Friday, September 10, 2010

NFC East

Dallas Cowboys

Tashard Choice...Marion Barber...Felix Jones
How 'bout them Cowboys?!?! There is a lot of expectation about the 2010 Cowboys season...Super Bowl XLV will be held at Cowboys Stadium...fans in Dallas think their team can represent the NFC in that very Super Bowl...the offense adds rookie Dez Bryant to go with Roy Williams (Roy is a guy who really needs to have a strong 2010) and Tony Romo BFF Jason Witten...last year was the coming out party for WR Miles Austen...all that plus the 'Boys are l-o-a-d-e-d in the backfield...Marian The Barbarian is very good...Felix Jones is Ray Rice-level good...heck third stringer Tashard Choice is a 5+ yard per carry guy too...ultimately this unit will lead this team as far as the Cowboys will go, and this unit will only go as far as the O-Line takes them...there is a ton of talent at the skill positions

The D is in the Top 10 as far as generating pressure on the QB...Head Coach Wade Phillips leaves the O to Offensive Coordinator Jason Garrett, but he has his fingerprints all over what they do on D...very aggressive 3-4

PREDICTION...the Cowboys are an 11 win team

New York Giants
The New York football Giants won a Super Bowl on the strength of a highly productive running game, mixed with a D that featured a heavy pass-rush...2009 saw none of that...

new starting RB Ahmad Bradshaw
The O needs a return to a 5+ yards per carry average from RB Brandon Jacobs...his 3.7 with just 5 TD's in '09 is not going to cut it...Ahmad Bradshaw battled injuries and needs a return to health...in an attempt to kick-start a better running attack for 2010 Head Coach Tom Coughlin has named Ahmad Bradshaw as the starter ahead of Jacobs...word is that Jacobs is pissed

QB Eli Manning still put up big #'s last season, but only enough to help to an 8-8 record...in the mediocrity that is 8-8 the team did discover new talent at WR...Steve Smith set team records...Mario Manningham and Hakeem Nicks showed that they can be counted on the be in the mix...

On Defense I am watching rookie DE Jason Pierre-Paul...this rookie has upside as a pass-rusher in my opinion, but he will come off the bench early on...the truth is it is more the likes of Justin Tuck, Mathias Kiwanuka, and Osi Umenyiora that will need to revitalize the pass rush...a repeat of 2009's 32 sacks is sure to be not good enough to be a factor in this tough Division

PREDICTION...9-7 is the best case scenario for this team...I predict Tom Coughlin will not be the coach of this team in 2011+

Philadelphia Eagles
Head Coach Andy Reid watches QB Kevin Kolb
For a loooong time the Eagles were going to go as far as QB Donovan McNabb and RB Brian Westbrook would take them...neither is there as we enter the 2010 season...in is QB Kevin Kolb who had mixed reviews for his 2009 performance...he actually set records in his first 2 starts, but there were struggles too...I think it is entirely possible that Andy Reid and company have mis-evaluated their QB situation and it could end up with the type of team, and the type of record, that could cost Big Andy his job...Reid's off-season moves mean that this team has 12 rookies on the opening day roster, and 5 new players from other teams...a HUGE overhaul for a team that won 11 games in 2009

QB controversy aside, there is a ton of young up-and-coming talent on this O...2nd year RB LeSean McCoy replaces Westbrook, and this kid has upside...WR DeSean Jackson is the next amazing WR that people will soon have in the same breath as Andre Johnson, Randy Moss, Larry Fitzgerald etc...last season was a coming out party for TE Brent Celek who looks like he is a great target for Kolb going forward

I mentioned earlier the amount of rookies on this 2010 squad...the Eagles drafted HEAVY on D and it paid off...DE Brandon Graham and S Nate Allen have already earned starting jobs, and Ricky Sapp should be a factor for years to come too when he is able to return from recent knee surgery

PREDICTION...losing McNabb and Westbrook seems to me like it will really hurt this teams play-off chances...we see a TON of young talent on this roster, but that may be good news for 2011+ and not so much in 2010...7-9...with a break here or there 8-8

Washington Redskins
If your owner is Dan Snyder then you are certainly no stranger to controversy...the 2010 'Skins are no different...big-moves-a-plenty in the Nation's Capital...new Head Coach Mike Shanahan has a new fav player in QB Donovan McNabb, plus a new headache in Phat Albert Haynesworth...the Haynesworth story is really sad as here is a guy who knew the team was going to go to a new 3-4 D scheme so he was told he would be released or traded so he could play elsewhere in a system that he prefers...only catch was do not cash the $21 million chq from the 'Skins for April 1/10...he of course did cash that which made him a Redskins player going forward...now at that point the writing was on the wall as to the fact that Albert would be the Nose Tackle in the 3-4...to now have Haynesworth carrying on the way he is, and to have him expose himself as the selfish teammate that he is is super disappointing...newcomer DT Maake Kemoeatu is thrilled with the baby act of Haynesworth as it means that he has passed Haynesworth on the depth chart and it is now Kemoeatu who will start...good news is McNabb is sure to be a great addition, and model teammate...and good news for McNabb (who is currently nursing an ankle injury) is that #1 draft pick Trent Williams will start at Left Tackle and protect his blindside

The RB spot is a 2005 NFL who's who...Clinton Portis is joined by Larry Johnson, and the team just released Fast Willie Parker...an aging McNabb surely needs a huge contribution from the running game in 2010...WR's Santana Moss and Joey Galloway have speed and experience, while TE's Chris Cooley and Fred Davis are great pass catchers too...a lot of experience on this side of the ball for Shanahan to work with

The D will be interesting...we already talked about Haynesworth, but this is another team switching rom the 4-3 base D to the 3-4 base D...interestingly enough the 'Skins were a Top 10 D in 2009, but some time to adjust to the new packages/schemes/strategies will be needed

PREDICTION...I want to say 7-9, but with McNabb not starting the season at 100% I am going to go with 6-10

check out the other Division previews too... craig.ballard@hotmail.com