Predicting the Future: The NFC East in 2012
The day/week after the super bowl is filled with monumental highs for the team that came out on top, crushing lows for the team that came so close but just came up short. But eventually, all of the football fans come to the same conclusion… the off-season is here, and we have a long wait until we see our favorites take the field again. That won’t stop football-aholics like me from making predictions, though! I’m going to try and predict the order of each division individually. I’ll start with a division that is honestly so hot and cold it makes fans head spin: the NFC East. I’ll start with the team that I think will be in the basement of the division and work my way up from there.
Projected Record: 6-10
To be honest, the Redskins have a lot of problems. Even though this division could seriously go one of one hundred different ways seemingly, I can’t see the Redskins getting out of the basement of the division until they make some serious changes. I think the most serious change isn’t Mike Shanahan though. The main problem with this team is the inconsistency at the Quarterback position. Donovan Mcnabb was a failed experiment, and when he skipped town after the worst season in his career, the ‘Skins were left with a choice between John Beck and Rex Grossman. Needless to say neither quarterback played at a level even close to what they should have, which resulted in the redskins losing 10 of their last 12 games, finishing with a record of 5-12. The first thing that the redskins need to do to improve is find themselves a Quarterback. My prediction is that they find one in the first round of the draft. I see a golden opportunity for Daniel Snyder and his ‘skins, and his name is RG III. I’m predicting that the redskins trade down to the second pick and draft Robert Griffin III, the Heisman quarterback from Baylor. Obviously, I don’t see Griffin coming in and making a HUGE splash (a la Cam Newton), but I think he is the first building block for the redskins rebirth. They need to spend the rest of the draft after the first pick building AROUND Griffin. Have faith, Redskin fans. I think your time may be coming.
Projected record: 8-8
The obvious choice in ANY Cowboys prediction is to blame Tony Romo for the troubles the Cowboys have had in the last few years. Seriously, Tony Romo is not that bad, people. He has a problem that a lot of quarterbacks get plagued with. His offensive line is awful, and the knee-jerk reaction for media darling teams like Dallas, Philly, and the like is that as soon as something goes wrong, we all ask “What’s going on with the quarterback?” I think Dallas is just a few key pieces away from being the perennial playoff team that they are always expected to be. It HAS to start with the offensive line though. It’s been shown that if Romo has time, he CAN hit his targets; I don’t think there are many teams out there with more talented wide recievers than the Cowboys. Between Dez Bryant and Miles Austin at wide receiver and Jason Witten at tight end, I think if the Cowboys can fix their dreadful offensive line they will be a force on offense. On defense, there’s this guy you might have heard of named Demarcus Ware. As long as Ware is wreaking havoc on the defensive side of the ball, Dallas will be alright. I’m predicting an 8-8 record, and I think they’ll be in the playoff hunt right up till the last few games of the season. Unfortunately for the Cowboys, the NFC East (and the NFC in general) is much too good for an 8-8 team to make the playoffs.
Projected Record: 10-6, wild card in the playoffs
The Super Bowl champs were the first team in NFL history to win the biggest game of the year after only winning 9 games during the regular season. This doesn’t downplay the Giants win by any means. Their playoff run wasn’t a fluke at all, which is why I feel like there’s only one way to go from here: up. The improvement won’t be huge, but the Giants are going to come into next season with a load of confidence, which will definitely help them out. Without the constant pressure of coach Coughlin’s job on the line, the only question is will this team stagnate? The two super bowls that they’ve won were won under the idea that they were the ultimate underdogs against the almighty Patriots. No one is going to think the Giants are underdogs next year. Where does the motivation lie? I don’t see a lot of huge changes for this team during the off-season. I think they’ll make the playoffs again, this time as a wild card team. I think the NFC east will come down to the Giants and the Eagles, but more on that in the next piece. I’m not really sure if they can repeat the magic of this postseason, but then again you never know.
Projected Record: 10-6, winner of the division by means of a Tie Breaker.
I think last year, the Eagles got caught up in all the “dream team” garbage, and forgot that they had a football season to play at the beginning of the year. If all the effort is put into this next season, this team has a lot of pieces that can be very beneficial. I still think Mike Vick is the best option at Quarterback. If Vick doesn’t succeed, I also think Vince Young isn’t a bad option. I haven’t given up on the man yet. LeSean McCoy is a great running back capable of putting on a show each and every week. The only thing I think needs to be addressed on the team is a compliment to Jeremy Maclin at Wide Reciever, because I don’t think that DeSean Jackson will be back next season. I don’t know where he’ll end up, but I can’t see Philly bringing him back in. The contractual pissing match has been pushed too far, and I think he’ll be looking for greener pastures next season. To compliment Maclin, the Eagles need someone out of a pretty good free agent WR class this year. I see someone like a Vincent Jackson making his way to Philly and helping them reclaim the division by tie breaker over the Giants this year. I think they’ll end up with identical records, but the Eagles will have the two head-to-head matchups under their “W” column, ultimately giving them the NFC east division crown in 2012.
So what do you guys think? Agree? Disagree? Tell me why! Let me know!
By the way, I never really introduced myself in my first article. My name’s Tad Johnson, I’m a college freshman and I’m a die-hard Bills fan.
Follow me on twitter! @el_libertaddd