NFC East

Today I look at the NFC East which I believe will have two playoff teams.

Tomorrow, the AFC North.

Philadelphia Eagles (Playoffs)
If the Eagles played in the AFC they would be the fourth or fifth best team. But since they are fortunate enough to play in a weaker NFC they routinely make it to the conference championships despite having some noticable weaknesses.

The Philly braintrust knew it had to add Terrell Owens a year ago if they were ever going to make it past the conference finals. They made their bed and now they get to sleep in it. I am by no means a T.O. fan but you have to admit he carried the Eagles to the Super Bowl last season. T.O. brought a swagger to the team, which gave the Eagles the confidence to make it to the Super Bowl and accumulate their best record ever (13-3). Of course, I still think Carolina will beat them in the NFC Championship this season.

On a side note, I was watching the Eagles-Bengals preseason game when one of the announcers mentioned that Eagles receiver Greg Lewis plays 3 hours of Madden each day during the off season. Lewis said that playing Madden helps him during the regular season by recognizing players' numbers and the speeds of defenders.

Dallas Cowboys (Playoffs)
I’m a sucker for teams with a good defense and a power running game. That’s why I always think the Ravens will do well, and that’s why I think the Cowboys will make it to the playoffs this season.

It doesn’t even matter that Drew Bledsoe can barely throw the ball or that the Cowboys’ receivers all peaked five years ago, Julius Jones and a revamped defense will get them back. Bill Parcels decided not to tinker with the defense last season, even though he felt uneasy about it. In 2003, Dallas had the second best defense, but last season Dallas ranked 28th overall.

Parcells has changed to a 3-4 and added playmakers on the defense, which should catapult the unit back to the top ten. Additionally, the emergence of Julius Jones last season will help the offense moves the chains. They won’t win any games in the playoffs until they get a new quarterback, but Parcells will once again receive accolades for turning a losing into a winner.

New York Giants
How much does it suck to be the one Manning brother NOT good enough to play in the NFL? He prob gets picked last for all the family re-union flag football games.

Course I might actually feel sorry for this guy if I didn’t read about the way he decides which brother, Eli or Peyton, he wants to watch each week. Since his brothers can always get him free tickets he looks at which brother is playing in the bigger party city and then goes there. For example, if Peyton is playing Minnesota but Eli plays at Miami, then the eldest Manning sibling is off to Miami.

Anyway, the Giants are still in rebuilding mode. They have plenty of talent on offense, but lack chemistry. And since their defense sure as hell isn’t going to carry this team, then I would be surprised if the Giants had anything else other than a losing record.

Washington Redskins
The Redskins have had so many bad coaches the past couple of seasons, that nobody in Washington has realized how bad Joe Gibbs is. Maybe it’s because they are blinded by his past success with the team, or maybe it’s the boundless optimism unique to ‘Skins fans but Gibbs has proven he cannot coach and manage a team in the modern era.

The best example of this would have to be when the Skins were actually fined by the NFL during the off season for allowing contact during non-contact practices. How did the NFL and the Player’s Association find out about the contact? It was on the ‘Skins website.

If you went to the ‘Skins website and clicked on the “watch practice video” link you could actually see the players running full contact drills in practice. Not a real smart move.

Anyway, the quarterback situation is a mess, the receivers have become rats leaving a sinking ship and their speed running back put on 15-20 pounds. Even if the defense can equal their performance from last season (which I don’t think will happen), the ‘Skins are in for an ugly season.

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