Dallas Cowboys – The Cowboys had stuck to a plan to get where they were last year. Using a great O line to power a running game took pressure off Romo to win it himself. Now Murray fled via free agency and they have replaced him potentially with a bunch of never was’ and has been’s. They have a very aged and fragile Tony Romo and 3 good WR and an aged but talented TE. The O line is great. The D needs a pass rush and they turned to a violent court convicted offender and a guy who used drugs at the combine to help. They lost one of their not very good starting CB to injury which makes what was not great less than that. With all that and their likelihood to turn to Romo to pass for every first down again I don’t see much for this team. A pretty easy schedule awaits them. I don’t see a potential high mark or even a low mark. They will be 10-6 and that may win the division or it may not.
Philadelphia Eagles – The Eagles are Chip Kelly’s team from top to bottom now with him in full control. He is building a team exactly how he wants one and he is jettisoning great talent for his own reasons. All will be well if there is a Super Bowl in the next couple of years in Philly. Otherwise, the axe will invariably fall and Kelly will be back in the Pac-74. They have oft injured Sam Bradford et al at QB, potentially overused and nearly done DeMarco Murray at RB and a slew of receivers who are long on hope and short on proven ability. The O line is pretty good. They have decent Special teams but need better return effort. The D has issues all over and isn’t built to sustain production when the offense flits on and off the field with such high speed. It will be a long year again with a team that can outscore some and not stop many. If all goes well the team will win 11 and challenge for the division title. If the O gets hurt then the team could be 7-9. I think another 9-7 and likely out of the playoffs.
New York Giants – The G-men have won two of the last 10 Super Bowls. Interestingly enough there are precious few players remaining from the glory days beyond Eli and the long snapper. The Giants had severe issues with O line last year and used their first pick to add Ereck Flowers and he should stop the revolving door to Eli. The NYG offense is superb with Eli, workable running game, Superstar ODB plus other WR and a good TE all protected by a better line. The D has a new Coordinator and Spagnuolo just needs one star to make it work – he has JPP – until JPP blew most of his hand off. There are issues on DE/LB/S/CB. They have good special teams but need better returners. The Schedule is pretty easy but this team may not have D. If the D can make some strides, this team could be 10-6. If they O are held back by pre-eminent D’s then this team may be 7-9. I think they will be 9-7 and probably outside looking in.
Washington Redskins – Give credit to Washington for sticking with a plan and not just tossing out RGIII and trying to re-invent the egg again. So it is RGIII with a revamped O line (they were horrid last year) and that is to give RGIII health insurance and help Alfred Morris run like he used to. So far in the preseason the benefits haven’t been seen. This new line, with 1st round pick Scherff on the right side, may grow together and the Skins must hope it’s sooner rather than later. The D was beyond horrible last year (again) and they have added lots of people in the hopes that new is better. It has to be better as that D really can’t be worse. The Redskins have a plan and if they can keep on it they will get better for the future but short term eek. I think if everything comes together for them they might approach 8-8. I just don’t see it so I think 5-11 and hope they keep on keeping on because the future will get brighter.
As always I love any thoughts, comments, arguments or agreements! NFC South is next, then NFC West then…the highly anticipated…Preseason Power Poll
MR N the BEARS Fan