If you’re a fan of the NFL, the middle of the summer can be the most monotonous time on the calendar. OTAs are over and training camp has yet to begin. Questions are about the only thing a fan has to keep their football fever from developing into a full-blown case of pigskin paralysis.
Now just a few weeks out from the start of training camp around the league, we are prepared to start answering some of those questions in what will certainly be the first of about 2,500 season previews you’ll read between now and September 10th. We’ll break down every NFL team, and every division. We’lleven walk you through the postseason, and tell you which players will stand out at the end of this season as the brightest stars the game can offer.
Next up, we’re breaking down the NFC East
1. New York Giants (9-7)
Last year, the Giants entered the season on the back of one of the poorest years in team history. Thanks largely to injuries and inconsistent offensive line play, 2014 didn’t turn out much better. This year, the team appears to be in better shape.
Victor Cruz’s return and the development of Larry Donnell and Odell Beckham, Jr. will give Eli Manning plenty of options in the passing game, while the addition of Shane Vereen will help keep the offensive attack balanced.
However, there are enough questions about the Giants defense to raise serious doubts about just how the team will finish. Questions range from how rookie safety Landon Collins will adjust to the NFL, to the injury of Jason Pierre Paul’s hand. All these questions will be answered in due time. At this point, Giants fans should expect a bounce back year in 2015 to win a fairly competitive NFC East.
2. Philadelphia Eagles (8-8)
Throughout this offseason, the number one question on the mind of most NFL fans was, “What the hell is Chip Kelly doing?” The offensive-minded Eagles head coach spent the summer retooling, and reshaping his team into one that will be almost unrecognizable when the season begins in September.
Yet, when one looks at the Eagles roster, it’s hard to believe they’ll be much more competitive than they were last season. In fact, it’s easy to imagine them being worse. The quarterback position in Kelly’s complicated offense, once managed so effectively by Nick Floes, is now in the hands of 27-year-old Sam Bradford.
While the former No. 1 overall pick has shown flashes of the brilliance that defined his career at Oklahoma, he’s proven to be made of tissue paper in the NFL. Since he came into the league, Bradford has missed an astounding 43 games due to injury. That’s nearly 68% of the games he’s been eligible to play. It’s an absurd number, and Eagles fans should expect to see Bradford miss time this season.
Without him, it’s hard to imagine Philadelphia doing much of anything this NFL season, no matter how many other shiny objects Kelly’s brought to the city of brotherly love.
3. Dallas Cowboys (6-10)
Last year, many around the NFL predicted that the Cowboys would be the worst team in football. Instead, their offensive line outperformed, and running back DeMarco Murray played himself into a new fiveyear, $40 million contract with the Eagles on the way to a surprise 12-4 season and the NFC East title.
This year will be different. Tony Romo is a year older, DeMarco Murray has been replaced with Oakland Raider reject Darren McFadden, and there’s simply no way the offensive line can outperform their talent again and compensate for the Cowboys lackluster defense two years in a row. Expect the 2015 Dallas Cowboys to experience the drop off many had predicted for the 2014 team.
4. Washington Redskins (4-12)
Watching the Washington football team try to put together a roster is like watching the end of “Thelma & Louise” on repeat. They drive the car off the cliff every single time. No organization in the NFL is as inept, as clueless, or as completely incompetent as Daniel Snyder’s organization.
During free agency, Washington’s marquee signing was Terrance Knighton, a defensive tackle who was run out of Denver with his tail between his legs thanks to weight maintenance and attitude issues. Their draft was an absolute joke.
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With the fifth overall pick, and Leonard Williams on the board, they reached for an offensive lineman and selected Brandon Schreff out of Iowa, and Washington didn’t address their miserable secondary until the 181st pick.
They’re still relying on Robert Griffin III to somehow resurrect his NFL career, and head coach Jay Gruden appears to be buried so deep over his head that it’ll take an industrial drill to bring him back to the surface, once he’s fired near the end of this season.
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