Tuesday, September 6, 2011

2011 NFL Preview: NFC East

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-Digger's Daily-

Here we go. NFL 2011 season is ready to go. Teams are making last minute roster adjustments. Odds makers gearing up for a big opening weekend of betting. Players chomping at the bit to play for real after a long pre-season filled with decimating injuries.

How will the final standings read after all is said and done once the 16 game schedule concludes? One thing is for certain - once again - NFL 2011 will be action packed from opening kickoff to the final whistle.
All World All Sports goes division by division previewing/predicting how the NFL will shake out in 2011. Let's begin with the NFC.

NFC East
1 - Philadelphia Eagles
Offense: Speed. Team speed. How will defenses contain Michael Vick, DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, Brent Celek, Steve Smith, Jason Avant and Riley Cooper. Out of their backfield is LeSean McCoy and Ronnie Brown. Vick's decision making may very well determine if the Eagles score the most points during the regular season. Offense is primed to average well over 30 points/game if they're able to protect the pigskin.
Defense: Eagles usually known for their D but suffered a bit by lapses in 2010. Juan Castillo is Philly's new DC. Eagles added plenty of new faces & depth for '11. Question marks surrounding all phases of defense from front line, linebackers and cornerbacks. Andy Reid is one of NFL's best. I'm believing his D will step it up a notch. However, with Philly's quick strike offense - will D be worn out by end of 3rd quarter?
Prediction: 12-4 NFC East division winners

2 - New York Giants
Offense: Eli Manning single handily wrecked the Giants season as the NFL leader in turnovers. Time after time he coughed up the ball in situations dictating throwing the ball out of bounds or taking a sack. Banged up offensive line & wide receivers didn't help matters either. Inconsistency was the Giants theme in '10. What's up for 2011? More of the same or football smarts?
Defense: Training camp took a painful toll on New York's secondary. Opponents will try exploiting this make-shift group early and often until they prove worthy of stopping opposing offenses. Good luck. Giants pass rushers will have to save the day - Justin Tuck, Jason Pierre-Paul, Mathias Kiwanuka and eventually Osi Umenyiora will rattle a few cages as NFL's top pass rushing unit.
Prediction: Don't get your hopes up this year Giants fans. 9 wins max.

3 - Washington Redskins
Offense: Shanahan recently named Rex Grossman starting QB. Gross often gets grilled by media types because he's not a prototypical QB. All Rex needs to do is play efficient football - something he's quite capable of doing regularly if teammates chip in. Key to offense is Skins running game. Shanahan produced 11 1,000+ yard rushers in 12 Denver seasons. Something tells me a secured offensive line is ready to go. Hightower is their featured back and he's ready for a breakout season.
Defense: Shanahan's sticking with 3-4 system. I'm no fan of the 3-4 as it opens up the D to many potential mistakes vs big opposing offensive lines. Skins D ranked 31st in '10 - will be tested often in '11.
Prediction: 7 win season is definitely attainable. If Rex & Co. can score - if D can sufficiently derail opposing attacks - Washingtom may become the cinderella story of 2011. Don't bet on it - don't be surprised if it happens either.

4 - Dallas Cowboys
Offense: Whoa, 2011 could turn ugly quickly. Only one good bit of news for Dallas heading into regular season opener - Tony Romo is back. Plenty of bad news beginning with a terrible make-shift offensive line featuring two rookies. Romo will be running for his life. Runningbacks soon to be challenged looking for running lanes vs formidale NFC East defensive linemen.
Defense: No NFC team surrendered more points in 2010. Dallas picked up an all star coordinator - Rob Ryan of the famously defensive minded Ryan clan (father - Buddy, brother - Rex). Don't expect miracles in 2011 as personnel is probably division's worst. Ryan will blitz from every direction out of necessity with a weak in all areas D. 2011 could bet ugly early, often and every game. Dallas is a long way off from thinking about playoff football.
Prediction: Jason Garrett is not head coach material. Will Dallas Cowboys head coach revolving door continue? 4-12 season says most definitely!
Up next - NFC North.

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