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The NFC East has always been a tough if not the toughest division in football. Expect that to be the case once more during the upcoming season, if they ever get their act together, they being the players and the owners.
The NFC East is known for their defense and tough minded teams with hardnosed veteran coaches, coaches who have remained the same over the years and have resisted the many calls for change from many of their own players. As much as things have changed in the NFL, many things remain and as much as these teams beat up on each other year in year out, there is always a sense of the cream rising to the top.
Last season the Philadelphia eagles held the top spot in the division posting a 10-6 record, while the league once again discovered the talents of former inmate Michael Vick. The Giants with the younger Manning at the helm also posted a 10-6 record, at times looking like a great team and at times playing to the level of their lesser opponents.
The Dallas Cowboys or America’s team went 6 -10 in a disappointing season that they will look to reverse this upcoming year in an improved division. At the bottom of this ever-changing order is the Washington Redskins…finishing a drama plagued season at 6-10 and without a true quarterback for the future.
The New York Giants are a solid team with the pieces necessary to improve on their 2010 season but it will have to start from the leadership on the field. Eli Manning who threw for 4000 yards this past season is a proven winner but at this point in his career the mistakes must go. Mistakes that led to 25 interceptions will not get it done. Also, a leading rusher who can’t seem to hold on to the ball leading the team in fumbles will not get the job done. They sired up the defensive back position with their 1st pick in the draft with Prince Amukamara and with their young receivers developing and D line continuing the onslaught on the backfield, look for the Giants to go back to the top of the NFC East…11-5 and top of the division.
The Eagles on the other hand finished on top of the division with a quarterback although talented had not played a down in about 2 years. It is no longer a question who the starting quarterback should be after Michael Vick posted his best season in the NFL statistically. He has two young fast energetic receivers who are still learning… I would also like the Eagles to bring in Plaxico Burress to add to this young core of pass catchers who are not the biggest or the most experienced; Burress would only help in my opinion. They will need to improve their offensive line to help out aging Vick and improve their defense…try to stay balanced with McCoy not fall in love with the arm of Vick. I don’t see much improvement offensively and there will be no improvement in terms of their record…10-6 once again.
The lowly Washington Redskins on the other hand can’t seem to get out of their own way and manage to waste money every year with little results. I don’t know who is to blame but I don’t think coach Shanahan is the answer. After a tough season with his top defensive tackle who he tried to change positions, to telling us that Donovan McNabb couldn’t grasped his offense or run it for that matter, I don’t see much improvement for this team. In fact, I don’t see them winning more than 5 games this upcoming season. They drafted for defense but none of these investments in m y opinion will bear any fruit… 4-12 at best.
The hardest team to gage in this tough division is America’s team who was disappointing last season…losing their starting quarterback after a horrible start in which they managed to fall behind and never really recovered with backup Kitna at the helm. John Kitna played well and we got a glimpse of the fire power that can be unleashed given the right signal caller. The problem is that the leadership and consistency wasn’t there and hasn’t been in Dallas for a while. I do see an improvement this season given that Romo will return and hopefully he will play at a high level… 9-7 if the offense plays well and the defense improves.