2013 NFL Preseason Predictions: NFC East (Yanotchko)
1. New York Giants (schedule): 10-6
The Giants followed up their 2012 championship season, by missing the playoffs last year with a 9-7 record. The Giants will be back to the postseason tournament this year, as they have shored up their offensive line, and committed a big contract to slot ace Victor Cruz. The Giants struggled on defense last year mainly due to injuries, but Justin Tuck and Jason Pierre-Paul are far too talented not to rebound this year.
The Giants have the offensive firepower to keep pace with any team, as they have two of the best receivers in Cruz and Hakeem Nicks. The Giants also have a newly structured running back duo of David Wilson and Andre Brown, who isn't expected to miss the whole season with his fractured leg, and that will make Eli Manning's life easier.
The Giants play in the toughest division in the league, but will come out on top over the crowded pack.
2. Washington Redskins (schedule): 9-7
The Redskins surprised everyone last year by winning the NFC East, by having breakout performances from an extremely talented pair of rookies in Alfred Morris and Robert Griffin III. Of course, RGIII suffered an ACL tear in their playoff loss against Seattle, and the judge is still out to see if he has lost any of his dynamic running ability.
The 'Skins will lean heavily on the rushing game, as most Mike Shanahan-coached teams do, and look for Morris to be at the top of the league in rushing attempts. The Redskins also have strength on the outside in linebackers Ryan Kerrigan, and they now have Brian Orapko at full health as well.
Washington will have a tough challenge with a first-place schedule, and they still have uncertainty over Griffin's overall health, and that will be the difference this year as they will finish one game out of the playoffs.
3. Dallas Cowboys (schedule): 9-7
The Cowboys always seem to be knocking on the door of the playoffs, but they just can't quite kick down the door as of yet to make it. The Cowboys certainly have assembled some of the most talented players in the league, but it seems that they just haven't cemented together yet.
The Cowboys should have one of the better defensive units in the league, as they have great defensive ends in Anthony Spencer and DeMarcus Ware, and all pro linebacker in the making in Sean Lee, and two highly regarded cornerbacks in Morris Claiborne and Brandon Carr.
So why do the Cowboys seem to fall short every year? I think they just do not have the right coach for the team in Jason Garrett, and also until Jerry Jones learns to stay in the owners box than they players will always have mixed messages.
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4. Philadelphia Eagles (schedule): 4-12
While the Eagles will be quite the fun team to watch this year under the guidance of Chip Kelly's blur offense, I think that he will struggle to adapt to the pro game.
The Eagles have already gotten bad news to start, as Jeremy Maclin tore his ACL in training camp, and they will miss their best wide receiver this year. The Eagles will score points this year, as LeSean McCoy is the perfect back for a Chip Kelly offense, and Michael Vick has been adept so far running it from the quarterback position.
The Eagles' major question marks lie on the defensive side of the ball, as they have a new coordinator, new secondary, and they will switch to a 3-4 alignment. While the Eagles will be fun to watch on the offensive side of the ball, it will be the defense that prevents them from winning many close games.
All of our contributors will make their division and Super Bowl picks and we will track those on this centralized predictions page.
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