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NFC East Preview

For millions of  fans across the country, the start of NFL training camps bring hope and optimism to all 32 teams across the league for what they hope is a Super Bowl Championship season. To make it to the postseason is no easy task, especially if your team is playing in the toughest division in all of football the NFC East. The NFC East will be highly competitive this season with teams such as the New York Giants, Dallas Cowboys, Washington Redskins, and Philadelphia Eagles all hoping to win the division. If the last two years have taught us anything, it is “not how you start, but how you finish”. Just ask the 2011 New York Giants, who rebounded from a horrendous mid-season slump to win the NFC East Division on the final day of the season with a 9-7 record en route to their fourth Super Bowl Championship in franchise history. Ask the 2012 Washington Redskins, a team that got off to a 3-6 start before winning seven in a row to win the division on the final day of the season. They would finish with a 10-6 record. The 2013 NFL season will be filled with plenty of intriguing story lines, but for the NFC East, it will be another season where it will be very entertaining to see who will reign supreme.

Washington Redskins: (10-6 record in 2012) NFC East Champions

How could anyone talk about the success the Washington Redskins had last season without mentioning Robert Griffin III? RG III is a major reason why the Redskins made the postseason last season despite the 3-6 start, which certainly was no fault of RG III. However, as we enter the 2013 season, the major question that surrounds this team is not just if the Redskins and Griffin III can duplicated last season’s success, but also the health of Robert Griffin III’s knee which was severely injured in last season’s NFC Wild Card Game vs. Seattle. The Redskins medical staff has given RG III the green light to practice with the team as training camp gets under way in Richmond, Virginia. It will be very interesting to see how Griffin III progresses throughout training camp. RG III will be fortunate to have star running Alfred Morris, who is coming off an outstanding rookie campaign in 2012. He rushed for 1,613 yards as he help give the Redskins a balanced passing and rushing offense, something to definitely keep an eye on in 2013.

New York Giants (9-7 record in 2012)

Last season, the New York Giants were the defending Super Bowl Champions entering the 2012 season with expectations of repeating. The Giants struggled last season to rush the passer as the defensive line was only able to produce 33 sacks. This created problems for the secondary and the defense as a whole, which was second worst in the NFL (the New Orleans Saints defense was ranked last). Now that Jason Pierre Paul had back surgery (he’s expected to miss all of training camp and start of the season), it will be up to Mathias Kiwanuka to fill in the shoes of Jason Pierre-Paul on the defensive line. Eli Manning hopes to lead the Giants to Super Bowl XLVIII which will be hosted in their own stadium (MetLife Stadium). David Wilson and Andre Brown will enter training camp as two very solid running backs. They both have hopes they can rush for 1,000 yards each just as Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw accomplished in 2008.

Dallas Cowboys: (8-8 Record in 2012)

Can someone explain to me why is it that the Cowboys are so inconsistent? We all know that they have talent on their roster; however that talent has not translated to success on the field the past several seasons. We must understand this: regardless of whatever Jerry Jones says regarding the coaching job status of Jason Garrett, there is no doubt that he will be under immense pressure to get the job done and get the Cowboys into the playoffs. With Tony Romo reporting to camp healthy after undergoing surgery to remove a cyst and the defense now running a 4-3 scheme, maybe the tide is slowly starting to turn in Dallas. However, the two burning questions in Dallas entering this season is if Romo can finally win the big one when it matters most. Secondly, can the Cowboys defense flourish under the new system that defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin installed replacing the old 3-4 system that been in place for a number of years.

Philadelphia Eagles: (4-12 record in 2012)

This will be the first season of the post-Andy Reid era in Philadelphia. Chip Kelly takes over the head coaching job and the big question for this Philadelphia Eagles team will be how will the new offense look once the season begins? Will Michael Vick solidify himself as the starting quarterback of the Eagles or will other candidates such as Nick Foles or Matt Barkeley earn the starting job? Training camp is where starting jobs are earned and the starting quarterback being one of the big headlines entering training camp in Philadelphia. Chip Kelly will be running a different offense in Philly. Coach Kelly will be running a similar offense that he ran while head coach of Oregon with Eagles. Will Coach Kelly’s offense flourish in the NFL? What players will learn the system and shine? This will be a fascinating first season for Coach Kelly’s offense in the NFL.

Prediction: Who will win the NFC East?

As training camp gets underway all around the NFC East and the NFL, it is simply too soon to say who has a stronghold on the division RIGHT NOW. However, I am predicting that the Washington Redskins will win the NFC East. The Redskins right now have all the pieces in place to win another division championship with a healthy Robert Griffin III and a strong supporting cast in Washington. I believe the Redskins will win the division this season with a 10-6 record with an improved offense and better play from the their linebackers.

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Ralph Garcia


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