Its always interesting to watch the reaction of division foes when you have a surprise NFL champion. There will be responses from the Jerry Jones’ comments on the Cowboys “Super Bowl window closing.” As though they too can make the necessary leap from also ran to world titlist. You’ll have teams like the Washington Redskins make an immediate splash that will pay future dividends in drafting a dynamic quarterback like Robert Griffin III. While a loaded Eagle team, long thought to be the division’s most dominant, do minor tinkering figuring this to be the year they put it all together.
Meanwhile the steady Giants have just marched along with a ‘business as usual’ quiet approach to the new season. However they did make a move in signing TE Martellus Bennett formerly of the Dallas Cowboys He will want to make an impact against his former team this Wednesday in the NFL’s Season Kickoff Classic. How will things play out in the NFC East for 2012??
New York Giants 10-6 *
Philadelphia Eagles 10-6
Dallas Cowboys 6-10
Washington Redskins 4-12
Hate to say it but the buzzards will be circling Cowboys Coach Jason Garrett by week 10. Take a look at Dallas early schedule and tell us who they will beat in their first 8 games. Maybe Seattle and Carolina as the only sure wins. Then they follow that up with back to back road trips to face a playoff bound Falcon team and the hated Eagles. Of 2011′s top 13 ranked defenses, they face 8 of them in a total of 10 games which doesn’t include the two with the World Champion Giants. For a fan base that doesn’t entirely believe in Tony Romo this could be it as the Cowboys will face a truly difficult season. The pressure heaped on an under talented team by one Mr. Jerry Jones will come back to haunt them.
As for the talented Eagles, they will frustrate their fans with games where they look like world beaters and then come up anemic against a team they should beat handily. Truth of the matter is we may have seen the best of Michael Vick already. At 32 years of age this isn’t the spry kid running around the SuperDome with Virginia Tech anymore. The hits have mounted and he has missed 7 games in the last two years. Now they have former Buffalo Bill Trent Edwards, who was a starter that was cut and not traded, backing him up and not a somewhat proven Mike Kafka. Uh oh!! Losing former Pro Bowl Tackle Jason Peters to injury this off-season is not going to help matters. Vick has to be more controlled with his feet and use his arm more to cut down on his hits. He goes down for another 3 or 4 games this season, that will be the losing streak that will allow the Giants to take the division from them when they face each other in Week 17.
For Eagles fans they have to realize the tactical disadvantage for RB LeSean McCoy this year if Vick goes down for any significant time. Sure he ran for 1,309 yards and 17 touchdowns but did so with Vick and Vince Young as quarterbacks. Peeling defensive ends and linebackers had to pay attention to those two mobile quarterbacks first. This gave McCoy freedom he won’t see with a stationary Trent Edwards on the field with him.
Although the Eagles ranked 8th in total defense in 2011, many are considering this a bounce back year for them. They did sign former Texans underrated LB DeMeco Ryans to anchor the middle of their defense and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is the new starting corner opposite Namedi Asomugha. They definitely need Namedi to live up to the billing as the top cornerback in football after signing him to that big free agent contract last year. Have they found the best way to utilize him yet?? Time will tell but the truth of the matter is this isn’t the same Eagles team of promise at the end of 2010. They have come back to the NFC East pack.
The Robert Griffin III experience will start in DC. Much like Cam Newton did last year he will have the chance to start Week 1 and offer a glimpse of the Redskins future. The talent level of the rest of the roster will keep this team in the division cellar as Griffin III develops. It will be a season of growing pains as defenses in the latter part of the year will know his limitations and game-plan better. It happened to Cam Newton last year as it has every young quarterback once defensive co-ordinators have studied a young quarterbacks tendencies. How well will Shanahan and the Redskins adjust?? Long season but hope for the future.
For the 2012 season, the World Champion Giants are the best team in this division for an entire season. Each team will have their moments or 3 to 4 week stretches where they look great…but for 16 weeks?? Eli Manning becoming one of the NFL’s vanguard at quarterback. Jason Pierre-Paul coming into his own as another great New York pass rusher. Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks have the talent to be the best starting WR combination in football. The only weakness this team has is running the football for the tough 3rd and 1 or goal line situations. They will work that out with Ahmad Bradshaw as the season progresses. As for defense of their Super Bowl title?? Starts this Wednesday when they host the Dallas Cowboys and expect to chase Tony Romo out of the building.
Thanks for reading and share the article.