One of the most intriguing divisions in all of football is the NFC East. Year in and year out, the four teams in the NFC East are talked about at the beginning of the season, as if any of them could possibly make a run deep into the playoffs. However, as the season gets closer to January, it seems as if all of the teams in the division fall apart and none live up to the potential that they should. Will this year be any different?
Because of the success that the Washington Redskins had last year with the addition of Robert Griffin III, all eyes are on this team to continue their success in 2013. And with a 3-0 preseason record, they appear to be ready to live up to the hype. The real questions remains to be seen if the preseason success can carry over to the regular season. The Redskins wins this preseason have come against Tennessee, Pittsburgh and Buffalo; and while the game against Tennessee was a nail-biting one-point victory, in the following two games, Washington looked great on both offense and defense with 24-13 and 30-7 wins, respectively. Along with an impressive undefeated record, the ‘Skins have the most rushing yards per game in the preseason, something that many analysis assumed would happen with RGIII opening things up and spreading defenses out. The Redskins haven’t been given the same type of respect that other teams in the division have gotten in recent years, so Redskin-hopes that RGIII and the rest of the team can change that this year.
The Philadelphia Eagles may be one of the most intriguing teams to watch this upcoming season. Two years ago, Michael Vick made his return to the NFL and began lighting up Fantasy Football statistics everywhere while he carried the Eagles to the playoffs. However expectations were astronomical last year, and when things didn’t come into fruition, long-time head coach Andy Reid was shown the door after over a decade of service. Now, former Oregon Ducks coach Chip Kelly steps in to lead the Eagles in what he hopes to be a dynamic and fast-paced offense that Michael Vick can lead. The good news is that the Eagles have amassed a 2-1 record thus far in the preseason. The bad news is that the wins have come against the lowly Jaguars and a mediocre Panthers team, while their loss was against the Patriots. Nonetheless, Eagles fans will be quick to tell you that it’s only preseason and the regular season is what matters. However, after last years disappointing season, fans will eagerly be watching to see how the Eagles fare. If Vick fails to perform, or even worse, be the cause of defeat because of his unorthodox style of play, than he could find himself on the bench being replaced by Nick Foles or newly drafted Matt Barkley. But in the mean time, Vick and the receiving core of DeSean Jackson, Riley Cooper and Jeremy Maclin look to utilize Kelly’s fast-paced offense and turn the Eagles into the fastest show on turf this upcoming season.
The New York Giants will be one of the first teams to tell you that the preseason means nothing when it comes to making a push for the Super Bowl. After all, Eli Manning is known for his fourth quarter comebacks, and technically the preseason is more like warm-ups than anything else. Nonetheless, playing in front of one of the largest cities in the world, every move the Giants make will be highly scrutinized every year. And with a 1-2 record, there is cause for some concern in New York. However with two Super Bowl rings on their fingers, Manning and head coach Tom Coughlin aren’t worried. Keep an eye on Victor Cruz this year, as he just recently signed a huge contract in this offseason and he will be expected to keep up his success. Aside from that, its just business as usual for Eli on offense and the defensive core lead by Justin Tuck. The Giants are a team that are certainly more entertaining to talk about during the regular season, than in the preseason.
Well, the old adage is to save the best for last. However, don’t get too excited just yet Dallas fans. Every year, Cowboys fans across the nation will unite in August to inform other NFL fans that this is the year the Cowboys win it all. And in reality, the Boys always do what’s necessary in the offseason to look good enough to back up that claim. However, the NFL is more than just what’s on paper and the Dallas Cowboys are a prime example of that. Tony Romo continually proves to be one of the best quarterbacks, statistically, in the league; yet he hasn’t proven himself to be a winner when his team needs it most. This preseason has resulted in a 2-2 campaign for the Cowboys, which gives us little room to speculate how they will do during the regular season. But with Romo, Dez Bryant, Jason Witten, Miles Austin and Demarco Murray on offense, it’s hard to imagine that the Cowboys could once again fail to make the playoffs. The person who may be under the most pressure with this years’ Cowboys team is owner Jerry Jones. And if things go south for the Cowboys again, you can expect him to make changes to his team that gets them out of the rut they’ve been in for a while now.
It could just be that the NFC East is so good, that they continually beat up on themselves to make one another look less impressive than people expect. The truth is, this division is one of the best in football, no matter what the records show. There is a surplus of talented players and diehard fans, making this division a crapshoot in terms of who may make the playoffs. It’ll be fun to see how it all plays out, once the regular season starts.