No longer the pathetic excuse for a professional football division known to mankind, the NFC East had a resurgence last year with two teams making the playoffs – albeit with two first round exits. Things shake up a little this season, but not much.
Philadelphia Eagles – As noted below in the 2021 Season Wrap-Up, the Eagles started slow, finished fast and sort of coasted to the last Wildcard spot. Jalen Hurts was fairly consistent most of the season. His reward for showing potential as the much desired “franchise quarterback” is getting Titans wideout A. J. Brown to go with DeVonta Smith. Hurts also has the No. 1 rushing attack back from last season. An attack that featured almost 800 yards from Mr. Hurts himself. That needs to change. A better than average defense probably gets better with the addition of Haason Reddick at edge and some other new talent. But the Eagles did not beat a single playoff team last season. They won’t face any likely playoff contenders until Week 6 when the Cowboys come to town (sadly too early for hard packed ice balls to be heaved at the Cowboy bench). The tough stretch is Weeks 10-12 commencing with a trip to Indy and then the Packers and Titans at home. A Christmas Eve showdown with the Cowboys in Arlington may decide the East. Eagles go 11-6 and take the East.
Dallas Cowboys – A flashy 6-1 start with only a loss to the defending champion Buccaneers on opening night put the Cowboys in good stead. A 6-4 finish was enough to walk away with the East. This season we get a Sunday night opener against the same Buccaneers. With a decimated O Line they may need to have the basket ready for TB 12. After that, six more 2021 playoff teams await. As usual, the Cowboys get the maximum national TV exposure allowed. This year five primetime games are set including the Sunday night opener and four late afternoon games none of which are geographically called for. At least, there is some justification based on the 2021 record for a team that hasn’t played in a NFC Conference championship game in 27 years and really hasn’t even been close to one since the tough loss to the Packers in the 2014 playoffs. The Boys are better than some and that carries the team to a 10-7 record and probably a Wildcard spot.
Washington Commanders – May Red first dis the new mascot. Exactly what are they supposed to be commanding? Commanding self control during November? There certainly have been no command performances of late. Yes, they did sneak in as probably the worst team to make the playoffs in the modern era and actually had a legitimate shot at beating the Bucs in the 2020 playoffs. And last year the Commandos did have a 6-6 record before losing to the Eagles and Cowboys twice over the next four weeks and finishing out of the money. Red has a confession to make now. He has always thought that Carson Wentz was going to be a really top notch NFL quarterback someday. But after being run out of Philly and unable to get the job done in Indy he has been sent to the graveyard of NFL quarterbacks. No quarterback that was traded to the WFT has been worth a hoot since Doug Williams one brilliant season. Red concedes that the Commandos have a legitimate rushing game with a serviceable O line and Gibson, McKissic and newcomer Brain Robinson in the backfield. But this franchise is doomed as long as Dan Snyder lives or stays out of jail. Washington is a mediocre 7-10.
New York Giants – It pains Red to think about a once glorious franchise that has won 7 NFL Championships in its storied history. But since Eli’s last miracle against the Pats in 2011, the Giants have made the playoffs once in 2015 and got drubbed by the Packers for the effort. Giants fans would probably beg to have the chance to get drubbed in the playoffs this season. No such luck. NYG are better but not by much. Red is generous in calling for the Giants to go 6-11.