Prediction: 1st in division (11-5 overall)
Strengths: Offensively the Redskins will be a nightmare for opposing defenses.
Causes for concern: RG3’s health/adjustment to protecting his health. Secondary has some question marks.. Can DeAngelo Hall and Brandon Meriweather stay healthy/still compete at a high level?
X-Factor: Alfred Morris. He will likely be expected to carry more of the load this year if the Skins plan to limit RG3’s runs. If he avoids a sophomore slump and repeats his rookie campaign, the Redskins offense will be scary good.
Prediction: 2nd in division (10-6 overall)
Strengths: Tony Romo is a playmaker and Dez Bryant could be a top 3 receiver in the league this year. Defense should be improved this year.
Causes for concern: DeMarco Murray’s health, he NEEDS to stay healthy. Offensive line.. they must protect Romo.
X-Factor: DeMarco Murray. If Murray stays healthy and runs the football effectively, this Dallas offense will be tough to stop. His ability to run opens up an already dangerous passing game so if he rushes for 1000 yards the Cowboys could have a top-ranked offense.
New York Giants
Prediction: 3rd in division (7-9 overall)
Strengths: Eli Manning is a flat out winner and he may have to will the Giants to some victories this year. Cruz and Nicks are weapons on the outside.
Causes for concern: The running game could be awful and the defense has some holes. Also, Nicks needs to stay healthy for the offense to be good.
X-Factor: Eli Manning. The Giants need Eli to have a HUGE season. Not just a good one, a great one. For the Giants to have a shot to win this division, Eli needs a MVP-caliber season. The running game has all sorts of question marks with Bradshaw gone and Andre Brown with a broken leg , David Wilson will get the starting spot. He’s an inconsistent runner and struggles to hold onto the football. Eli has to show what he’s capable of.
Prediction: 4th in division (6-10 overall)
Strengths: Michael Vick and LeSean McCoy under Chip Kelly’s new system. These two are set for breakout seasons with a whole new playbook
Causes for Concern: Offensive line and defense. Defense has holes all over the place and in this division the Eagles can only hope for shootouts. Too tough of a division for the Eagles to compete this year.
X-Factor: Michael Vick. An obvious pick here, if Vick steps up and competes at a very high level, I give the Eagles an outside shot at a wild card spot. But even a big season out of Vick could be cancelled out by Philly’s lack of defensive prowess.
This division is one of the more intriguing ones in the whole league. There’s no clear favorite to win it and all four teams have some sort of chance at it if the other teams were to falter. Each team has strengths but they all have glaring causes for concern too. Every divisional game will be important and I would expect this division to be decided Week 16 at the earliest. I am taking the Redskins to win this one….. for now. I will likely be changing this one even as early as Week 4. Stay tuned!