There is just something about the NFL that makes it my favorite sport. Don't get me wrong, I do watch baseball time to time. And a little basketball. I am not much of a hockey, racing, golf or bowling (other than playing it) person. The NFL is the only sport I can sit and watch an entire game of anymore. I don't know if its because I played it or grew up watching it...but I love the game. And because of this with the NFL season upcoming and the start of the preseason is soon...I thought I would share my opinions of how I think the divisions will break down and who will win each.
I will be breaking down 2 divisions a week up until the start of the season. Today's division is my favorite...the NFC East and here is how I think it will go down: (note: these are in order of how we think they will finish and what their records will be)1. NEW YORK GIANTS (11-5) The Super Bowl champions come into this season better and more healthier than the last. The defense will be better and even though the Giants lost Jacobs, Manningham and a few others they got better through the draft replacing those players. Eli Manning had a huge season and there shouldn't be any reason why he shouldn't have another with Nicks and Cruz. The Giants also added weapons in Tight End Marcellus Bennett and rookie Wide Out Reuben Randle. The running game should be better with Bradshaw healthy and the surprise first round drafting of David Wilson, but the one position they didn't improve on was the offensive line. Hopefully someone will step up.
And as always, the Giants D should be tough with the only key losses being CB Aaron Ross and DE Dave Tollefson they should be able to pressure the qb as always and with the return of Terrell Thomas and possibly the other starting corner in Prince Amukamara who now has a season under his belt the Giants will be tough to beat as they try to get back to the Super Bowl.2. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (10-6) The "Dream Team" comes into the season more prepared after playing together after a year. As last season went on the team seemed to gel better and they went on a winning streak and almost snuck into the playoffs after a rough start. Lesean Mccoy turned out to be a tremendous weapon in Philly's run and pass attack. Michael Vick still has a lot to prove and Desean Jackson will try to prove himself as well after a big contract this past offseason. Philly added leadership to their D this year after adding Demaco Ryans who should shore up their linebacker core which lacked last year. Overall there are big expectations this season for the Eagles and Andy Reid really needs to make sure this team comes together and makes some kind of run or Philly fans will be calling for his firing.
3. DALLAS COWBOYS (8-8)
Dallas comes in after a quite offseason, but a jump up in the draft to get Morris Claiborne to help out their weak secondary. They let go Terrence Newman to make room for Claiborne. Dallas' D looked good under Ryan's defensive scheme with only the secondary being the weak link. However, I don't know if they have improved enough on the back end to make a difference this season.
The offense got a boost last year when RB Demarco Murray went on a tear. But when he was lost for the rest of the season, the offense seemed lost. A healthy Murray would be beneficial for them. However, a troublesome Dez Bryant is not. He has a ton of talent and could be a Top 5 receiver in the league, but with him getting in trouble it not only hurts him..but hurts his team and teammates.
Overall With a talented offense, a good defense, Dallas could scare some teams. But once again it all falls on Tony Romo's shoulders in December. Can he make the right throws at the right times and win in a month that he normally struggles in? I think Romo is a good qb and will win a couple of games down the stretch, but I don't think the team overall is there quite yet for a Super Bowl run.4. WASHINGTON REDSKINS (6-10)
A ton of changes in the offseason and it all starts at qb. The Redskins rotating qb situation last season with Beck, Grossman and others has come to an end and the Redskins got their fan base excited by drafting Robert Griffin III in this years draft giving up a ton of picks in exchange for him so they are hoping this is the guy that will lead them back to the Super Bowl. Also on offense they added the talent of Pierre Garcon and Josh Morgan to their WR core and they already have a good running back in Roy Helu who broke out towards the end of the season.
The defense was stellar last year and now they have new aqusitions in the secondary but I don't think there is enough there yet. London Fletcher coming back is a huge help and with talented LB's of Ryan Kerrigan and Brian Orakpo the defense should be good at getting pressure on the qb's.
Overall, I think the Redxkins and Mike Shannahan have a great start..but it will take another year or two to put it all together. Griffin has a ton of pressure on himself and I think he will handle it okay. But playing in the NFC East against some of the defenses will be rough for a rookie.
What do you guys think of my predictions? Did I rank a team too high? Too low? Give me your thoughts!