Photo: Tim Heitman/USA Today Sports
The NFC East is arguably one of the best divisions in football. Last season, the NFC East placed both the Giants and Cowboys in the playoffs, but neither team made it to the NFC Championship game. The last time an NFC East team has made it to the Superbowl was in 2012, when the Giants won it all. Although, the Giants have yet to win a playoff game since winning their last Superbowl.
The Cowboys finished off last season with a record of 13-3 but lost in their first playoff game to the Packers, 34-31. The Redskins and Eagles will look to have some success this season, as neither team has won a playoff game since 2008 when the Eagles made it to the NFC Championship Game.
The Redskins, who finished last season 8-7-1, haven’t won a playoff game since 2005. The Eagles are looking for their first playoff appearance since 2013. All 4 teams have a lot of talent and every team has a chance to take the division crown. Here are our predictions for this season’s NFC East:
The Cowboys had a fantastic season last year, led by rookies Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliot. The defending NFC champs were the number one seed in the NFC last year but fell in devastating fashion to the Packers in the Divisional round. As they should, the Cowboys didn’t make any crazy changes this offseason.
While losing defensive backs Barry Church and Morris Claiborne will definitely hurt, free agent Nolan Carroll and second round pick Chidobe Awuzie should help fill the void. Although the Cowboys still have an elite offensive line, they lost key offensive guard Ronald Leary to Denver in free agency. A big issue for the Cowboys this upcoming season is suspensions. With a lot of their defense suspended, and running back Ezekiel Elliott under review, suspensions could make or break the Cowboys season.
Wins: Giants, Cardinals, Rams, Packers, 49ers, Redskins, Chiefs, Eagles, Chargers, Redskins, Seahawks
Losses: Broncos, Falcons, Giants, Raiders, Eagles
The Eagles had a disappointing season last year but were provided with some hope due to rookie quarterback Carson Wentz. Last year Wentz totaled 379 completions for 3,782 yards and 16 touchdowns. His completion percentage was a disappointing 62.4% but that was due to a wide receiver crew that couldn’t catch. They had the 10th highest drop percentage in the whole NFL last season. But luckily for Carson Wentz, the Eagles signed arguably the best wide receiver in free agency, Alshon Jeffrey to a one-year-deal this offseason. They also added Torrey Smith to what should be a much improved wide receiver corps.
A big issue for the Eagles is their cornerbacks. Nolan Carroll left for the division rival Cowboys this offseason, and the Eagles decided to release veteran Leodis McKelvin. Although they picked up arguably the best cornerback in the draft, in Sidney Jones, he won’t be ready until later in the season. The Eagles have a great shot to make the postseason for the first time in 4 years.
Wins: Giants, Chargers, Cardinals, Redskins, 49ers, Bears, Rams, Raiders, Cowboys
Losses: Redskins, Chiefs, Panthers, Broncos, Cowboys, Seahawks, Giants
— Larry Wilk (@Trenton205) August 8, 2017
The Giants had a great season last year, going 11-5, but fell to the “NFC East killer” Packers in the Wild Card round. The Giants’ best player Odell Beckham Jr. had a solid season, but recorded a career low of touchdowns, with 10. Eli Manning is entering his 14th season, and at the age of 36, his production is slowing down rapidly. One of their most notable losses this offseason was Victor Cruz leaving for the Bears, but he was replaced by former Jet, Brandon Marshall. Both of these guys are getting up in age, but are both solid players.
On the defensive side, one of the Giants biggest strengths is the secondary. With Landon Collins, Dominic Rodgers-Cromartie, and Janoris Jenkins, the Giants have a nice starting secondary. But with Coty Sensabaugh leaving, the Giants have a lack of depth, which is dangerous in case of injuries. The Giants had a very low key offseason, and they feel very confident in what they have. But in a strong NFC East, the Giants will have an uphill battle to make the playoffs.
Wins: Lions, Chargers, Seahawks, Rams, 49ers, Chiefs, Cowboys, Eagles, Redskins
Losses: Cowboys, Eagles, Buccaneers, Broncos, Redskins, Raiders, Cardinals
The Redskins had a pretty crazy start to the offseason, as they fired their GM about a month after the season ended. After that, they were in heavy negotiations with quarterback Kirk Cousins throughout the offseason. Some would say that the Redskins overpaid for Kirk Cousins, as they are giving him approximately $24-million-dollars this year. The Redskins let both Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson walk in free agency, but signed Terrelle Pryor to help fill the gap. Those decisions could impact whether Kirk Cousins succeeds in Washinton.
Washington’s biggest loss from the defensive side was losing defensive linemen Chris Baker. The loss of Baker will hurt after he recorded 10.5 sacks over the past two seasons. The Redskins got a potential steal in the draft, as projected top-10 pick Jonathan Allen fell all the way to 17, but there are some injury concerns in regards to Allen’s shoulder. The Redskins are starting to look like the odd team out in the NFC East, but if the injury bug strikes the other teams, don’t count them out.
Wins: Eagles, Rams, 49ers, Vikings, Saints, Giants, Chargers, Cardinals
Losses: Raiders, Chiefs, Eagles, Cowboys, Seahawks, Cowboys, Broncos, Giants
— Master (@MasterTes) August 6, 2017