By Angel L. Quiles Jr.
After starting quarterback Michael Vick was injured last year. The Eagles got luckier than one of Kerri Washington’s clients on Scandal. Back up Nick Foles stepped up in Vick’s absence and had one of the more dominating seasons for a quarterback in franchise history. He threw 27 touchdowns and was intercepted only twice. Fantasy owners were drooling like virgin men at a Victoria Secret runway show, because of the amount of points he put up.
First year coach Chip Kelly was also a big reason the Eagles were able to have a great season. His innovative, frenetic, and fast paced offense became successful. An offense which he made famous at the University of Oregon, and which critics felt would never work at the NFL level. However, he proved everyone wrong and the Eagles won the division.
Nevertheless, the Eagles have to prove their productive year was not a fluke by dominating the division again. They have a good shot since they have 10 of their 11 starters returning on defense. Moreover, have arguably one of the top three defensive ends in the 3-4 defensive scheme in Vinny Curry. Not to mention fantasy icon LeSean McCoy, who gobbled up more than 2,000 yards worth of terrain last year. Plus boosted the sale of Tylenol within the demographic of coaches he played against last season.
New York Giants
The New York Giants have more problems to deal with than a high school guidance counselor. Two-time Super Bowl champion Eli Manning is coming off his worst year as a professional quarterback. He led the NFL in interceptions and in overall turnovers in 2013, and could not seem to get out of his own way.
The defensive front four which had been the staple of the Giants past runs to glory. Could only be effective against back up, and inexperienced quarterbacks. Luckily they got the chance to face a few or their 0-6 start could have been a lot worse.
The good news is that this is a new year, and maybe a fresh start is all they need. However, Eli has looked uncomfortable in first year offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo’s west coast offense. The offensive line has more holes in them than Swiss cheese, because of the injuries suffered by left guard Geoff Schwartz, and the retirement of David Diehl.
The defense has looked decent but they need Jason Pierre- Paul to be the menace he was in 2011, if they are going to make a serious run at the division.
This team has “don’t believe the hype” written all over them. It is true that Robert Griffin III has been blessed with amazing offensive weapons such as DeSean Jackson who is a nightmare to cover, and Jordan Reed who might be one of the top five tight ends in the NFL. Alfred Morris has kept the Redskins running game relevant in the past couple of years, and is a big reason why RG III takes less hits than he should.
However, they have a brand new head coach in Jay Gruden who is infatuated with throwing the football. Something quarterback RG III has still not mastered at the professional level, and will need to master in order to avoid bone-shattering hits. Throwing the football will also take away from Morris’s touches. That could lead to friction within the team, and bad chemistry because running the football is something the Redskins have the ability to do well.
Their secondary was not upgraded in the offseason, and was torched repeatedly last season. Therefore, if the Washington is forced to score 30 points a game in order to get victories. It will be a long winter in the nations capital.
For Americas team it is all about health. They need their star quarterback Tony Romo to stay on the field, and the offensive line has to ensure that happens. Protecting Romo’s surgically repaired back has to be the teams top priority. Even the city of Dallas has to make sure he’s comfortable physically wherever he goes and visits. Why? Because the Cowboys have been irrelevant the last three seasons.
They have great talent and touchdown making ability on the team. Especially at the Wide Receiver position. Studs Dez Bryant, and up and comer Cole Beasly have great hands and speed. The Cowboys can definitely give opposing defensive coordinators “nightmares on Valley Ranch”. In order to attain that high level of effectiveness on offense they must keep Romo healthy.
In addition, their defense has to be a bend but don’t break unit. It is the only way the Cowboys may be able to shed their stigma of mediocrity. No team in NFL history has ever gone 8-8 in four consecutive seasons. If that fate encounters the Cowboys again, they will be synonymous with average for the foreseeable future. Which will not make owner Jerry Jones too happy.
NFC East Prediction
1-Philadelphia Eagles- 10-6
2-New York Giants- 9-7
4-Washington Redskins- 3-13
NFC East- Top 10 Fantasy Players
1- LeSean McCoy- Phi
2- Robert Griffin III- Was
3- Nick Foles- Phi
4- Dez Bryant-Dal
5- Alfred Morris- Was
6- Victor Cruz- NYG
7- DeSean Jackson- Was
8- Rashad Jennings- NYG
9- DeMarco Murray- Dal
10- Pierre Garcon- Was