2010 NFL Preview: NFC East

Doing it a little bit different this year. It has been 10 years since the NFL went to 8 divisions, so I will give a little recap of how the past decade went for each division. Will try to post a little bit about each team, not too much because there are about 7,000 blogs and sites giving season previews, and give a reason why I came up with the record I came up with. Remember that I predicted every game throughout the year, which is how I came up with the records I did. It's not necessarily how good I think all of the teams are. It's just how the football bounced. Enjoy and feel free to comment!

2009: Dallas Cowboys, 11-5
2008: New York Giants, 12-4
2007: Dallas Cowboys, 13-3
2006: Philadelphia Eagles, 10-6
2005: New York Giants, 11-5
2004: Philadelphia Eagles, 13-3
2003: Philadelphia Eagles, 12-4
2002: Philadelphia Eagles, 12-4
2001: Philadelphia Eagles, 11-5

The Eagles owned this division in the first half of the decade. Thanks to Andy Reid and Donovan McNabb, and a fantastic defense led by the best and deepest secondary in the NFL. But they routinely faltered in the playoffs and only made one Super Bowl. The division many thought was the best in the NFC all decade finally broke through with a championship in 2007 when the New York Giants shocked the world by beating the undefeated New England Patriots. The Redskins were the doormat for the majority of the division, never winning a title, even though they came close a couple times.


1. Dallas Cowboys, 13-3. It has taken the Cowboys a couple years to rebound from that 13-3 and humiliating playoff loss in 2007. But they have the talent to compete for a Super Bowl title, and look like the clear cut favorite to win the division this year. Let's start with the offense, which ranked in the top 7 in total yards, passing and rushing. Tony Romo got the December monkey off his back by winning his last three games. He put up elite numbers, and now gets to throw to Dez Bryant, pushing disappointing Roy Williams to the bench. Three headed monster at running back returns. The defense was also top ten worthy, though they struggled against the pass. Mike Jenkins is getting better and better though and could be a Pro Bowler this year.

2. Philadelphia Eagles, 9-7. Life after Donovan McNabb begins in 2010, but I don't think it will be much of an issue. They shouldn't suffer much with Kevin Kolb behind center. The offense has broken in a lot of young exciting rookies recently, and they could be explosive this year, led by speedsters DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin. The defense has some holes but should remain in the upper half of the league, especially if Ernie Sims can rediscover his game. The front seven is pretty thin though, so injuries could really derail the defense. Why 9-7? The schedule is a killer. They only play three teams with losing records last year (Washington, Detroit, Jacksonville).

3. Washington Redskins, 8-8. The Redskins offense would have been quite the monster in 2005. But in 2010, they have to hope Donovan McNabb has something left (likely) and one of the trio of Clinton Portis, Larry Johnson and Willie Parker can squeeze one more good year out of those legs (less likely). Lost in the 4-12 season last year was the fact that the Redskins had a very solid defense, and that group should lead the team this year. Brian Orakpo and Andre Carter both had very good seasons, but it will be interesting to see if they can continue to produce in the new 3-4. The Redskins have the personell to make the change. 8-8 might be optimistic but I think they can pull it off with Mike Shanahan at the helm and some veteran leadership in McNabb.

4. New York Giants, 7-9. I originally had the Giants at 6-10 but I think they are too talented to be that bad. But they have shown a history of giving up on the head coach. Remember before their magical Super Bowl run Tom Coughlin had one foot out the door? One thing the Giants have is a lethal passing attack. Eli Manning took that leap to just behind elite status, they found a replacement and then some for Plaxico Burress in Steve Smith, who might not be the "other" Steve Smith anymore. Hakeem Nicks should explode this year. Now the bad. The defense was an absolute embarassment the second half of the season, allowing the most points in the league. They mostly return the same players, so they have to hope that a new coordinator is the answer. Also, the running game struggled. Brandon Jacobs once looked like a future beast, but he has battled injuries and ben ineffective when he did play. The Giants have the talent to make the playoffs again, but I think this group of players is just as likely to give up like they have before.

Jonathan Carrano

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