NFL: NFC East Standings Predictions For The 2018 Season
With the 2018 NFL season almost upon us, it is time for the Philadelphia Eagles to defend as Super Bowl champs as well as NFC East champs. While it’s easy to look right ahead towards the playoffs and who will emerge as the league’s next head honcho, we cannot simply ignore the 17 weeks that lie ahead.
Will Carson Wentz be ready for opening day? Who will be the primary pass catcher for the new look Dallas Cowboys passing game? Will Saquon Barkley be the powerhouse the Giants need to make the next step? Will Alex Smith and Adrian Peterson punch their ticket to the playoffs in their new red and gold threads? Our predictions below.
Washington Redskins – (Overall Record 8-8, Division Record 2-4)
The Washington offense is going to be running through two new faces. Alex Smith takes over under center and Adrian Peterson was brought in late in camp. Smith will be a better game manager than Kirk Cousins was. However, I feel he is a step back in terms of overall talent. A lot will depend on the health of Jordan Reed as well as Chris Thompson, two of the team’s top weapons.
Overall, the team made moves to improve upon their run defense. This is a need in a division that features the likes of Saquon Barkley and Ezekiel Elliott. The offensive line is also trending in the right direction. When all is said and done, they will draw the short stick in what is going to turn into a very competitive division, but still improving slightly on their record 7-9 from a season ago.
New York Giants – (Overall Record 8-8, Division Record 3-3)
Given their 3-13 record a season ago, it is pretty surprising to look at this offense and see all the offensive talents they have. Eli Manning is still a serviceable quarterback who will do nothing to hurt this team’s chance to win. Barkley is going to be a powerhouse in the backfield, both toting the rock and catching passes. Evan Engram is arguably a top-five tight end talent in the NFL. Finally, there is a potent one-two punch at wide receiver in the form of Odell Beckham Jr. (now with his new contract) and Sterling Shepard.
So the main questions will come thanks to the offensive line and defense. The O-line sees a few new additions, with Nate Solder being the key one, which should help the unit. Barkley will be just fine as long as they can be close to average. The true key will be if they can keep Eli on his feet. As for the defense, a switch to a 3-4 under James Bettcher is far from a lock to be successful. This offense will be able to put up enough points to see the G-Men return to .500 football.
Dallas Cowboys – (Overall Record 10-6, Division Record 3-3)
Philadelphia Eagles – (Overall Record 11-5, Division 4-2)
Anytime you have a Super Bowl champion, returning the vast majority of their core, it’s simply a disservice not to project them to win their division. While Carson Wentz’s knee may hold him out at the beginning of the season, he should not miss than a game or two at the most. When healthy, he has proven he is an MVP caliber talent. Surrounded by the likes of Jay Ajayi, Zach Ertz, Nelson Agholor and Alshon Jeffery (also questionable to open the season), this offense will be able to put up points behind one of the best offensive lines in the league.
The defense saw some changeover, with names like Vinny Curry, Patrick Robinson, Beau Allen and Mychal Kendricks gone. Some of the more well-known names brought in include Michael Bennett and Haloti Ngata to join the dominant Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham. While the unit is older, the expectation is that they will take any steps back. Several experts actually expecting to see improvement.
When all is said and done, there are enough questions in Philly to see them come back to the pack a bit this season. It is always hard to repeat as Super Bowl champs, so the team will surely face some adversity during the season. When all is said and down, they will go into the final few weeks slugging it out in what could very easily be a four-team fight to the finish.
Who do you think will win the NFC East? Let us know in the comments below.
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