Tuesday, July 16, 2019
NFL Division Mini-Previews: NFC East
I stayed up until the early hours of Monday morning to finish watching the Dodgers/Red Sox game last night. I've been tuned in to the NBA offseason bonanza and the ensuing summer league displaying young guns poised to make a leap to stardom. I proudly represented the USA Women's soccer team as they took home gold. But, even through the excitement of summer, I find myself longing for football season.
And could you blame me? Only in football is there 17 straight Sundays of pure bliss. Throw in Monday night and Thursday night football and your work performance is sure to take a hit. So, until the season begins, we will be taking a short look at each of the divisions. Let's start with the NFC East.
A full year of Amari Cooper means big things for Dak Prescott, even if they are light-years away in terms of his contract negotiations. I'd say this is a make-or-break year for Jason Garrett, though we say that every season and then somehow he sneaks his way past security onto the sidelines the next year. The Cowboys have one of the most talented rosters in the league, but if this Ezekiel Elliott holdout situation becomes a thing, then the Cowboys may start to get antsy. Nonetheless, the Cowboys have to be considered the favorites in the NFC East, along with the Eagles.
There is no more Nick Foles looking over the shoulder of Carson Wentz, so let's hope, for Philly's sake, that Wentz is able to stay healthy for a full year. I didn't see that same MVP player last year even when he was healthy. Nonetheless, the Eagles have talent and a coach that has proved he can get the job done.
Also, they are apparently the highest rated team in Madden. I'm not sure if the Madden jinx applies to teams in general, though our research team is on it. That being said, I don't think the Philadelphia Eagles come out of the NFC, but I'd be surprised if they weren't back in the playoffs for a third straight year.
New York Giants
Okay, okay, I may be biased here, but I've been telling anybody and everybody that will listen to me that Daniel Jones is a future Hall of Famer. Half of it is because I believe he is actually going to be a stud learning under Eli Manning, and the other half is that it is impossible to disprove at this point, so blow me.
It is going to be interesting what this team decides to do. I'd guess that they play Eli for at least the first few games, though with an early season schedule including some winnable games, maybe the Giants get off to a surprising start and keep Daniel Jones on the sidelines for the whole season.
Either way, Saquon Barkley is an absolute monster that can hopefully set the pace for this team and get them back to their winning ways. They lost some key names on defense and play in a division that is always a dogfight, but I think the Giants may surprise some people this year.
Another team in transition mode. I'm a proponent of throwing guys into the fire if they are ready for it, even if they get a couple bumps and bruises along the way. Dwayne Haskins is a player, and he's ready to take control of an NFL team. I guess the safe play for Jay Gruden would be to sit and wait, but how much can one really learn from Case Keenum?
Is Adrian Peterson still on this team? That guy is a freaking robot. I think the Redskins serve as bottom-wellers in the NFC East this year, though they are making moves for their future. Be patient, Redskins fans.