The NFC East is a division of the champions and teams with high potential. With the Eagles looking to be the first team to repeat winning the division in several years, can anyone take them down?
Philadelphia. The Eagles return all their starters from there super bowl winning team and now have a full year of Jay Ajayi. People underestimate how good Nelson Agholor and Alshon Jeffery were last year. If Carson Wentz isn’t healthy for week one Nick Foles can be a guy that can step in and win games the first three to four weeks. I worry about Wentz taking a step back after such a serious injury, especially an ACL. Mobility was a huge part of his game last year and without that, how will he be affected? The Eagles are also a team that lost there OC and QB coach to different teams after the Super Bowl run. Yes, they strengthened there offensive roster but the coaching turnover leaves me slightly concerned. An honorable mention would potentially be the Giants. It is a huge if, but if Eli Manning can regain his 2015 form the Giants have the best offense in this division. Odell, Sterling Shepard, and break out tight end Evan Engram create an explosive offense for the Giants. If the offensive line can protect and Saqoun Barkley showed the stuff he did in his first preseason game all year the Giants have the potential of the best offense in the division. The same could be said for the Redskins if Alex Smith performs but I am less optimistic about them now after the MCL sprain of potential break out running back Darius Guice.
Philadelphia. The Eagles defense added superstar Michael Bennett and hosts the deepest defensive line in the league. While losing Mychal Kendricks to the Browns hurts there linebacking core they still have a very good secondary with Ronald Darby returning to the secondary fully healthy. The defense isn’t the best in the league, but it’s tops in the NFC. The Giants have the most well-rounded defense in the league with strength at every position of the defense but they lack the depth the Eagles have which is why I give Philly the edge.
Eli Manning. Manning, at this point, in my opinion, is the only thing holding the Giants back from being a Super Bowl contending team. If he can perform at even an average level the Giants can win the division and make some noise in the playoffs. The Giants bet on Eli hard this offseason and if he doesn’t come through the organization has some serious questions to answer. Another option would be Jason Garett. It’s playoffs or bust for the Cowboys this year, and the defense is bad the wide out core is a major question and Dak Prescott is coming off a bad season. Can Ezekiel Elliott carry this team? Yes, but that is a big gamble to take in a top-heavy division.
Break out star
Evan Engram. The easy answer here is Saqoun Barkley but I truly believe Engram can emerge from this season as one of the leagues best tight ends. He posses excellent speed and the vertical of an NBA small forward. He is built to be a difference-making tight end and that will show this year.
Alex Smith continues his great stretch and finishes the year as a statistically sound top ten QB. It isn’t crazy, the o line is healthy, and he has a host of great weapons. Jameson Crowder, Paul Richardson, and Josh Doctson are all quality targets. If he can continue progressing to being a deep ball thrower as he did last year he could easily finish with over 4,000 yards and 30 touchdowns.
I have been down on Eli for a while now. However, I am not down on Saqoun and I am not down on the Giants defense and I am not down on a receiving core packed with talent. This team can overcome Eli Manning and make the playoffs. However, if they want a shot to contend for the Super Bowl Eli needs to improve, rapidly. The Eagles have an extremely tough schedule and with questions at QB if Wentz isn’t ready week one will struggle early. The Cowboys have Zeke and currently, that is the only thing I believe in, just because you have the best fantasy player doesn’t mean your football team is going to win a lot of games. The ceiling for Dallas is 9-7. The Giants will be a major surprise and win this division.