When it comes to betting NFL games during the season, I generally have one main rule of thumb that I abide by: don’t bet on a game that involves the NFC East. No other division has four teams that are so unpredictable, and yet talented at the same time. When the Giants play the Cowboys, I don’t know if it’s going to be a 10-7 final score or a 38-35 final. And now, having said that, I’m about to give you my prediction for the season. This should be fun. Hope you enjoy my preview of the NFC East!
Fresh New Face: LB DeMeco Ryans- One of the most unnoticed moves this offseason was the Eagles snagging Ryans from the Houston Texans. Ryans was one of the most dynamic defensive players in the NFL from 2006-2009, before only playing six games in 2010 due to injury. Ryans then started all 16 games last year, but his numbers dipped. Now, Ryans could have a resurgence on a team that needed help at linebacker. There line is solid, their secondary is talented, but they didn’t have much in the middle. Now, they do, and if he can find his old game again, he could be the difference that pushes the Eagles back to the top.
Won’t Be Coming Back: No One Of Note- The Eagles had another great offseason. Last year, they splurged to bring in some amazing talent to set up for a Super Bowl run. This offseason, they locked in some of their biggest stars, including LeSean McCoy, Trent Cole, and Desean Jackson. They lost a handful of reserves, but no one that will really cost them this season.
Season Prediction: It’s no secret that the Eagles were the biggest disappointment last season. They came into the season with a championship on their minds, but the NFL was shocked when they stumbled out of the gate, starting off 4-8. While the rest of the league forgot about them in the last four weeks, they quietly went 4-0, and showed signs of the team everyone expected. Now, the offense will have another year under its belt, but more importantly, and the defense will be more prepared this year. Could I be falling under the Eagles spell this year? Perhaps. But I think they have the best team in the division, and they will show it this year.
Fresh New Face: CB Brandon Carr– Carr is one of the best young corners in the league, and the Chiefs will surely miss him this year. The secondary was the weakest part of the Cowboys defense last year, as they were often carved up by opposing quarterbacks. Carr brings the rare ability to shut down the opponents top wide receiver, and he will surely help out the defense, which in turn should help the offense. For a team that was hurt by inconsistency last year, the Cowboys will benefit from this move.
Won’t Be Coming Back: CB Terence Newman– Of course the main reason for the move was the loss of their previous top cornerback Terence Newman. Newman was picked 5th overall in the 2003 NFL draft, and was selected to two pro bowls. However, his game has fallen in recent years, and more often then not, he’s been a liability. Newman is now in Cincinnati, and the Cowboys got an upgrade with Carr.
Season Prediction: I think this is the year the Cowboys get back into the playoffs. Demarco Murray is poised to have a breakout year, as the Boys finally have a consensus first string back. From the wideout perspective, Dez Bryant just wants to get back on the field after a rocky, trouble filled offseason. He is a freak athlete, and I think he’ll take over for Miles Austin as the top receiving target for Romo. In addition, the defense has strengthened up, and I think that this is the year they put it together, and snag one of the two wild cards.
Fresh New Face: TE Martellus Bennett- The defending Super Bowl champs had a relatively quiet off-season, as they didn’t lose or add a ton of players. Perhaps the biggest name was Tight End Martellus Bennett, who formerly played for the Giants rivals, the Dallas Cowboys. The one big thing that was missing from the offense last year was the tight end position. Jake Ballard was sub par at best, but the wide outs were the strength of the passing game. Unfortunately for Giants fans, Bennett reported to training camp weighing 291 pounds, so he will have some work to do to become a factor.
Won’t Be Coming Back: RB Brandon Jacobs- Jacobs was one of the key players for a team that has won two Super Bowls in the last five years. Jacobs was a great compliment to Ahmad Bradshaw, and he will be missed in the Giants offensive game. Jacobs was a great tool inside the five yard line, and he will be sorely missed in that spot. However, Bradshaw should still help out this offense a ton, though the use of play action won’t be as effective without this truck of a running back.
Season Prediction: The Giants are perhaps the most unpredictable team in this division, and that’s saying alot. The standard for the Giants has been a great season, followed up with a sub par 9-7 season. And that’s what I think will happen this year. An injury on either side of the ball could derail this team, and I think that will happen this year. This division is often a carousel, which makes me think that the Giants won’t be around to defend their title. Now, is it possible that the Giants dominate this year, go 12-4, and win the division. Of course. But I’m leaning towards an off year for the G-men.
Fresh New Face: Robert Griffin III– Duh. RG3 went from virtual unknown to Heisman Trophy winner in one season. You know who that kind of reminds me of? Jamarcus Russell, who rode a huge Sugar Bowl all the way to the #1 overall pick. Well, we all know how that went. Now, I don’t think the same thing will happen with Griffin. He is a fantastic talent, as he has the rare combination of running ability and arm strength. I don’t expect a ton from Griffin, especially in this tough division. However, he will show flashes of brilliance this year, and he will be a star eventually. Just not this year.
Won’t Be Coming Back: WR Jabar Gaffney– It’s probably not the best strategy to lose your top wideout from last season when you are bringing in a rookie QB. Gaffney netted 68 catches, 947 yards, and five TD’s last year. The Skins may have lost Gaffney, but they will have no shortage of weapons. Santana Moss is still around, while Fred Davis is poised to have another great break out year. Washington also brought in Pierre Garcon and Joshua Morgan to give RG3 some weapons, so he shouldn’t miss Gaffney much.
Season Prediction: It will be a long season for Griffin and the Redskins. The Skins have a brutal schedule that includes non-division games against the AFC North and NFC South. If the Skins want to make any noise this year, it will be thanks to Griffin having a Cam Newton-like year, and the defense will have to shut down their opponents. That won’t be happening. I think six wins is the ceiling for this team, as they will be looking toward the future.
That wraps up our preview of the NFC East. What do you think of our picks? Will the Giants make it back to defend their title? Will the Cowboys make it back to the playoffs this year? Let us know in the comments!