Wednesday, August 29, 2007

NFC Preview, Part I

NFC East

Philadelphia Eagles 11-5, first place
Best OL, best QB, and best RB in the division. DL should be vastly improved with Kearse back from injury and Bunkley stepping up. Monte Reaghor and Ian Scott (if he even makes the team) are solid veteran additions. On defense, the Eagles have some athletic but inexperienced LBs, and an inadequate SS. But an explosive offense, combined with a strong pass rush and playmaking DBs, will be more than enough to win the division.

Washington Redskins 9-7, second place
The Redskins made much smarter acquisitions this offseason. London Fletcher will be a true captain and tackling machine in the middle of the defense, Fred Smoot will provide depth to the secondary, and Pete Kendall will adequately replace Derrick Dockery. They still lack a pass rush, and don't have enough playmakers on defense. Jason Campbell will take a step forward, but isn't ready to carry this team into the playoffs...yet.

Dallas Cowboys 8-8, third place
Every year, the Cowboys look talented on paper. Every year, they get a ton of pre-season hype as division winners or even Super Bowl champs. And every year, they play mediocre football. As Parcells often says: "You are what you are." Cowboys fans are buying into the myth that Hall-of-Fame coach Parcells was somehow holding this team back, and career .500 coach Wade Phillips is exactly the savior this team needs to get over the hump. Color me skeptical. The Cowboys have major questions on the OL, at QB, and in the secondary. They will continue to struggle stopping the run, and will continue to struggle covering anyone with their safeties. Expect another season of ups-and-downs, T.O. drama, and Tony Romo celeb appearances. And expect another medicore result.

New York Giants 6-10, fourth place
The loss of Tiki Barber is huge. Brandon Jacobs will do an adequate job running the ball, but the Giants will miss him terribly on passing downs, both as an outlet receiver and blocker. Letting Luke Petitgout walk will prove to be a mistake. Eli should be better this season, but without the protection he needs and the threat of the swing pass to an elusive back, the passing game will struggle at times. On defense, the Giants lack talent at DT, have a guy playing LB for the first time in his career, and have only one player (a rookie) who can cover an NFL wide receiver.

Rest of the NFC later (maybe)


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