can finally come through in the playoffs will be interesting.

3. The New York Giants. Last Season: 10-6. Off-season Grade: C Predicted Record: 9-7
The Giants had an okay draft day. They got a highly overrated safety in Kenny Phillips and a good cornerback in USC's Terrell Thomas. The wide receiver they got, Mario Manningham, is also highly overrated. They lose Michael Strahan which will hurt Osi Umenyiora because he will be double teamed more often and produce less sacks and less pressure on the quarterback. Ahmad Bradshaw's off the field issues could also hurt the team greatly. They lose Gibril Wilson and, quite frankly, they lost too much to be the team they were last post-season. We will see flashes of that greatness, but not the same team.

4. The Washington Redskins. Last Season: 9-7. Off-season Grade: C+ Predicted Record: 7-9
The Redskins lose a great coach in Joe Gibbs, which hurts them tremendously. The only big loss was Brandon Lloyd, and he was replaced by Michigan State WR Devin Thomas. The team got better on the offensive line by adding OT Jason Fabini and C Ethan Albright. They also added Malcolm Kelly from Oklahoma and Fred Davis from USC. Their passing game should be significantly improved from last season. They also picked up QB Colt Brennan in the draft. If Brennan turns out to be more than just a system quarterback the Redskins could have a huge steal in this draft. The team is installing a west coast offense, and it could take a while for the team to work out the kinks. Once the team does, they should be successful.

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