Tuesday, September 7, 2010

NFC East Preview

Finally, we arrive in the NFC. With the start of the season just around the corner, we'll be posting something everyday here at the BASJ from now until kickoff Sunday. Here is our NFC Predictions:

1st Place, Dallas Cowboys

Offensive Players:
QB Tony Romo
RB Marion Barber
RB Felix Jones
WR Miles Austin
WR Dez Bryant
TE Jason Whitten
RT Marc Colombo

Defensive Players:
NT Jay Ratliff
LB Keith Brooking
LB Bradie James
LB DeMarcus Ware
CB Terrance Newman
CB Mike Jenkins

The NFC East is looking like, once again, a pretty tough division, but I think the Cowboys will prevail. I'm expecting a huge breakout season from Felix Jones (1,000 rush yards, 500 receiving yards well within reach) and I really like the weapons at Romo's disposal. I think Roy Williams and Marion Barber are the wildcards though. If they have bounce back years and Williams finally plays up to his capabilities as a Cowboy, then lookout NFC. On defense, I love their linebacking group, as they're going to be tough to run against and probably be in opponents back fields quite often. They have some question at the safety positions, but their corners are rock solid.

2nd Place, Philadelphia Eagles*

Offensive Players:
QB Kevin Kolb
RB LeSean McCoy
WR DeSean Jackson
WR Jeremy Maclin
TE Brent Celek
LT Jason Peters
RT Winston Justice

Defensive Players:
DE Brandon Graham (R)
DE Trent Cole
LB Stewart Bradley
CB Asante Samuel
SS Quintin Mikel

I really like the Eagles young offense, and their young defensive unit for that matter. I think Kevin Kolb is going to be the next, real good young QB, a la Ben Roethlisberger, Phil Rivers, Aaron Rodgers and Matt Schaub. He's got some talented, speedy wideouts and a big, reliable tight-end to throw to and it should make for an interesting aerial attack. If 2nd year back McCoy can improve on year one and stay healthy, then I think he'll emerge as one of the better young backs in the league as well this year (1,800 all purpose yards a realistic possibility), kinda like Ray Rice did with Baltimore last year. Their defense, as always under Andy Reid, should be consistent. They have a good secondary, and some young, impressive athletes in their front-7. These top-3 teams in this division are so evenly matched, but I really like Philly, even if SI has them in 3rd.

3rd Place, New York Giants

Offensive Players:
QB Eli Manning
RB Brandon Jacobs
RB Ahmad Bradshaw
WR Steve Smith
WR Hakeem Nicks
TE Kevin Boss
LT Davis Diehl

Defensive Players:
DE Justin Tuck
LB Kieth Bullock
CB Terrell Thomas
SS Kenny Phillips
FS Antrel Rolle

The Giants should be just fine on offense, with little Manning, the two-headed beast at running back, and some young, up-and-coming wideouts. They used to have a dominant defense to go with that offensive attack, but that disappeared in '09. They're hoping some better health, and a little bit of luck will put them back to their pre-2009 form, but I just don't think they have the talent to be that top-3 defense again. They need to improve their pass-rush, and strengthen their run defense in order to keep up with Dallas, but I just don't see them quite at that level right now. Being in the NFC East, they also have one of the tougher schedules to face, and I just see 10-6 as a best case scenario for them.

4th Place, Washington Redskins

Offensive Players:
QB Donovan McNabb
RB Clinton Portis
WR Santana Moss
TE Chris Cooley
LT Trent Williams (R)

Defensive Players:
NT Albert Haynesworth
LB Brian Orakpo
LB London Fletcher
LB Andre Carter
CB DeAngelo Hall
CB Carlos Rogers
SS LaRon Landry

The Skins brought in Donovan McNabb this spring in order to revamp their passing game, and I think it was a good move. McNabb should mesh nicely with Santana Moss and Chris Cooley, as long as the three can stay healthy. The same can be said for running back Clinton Portis, who had a slew of serious injuries last year, but is just 1 season removed from a 1,500 yard, 9 TD season, and as long as he can stay healthy and provide 15-20 carries per week, the Skins' offense should be just fine. Their defense has the potential to be very good, as they always seem to compile some big names, but they never seem to mesh well together. They're in for a huge upgrade over last season's 4-12 run, but I don't think they're quite good enough to make the playoffs, especially in this division.

*indicates wild card team

(R) indicates rookie

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