The NFC East is arguably one of the most competitive divisions in professional football year in and year out, with this coming season not looking to be any different according to the NFL odds. It is often the record against the other teams in the division that can mean the difference between a playoff spot and another off-season wondering what went wrong. Each of the teams in this competitive division will feel that they are in with a shot at securing top spot and a guaranteed playoff spot, but they are going to have to endure 16 weeks of smash mouth football in order to do so, hoping that key injuries aren't what halt their progress. Let's take a look at the 4 teams in the division and see what they have to do in order to snag the NFC East crown and begin their quest for the NFC Championship and Super Bowl XLVII.
New York Giants - The defending World Champions have a tough road to travel if they want to make it back to the big time. Not only do they have every opponent gunning to knock them off, they also have the toughest schedule of any team in the NFL, never mind just their own division. For example, if the Giants are to finish the season the way they did last season they are going to have to take down the Saints, Falcons, Raven, and Eagles in the final 4 weeks. The good news is that they are virtually unchanged from the team that went all the way last year, but they are going to need some stellar numbers from QB Eli Manning and a whole lot more consistency if they want to remain on top.
Washington Redskins - The Skins may be the team that has the biggest question mark beside them, simply because we just don't know how rookie QB Robert Griffin III is going to perform. If he can quickly adapt to the NFL ranks then Washington may end up being something of a surprise package. Coach Shanahan has always done a great job of building a great running game which might just give RG3 the time to throw. It's tough to see how the coach is going to be able to achieve that with the trio of Hightower, Helu, and Royster, but with a pretty winnable 3 games after opening against the Saints, the Skins might just be able to accumulate some early wins and get their confidence rolling right out of the gate.
Philadelphia Eagles - It can be argued that no team was hurt more by last years lockout than the Eagles. They basically totally rebuilt their entire squad from the ground up last year, but without time to gel in training camp, the "Dream Team" became a total nightmare. On the positive side of things, they finished the season strong and were arguably one of the best teams not to make the playoffs. The main key to their success this coming season is keeping Michael Vick healthy for the entire 16-game schedule. If they can manage to do that, then the Eagles may very well be one of the prohibitive favorites to win it all.
Dallas Cowboys - Coach Jason Garrett may be the first head coach to see the axe fall if he can't turn the Cowboys around this season. Two straight years without a playoff appearance will not sit well with Jerry Jones and in order to not make it three in a row, the Cowboys secondary is going to have to get much better. They look to have addressed that issue by drafting Morris Claiborne and signing free agent Brandon Carr. They have a great front seven and an up and coming O-line that should give Tony Romo room to operate, hopefully as mistake free as possible.
2012 NFC East Division odds
|New York Giants||4-1|