Sunday, August 28, 2011

NFC East: 2011 Outlook

The self-described "Dream Team" had an offseason unlike any other offseason in recent memory. Adding free agent after free agent, the Philadelphia Eagles appear to be making a serious push to take the next step as a team. In 2011, the NFC East will play against the AFC East and NFC West.

1 - Philadelphia (12-4)
While I'm not jumping all the way in on the Philadelphia Eagles, they're definitely one of the best teams in the NFC. I think they'll struggle in a couple games early, as they try to find their identity as a team. The additions of Nnamdi, Cullen Jenkins, DRC, and Jason Babin certainly won't make the Defense any worse. To go along with their improved Defense, the Offense lines up as impressive of a lineup as you'll find in the NFL in Mike Vick, LeSean McCoy, DeSean Jackson, and Jeremy Maclin. Good team, wins the NFC East, and looks beyond.
2 - Dallas (10-6)
The Cowboys are flying a little under the radar heading into this year. With Tony Romo healthy again, Dallas figures to have an explosive Offensive attack under Jason Garrett's lead. I'm fully expecting Felix Jones to break out this year, a la LeSean McCoy's 2010 campaign. What will take this team to the Playoffs is the improved Defense under new Defensive Coordinator Rob Ryan. Watch out for the Cowboys - this team could contend for the NFC East title, or they could tank if the injury bug bits again.
3 - New York Giants (9-7)
In the Preseason, the G-Men have lost starting CB Terrell Thomas for the year, rookie CB Prince Amukamara until probably October, and rookie DT Marvin Austin for significant time. This is not the way they wanted to head into 2011. It sounds as if the team never really thought WR Steve Smith leaving was a real possibility, but he did, and will now play for divisional foe Philadelphia. I think Eli bounces back and throws fewer picks, but the Giants remain just a tad above average.
4 - Washington Redskins (3-13)
John Beck or Rex Grossman? Both have looked better than I expected in the Preseason; however, when those two are battling to become your team's starter, you can't be in great shape. I like Tim Hightower this year from a Fantasy standpoint, as he should put up good numbers for Mike Shanahan and Co. I like the pick of Purdue's Ryan Kerrigan to play bookend to OLB Brian Orakpo. This team struggles all year, could be in the Andrew Luck sweepstakes.

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