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Lots Of Turbulence In The Forecast: 2018 NFC East Preview

Lots Of Turbulence In The Forecast: 2018 NFC East Preview

The NFC East is back as a premier division once again. Of course it starts at the top with the Super Bowl Champion Eagles residing in this division. The Cowboys look to improve on a disappointing 2017 campaign. The Giants are healthy again and will be a threat. Then you have the Redskins, who made some major changes in an attempt to change their fortunes. The week to week battles should be epic. With free agent moves, trades and the draft, each team thinks they can win the division. There is no other division in the NFL that can honestly make that claim. Here’s a look at each team.

 

 Dallas Cowboys

Record in 2017: 9-7

Key Player: Middle Linebacker-Jaylon Smith

Player to Watch: Left Guard- Connor Williams

The Cowboys will try to rebound from missing the playoffs last season. The good news is they will have running back Ezekiel Elliott for the entire season (barring injury). The bad news is they no longer have the services of recently retired tight end Jason Witten. Another major question is who will step up to become the number one receiver now that Dez Bryant is officially gone? The defense was an enigma. They did finish in the top ten in yards allowed per game and 13th in points allowed. They were also in the bottom half in third down efficiency. That must change. Prediction: 8-8

 

 New York Giants

Record in 2017: 3-13

Key Player: Left Tackle- Nate Solder

Player to Watch: Running Back- Saquon Barkley

It was a disastrous season for the Giants. Injuries, a bad offensive line and a poor defense were to blame. Now that everyone is healthy and they added Saquon Barkley with the number two pick, along with some key free agent pick ups, this offense could be very potent. It won’t matter if the defense doesn’t improve if the offense reaches it’s full potential. The defensive line must find a way to get pressure on the quarterback. The secondary has to cover better with less mental mistakes. There is a lot of optimism surrounding the potential of this team. Prediction: 9-7

 

 Philadelphia Eagles

Record in 2017: 13-3

Key Player: Wide Receiver- Alshon Jeffery

Player to Watch: Running Back- Jay Ajayi

There is still euphoria in Philadelphia after the Eagles won the Super Bowl. All eyes will be on the return of quarterback Carson Wentz coming back from injury. He looks healthy and ready to go. He will have a full compliment of weapons at his disposal. The defense has the potential to be a top five unit in the NFL. The defensive line might be the best in the league. They may not duplicate the same record but they could be a better team. How will they handle the expectations to getting back to the Super Bowl? Prediction: 12-4

 

 Washington Redskins

Record in 2017: 7-9

Key Player: Wide Receiver- Josh Doctson

Player to Watch: Nose Tackle- Da’Ron Payne

There was a major shake up when they traded for quarterback Alex Smith. The season ending injury to rookie running back Derrius Guice will hurt. They signed running back Adrian Peterson to help pick up the slack. Smith has a talented receiving group and should put up good numbers. Will the defense hold up enough to keep them in games? They were not good last season, although the defensive front had potential. The linebackers must make plays. Outside of cornerback Josh Norman, the secondary is unproven. Prediction: 6-10

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