This season is already promising to be an epic one. Because fantasy football and the real regular season are really two separate entities I decided to break up the two different predictions and rankings to provide more content leading up to the regular season. As you watch the preseason play out there are specific things to look for. Starting with the NFC East, all 4 teams have the ability to finish anywhere in the standings. Here’s some early clues as to where they ultimately may end up.
Philadelphia (12-4). High-flying and nothing like you’ve seen before in the NFL, Chip Kelly’s offense is for real. Yes, NFL defenses caught up some as last season progressed but this is a system offense that works well with Nick Foles and will make LeSean McCoy a superstar for years. While the defense isn’t elite, their division sucks and offense tends to beat out defense in the regular season. The lack of star power at wide receiver might be a problem but you might say the same thing at quarterback.
Washington (10-6). The Redskins might be called something different next year and they might have different name too. Washington has some talent this year and just needs to stay healthy. It’s time for Brian Orakpo to have an entire season of health while playing at the All-Pro level that we know he can. With DeSean Jackson lining up opposite Pierre Garcon, RG III has no excuse to not put up a good bit of points every game. While Alfred Morris may not see as much playing time when behind, he should still be good for 1200 yards and 6 touchdowns. This is a team with the ability to win between 6 and 10 games and the answer will be found in how often the important names end up on the injury report.
Dallas (8-8). Even Cowboys fans aren’t feeling great about this year. But with Dez Bryant, Tony Romo and a healthy Demarco Murray, the Boys should put up some points. However, finding a second receiver to flank Dez and an aging Jason Witten as well as a defense that is now missing longtime anchor DeMarcus Ware. The run defense is suspect to say the least and the cornerbacks haven’t been able to stay healthy in recent memory. Given some startling turn-around, Dallas is looking at another long season.
New York Giants (7-9). The Giants have been a lot like the Boston Red Sox is recent memory based on their ability to be horribly mediocre and then turn around a win it all, but New York has been on a downturn for a couple years now and it’s not all Eli Manning’s fault. The wide receivers can’t stay healthy and when they do, they haven’t been all that consistent running routes and getting open. The running backs have had several terrible season-ending injuries including the career-ending one that David Wilson recently suffered. Still, the Giants have a relatively young and talented defense. If Manning can find a way to cut down on the turnovers and a running game emerges then you never know. But I do know, and .500 would be a miracle this year.