ove loathe preseason speculation because it’s just that. Turn on the 4-letter network and they’ll have more than one talking head predict that “it’s Dallas’ year” and “No one can stop Eli”. Yeah – okay.
I’m a fan. No, it’s not popular for the media types to admit that they’re fans but I’m a fan. I’m not naive and predict that they’ll do big things every season but I reserve my right to be as biased as those thinking Romo is the answer in big D.
So with that being said, the landscape of the NFC East looks very interesting. At the start of last season, I don’t think anyone would have predicted that the Giants and Eagles would have fallen to pieces the way they did. And while I cheerfully danced on the ashes of the Cowboys, no one saw that coming. So looking ahead, what can we say about the competition across the NFC East?
The dumpster-fire team finally caught up with their dumpster fire fan base. Now with Chip Kelly gone (because he was the problem :/ ), the team will be searching for an identity under their new coach…. um… who’s their coach… Doug Pederson? I don’t know much about Pederson but I know from watching all of the new coaches that have graced Redskins Park over the decades, a new coach usually equals meh records.
That being said, a new coach can be unpredictable like Kelly was in his first season and could eek out a few meaningful wins. Still, I don’t see the Eagles doing much this season, especially with an angry Sam Bradford on the roster.
Aside from the dumpster fire part about the Eagles, just copy what I said above and apply it to the Giants. New coach may equal meh results but they at least have more talent and are led on offense by Eli Manning. Still, this team is old and has been plagued with injuries. Ben McAdoo? is their new coach so there’s that. Again, meh results for the season possibly.
So Dez Bryant is out of shape, Tony Romo’s collarbone is one hard hit away from paralysis, and the Cowboys drafted a guy who wore a cutoff shirt to the draft day. Still, aside from the Redskins, this is the most stable team in the NFC East… which is like saying you’re independently wealthy because you won $100 on a scratch-off lottery ticket. With that being said, every team the Cowboys face will be looking to take home the LaVar Arrington award for retiring Tony Romo with one big hit. My guess would be the Cowboys end up with a 7-win season from a few strong 4th quarter game winning drives.
I’m not sure what this sense is that I’ve felt since the end of the season? Anger – no? Shame – no? Embarrassment – no? Sadly, those are the usually off-season feelings as the team typically handles free agency and the off season like a child riding a bike without training wheels for the first time. You just know they’ll face plant into the ground so you just hope it happens on the grass instead of the asphalt.
Scot McCloughan has been the one piece of the puzzle that seems to make the rest of the puzzle work. I was amazed at how he was able to create a patchwork-quilt like roster of fill-in players when it seemed like we were one injury from another losing season. Plus you saw how Jay Gruden was able to function when the prospect of losing his job at the middle or end of the season wasn’t hanging over him like a hangman’s noose.
The Redskins have seemingly filled their needs and only added to a roster that was gelling great at the middle part of the season. I have little doubt that teams will be looking to take away Jordan Reed but that’s what teams try to do with Gronk… with marginal success. With the addition of Vernon Davis, the Redskins’ cadre of receivers looks menacing. The question will be if Kirk Cousins can ball out like he did starting the mid part of the season and if the team can find a running game? My initial impressions are yes and yes.
While I think the Redskins will lose a few heart breakers and Kirk may exhibit some rust early, I think he will emerge as a lower-top tier quarterback in 2016. However, it will be the Redskins improved defense that will shut down opponents, leading to more opportunities for their offense.
My pick is the Redskins to repeat as NFC East Champs and really possibly make some noise in the playoffs.
But what did you expect?