Steve’s NFC East Preview
By: Steve Risser
It only took 7 wins to win the NFC East last year but with the improvements that all 4 teams made, it’s going to take more that to win it this year.
1st Place: New York Giants
Projected Record 9–8
The Giants must make the playoffs this year or Dave Gettleman will not be back as GM. This is the most optimistic I have been about the Giants in a while. It looks like Joe Judge has this team going in the right direction. On offense the Giants struggled in 2020 averaging 17.5 Points per game which was 31st in the league. The offense should be better with Barkley back and the additions of Golladay and Toney, this should result in Daniel Jones having a better year which he needs to have if he wants to remain the starting QB. The offensive line is a major question mark for this team, and they didn’t improve it in the offseason but the reason for that was they think that Andrew Thomas, Shane Lemieux, Nick Gates, Will Hernandez and Matt Peart will all be improved. The Giant’s defense was their strength last year and it has potential to be even better this year. Lenard Williams, Blake Martinez, and James Bradbury all had solid years last year and it helped this defense at every level. For this defense to be elite they are going to need to get more from their edge players they addressed this in the offseason by drafting Azeez Ojulari in 2nd round and Oshane Ximines and Lorenzo Carter also must contribute.
2nd Place: Dallas Cowboys
Projected Record 8–9
In week 5 the Cowboys season pretty much ended when they lost Dak Prescott to an ankle injury. There’s concern about Prescott going into this season too due to him having a shoulder injury but the Cowboys expect him to be ready for opening night. If Dak is healthy the Cowboys should have one of the top offenses in the league, their receiving core is one of the best with Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallop. On the offensive line they got Tryon Smith and La’el Collins back who both missed most of the season last year even though Smith is not the player he once was the line will be improved with him back. It’s crazy to say the Zeke might be the biggest concern for the Cowboys offense he had a career low 979 rushing yards last year, but I think he’ll have a better year this with Dak back because teams won’t have to focus on him as much. The Cowboy’s defense is clearly the worst in the division and is the reason why I think they miss the playoffs. I know they have a new defensive coordinator in Dan Quinn, and they drafted Mika Parsons but that isn’t enough to turn this defense around they still have major holes at defensive tackle and in the secondary, also Jalen Smith and Leighton Vander Esch have regressed the last 2 seasons.
3rd Place: The Washington Football Team
Projected Record 7–10
In 2020, The Washington Football Team won the division, but they did by only winning 7 games. For Washington to repeat as NFC East Champs their going to have to run the ball better than they did last year where they were 27th in rushing yards. That’s why Antonio Gibson is such a key to this offense because if he is good, it’s really going to help Ryan Fitzpatrick with play action. The reason I don’t think Washington makes playoff is outside of getting Curtis Samuel they didn’t improve on offense. Washington should have a top defense this year a big reason for that is they arguably have the best defensive line in football. Chase Young has the potential to be a stud, Montez Sweat, Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne are all solid. There are 2 players that can bring this defense from good to great one is rookie linebacker Jamin Davis the other is corner Will Jackson if they pan out this defense will be one of the best in football.
4th Place: Philadelphia Eagles
Projected Record 5–12
The Eagles come into this season with the most question marks in the division they got an unproven coach in Nick Sirianni and an unproven QB in Jalen Hurts. On top having an unproven coach and QB they also don’t have proven receivers, Jalen Reagor struggled in his rookie year, and they hope that Devonta Smith can be their number one WR of the future. The strengths of the Eagles offense are their run game and their O-line, Sanders had a good year last year being their feature back and the O-line is getting Brandon Brooks back. For years the Eagles D-line has been their strength on defense and despite the age on the D-Line it should be this year as well. Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham are both in their 30’s but they still had really good years last year. The problem is their back 7 is one of the worst in football, they have one of the worst linebacking corps in the league and even with them signing Anthony Harris their secondary is average at best.