In this installment of breaking down the NFL, I will be taking a look at the NFC East. I will be analyzing each team’s offense, defense, and providing my prediction on how they will finish this year.
- Offense: Last season, Quarterback Tony Romo passed for 4,903 yards
with 28 touchdowns and 19 interceptions. This season already has a curious start for Romo, due to recent reporting by Adam Schefter. It is being reported that Romo had surgery on his back to remove a cyst. This injury will have him missing all of the organized team activities and he is due to return by the start of training camp. We will have to watch to see if he has any further back issues during camp or the season. DeMarco Murray returns to tote the rock behind a suspect offensive line. Dez Bryant and Jason Witten are the main receiving targets, both having combined for 2,421 yards and 15 touchdowns. Miles Austin rounds out the top targets for Romo.
- Defense: The Cowboys are transitioning to a Tampa-2 Defense under coordinator Monte Kiffin. Defensive ends Anthony Spencer and Demarcus Ware will be providing the pass rush. The linebacker core is led by Sean Lee and Bruce Carter. The success of the defense lies here. If either of these guys these go down, the ‘Boys are in trouble on this side of the ball. There is a significant drop off in talent after these guys. In the secondary, Morris Claiborne and Brandon Carr man the corners, while Barry Church is at one safety spot coming off a torn Achilles. The other spot has several candidates all vying for playing time like Matt Johnson.
- Offense: Eli Manning returns to lead the offense. Last year, the veteran quarterback threw for 3,948 yards with 26 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. His main targets last year were Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz. Bringing up the rear in the receiving corps are Louis Murphy, Rueben Randle, and Jerrel Jernigan. It remains the be seen if contract will continue to be issues for Cruz and Nicks and how long they stay out of OTAs and if it drags on into training camp. David Wilson and Andre Brown will be battling for carries. Wilson will probably start based on being a 1st round pick last year. Brown will provide a stiff challenge and if he can stay healthy brings speed and power to the offense. The offense took a hit when Henry Hynoski went down with a knee injury. He will be replaced by a variety of players.
- Defense: Jason Pierre-Paul and Justin Tuck will be bringing the rush off the ends with Linval Joseph and others rotating in the middle. The three linebacker positions are pretty much up for grabs. Dan Connor is expected to start in the middle and he could be flanked by Jacquain Williams and Keith Rivers. Prince Amukumara is turning into a defensive stopper at corner. The other corner is manned by Corey Webster, who had a terrible year. Jayron Hosley will be challenging for that spot. Stevie Brown and Antrell Rolle are the safeties.
- Offense: The Eagles will be breaking in a new offense under new Head Coach Chip Kelly. Competing for the starting quarterback position will be Michael Vick, Nick Foles, Dennis Dixon, and recent 4th round draft pick Matt Barkley. Vick seems the odds on favorite here. The receivers will again be Jeremy Macklin and DeSean Jackson with Brent Celek at tightend. LeSean Mcoy will again be the main running back. He will be backed up by several players like Bryce Brown and Felix Jones.
- Defense: The Eagles will be transitioning to a 3-4 defense this year. Trent Cole and Brandon Graham will be adjusting to having to stand up and rush the passer. In an interview with the Philadelphia Inquire, Defensive Coordinator Bill Davis stated:“Multiple is the best way,” Davis said. “I know you guys are tired of that answer. I know you want to hear one or the other or something. What we’re doing here is we’re taking that wide-nine 4-3 and we’re moving in the direction of the 3-4, but where we stop is yet to be determined by the players we have.” The Eagles signed several players in free agency and drafted two more to compete in the secondary, notably Earl Wolf out of NC State.
- Offense: Everything depends on how Robert Griffin III heals up from pretty much a knee reconstruction. If he is not able to return to form, they have a pretty good backup in Kirk Cousins who showed last season he is more than capable to handle the job. Alfred Morris returns in the backfield and the hope is last year was no flash in the pan. Pierre Garcon, Josh Morgan, and Santana Moss are the main receiving threats.
- Defense: Leading Tackler London Fletcher returns and Middle Linebacker. Brian Orakpo is coming back from an injury on one side and Ryan Kerrigan will be opposite from him. Barry Cofield, Stephen Bowen, and Jarvis Jenkins will be up front. The secondary was the weakness of the defense and it is hoped that this was addressed with the draft.
My picks for the division are as follows:
1. Washington Redskins
2. New York Giants
3. Dallas Cowboys
4. Philadelphia Eagles
Agree or disagree, as always we want to know what you think in the comments.