I’m going to try to bang through the NFL this week, with my quick thoughts about each team. This was mostly done before looking too heavily into the preseason previews, predictions and fan reactions.
This division is going to be a total crapshoot, because there are four teams that are probably in the top 12-15 in football and they are all going to face pretty difficult schedules as a result. I’d say Eagles and Giants are 1-2 in the NFC in some order and the Redskins and Cowboys are in the 5-7 range.
Giants: If they weren’t so annually overrated because of the NYC media attention they might actually be somewhat decent look. Losing Plaxico last year, and the “struggles” that followed are blown way out of proportion when you consider they return a strong rest of the team particularly on the offensive and defensive lines.
Eagles: The Eagles success as the most consistent NFC team over the past few years has relied mainly on a strong core group of offensive and defensive lineman picked up through the draft. This year the Eagles seemingly made a 180* turn and drafted/picked up all flashy “skill” players. They do have to new and high priced parts to the line and the defensive losses seem like they are a bigger deal based on the names that departed rather than the production. Like I said, I think it is Giants and Eagles at the top of the NFC and I’m not sure the Eagles are getting that much credit, though its not like they are unheard of either.
Redskins: The Redskins are the interesting case in this division as I see no reason why they can’t be good enough to make a run at the division. Yet, for a popular team, with some big free agent pick ups they aren’t getting much attention. Haynesworth, if he can stay healthy, should be the rare attention grabbing signing that makes a team better than people think. DeAngelo Hall, not so much. On the offensive side, things are a little dicier, although Campbell is surely not as bad as some of the reaction I have heard this preseason. The rest of the offense remains kind of sketchy as well and their are questions on the O-line. Washington is usually pretty popular, but I can see them being ignored in some spots this year.
Cowboys: It’s hard to call Dallas a bad team, and I would certainly put them on par with the Redskins, but I think in this division they are the team most likely to get out-classed. From what I can tell, the perception of Dallas outweighs the reality more so than any other team in this division.
BOTTOMLINE: At the start of the season I’d say fade Dallas, cautiously fade the Eagles and Giants and cautiously look to back the Redskins.