Keep in mind, when these predictions come out, no one knows who will be drafted by which team.
This is an assessment of the team as it is staffed by veteran players with track records.
Rookies don’t usually shake up the NFC East division (glaring at you Dallas!), so there’s a pretty good chance that what you see here, will be how it shakes out for the year.
(I know, I know. The font looks weird. I’ve spent the last hour fighting with the formatting for some reason, and decided to just release the damned thing.)
Strongest Offense: PHILADELPHIA
This isn’t even in question. The NFL’s #2 offense added depth, but didn’t bother signing a single new starter. There were simply no holes to fix. Just some light re-stocking to do as far as back-ups. No other team in the division can claim that. Eagles win this category in a walk.
Weakest Offense: NEW YORK
Aside from QB, everything on the offensive side of the ball is either in question, or undergoing a re-build. They have no run game. They don’t know if their top WR will hold-out, and if he does, for how long. The left side of the line is manned entirely by new players, and they’re all learning a new system to boot.
Strongest Defense: PHILADELPHIA
The league’s most dominant defensive line lost two key players, and then upgraded itself. They added depth, and competition where they were thin at linebacker. They added players to allow them to now play physical, and not just fast. They prioritized a minor weakness, because there were no major ones to fix.
Weakest Defense: NEW YORK
Five of their eleven starters are just guys. One draft won’t save them, and no real moves have been made to transform the nucleus of the defensive culture. On top of which, possibly their best player on this side of the ball, said that the broken arm he suffered last year, may need a second surgical procedure to re-plate the break.
Strongest Special Teams: DALLAS
The only team in the division with a KR/PR game that’s worth a damn. They have some issues with Field Goal accuracy, but that seems like something that they can get under control pretty quickly.
Weakest Special Teams: NEW YORK
They are currently in the process of replacing everything, because last year everything was legitimately awful. Not just bad, awful. (Go back and read the report, or go to their website and look at what they did.) That of course is because they don’t seem to prioritize this unit, and so they may be here next year. Again.
Projected NFC East Winner: PHILADELPHIA
My pick due to personal bias? That would cheapen the entire point of me working this hard (for weeks) on these articles. Easy pick because they won the Super Bowl? That would be pretty stupid, given the real phenomena of Super Bowl hangover.
Philadelphia is the pick because despite no real weaknesses, they improved the team on both sides of the ball. Even scarier (and this is something NO ONE else is talking about or even mentioning), they accomplished everything they did last year, with a rash of key injuries.
Despite winning the Super Bowl, the Eagles weren’t nearly at their best in 2017. What happens if they don’t get bitten as hard by the injury bug this year? What happens if they get to operate close to capacity? And the scariest part of all of it? They’re ramping everything up openly, but somehow it’s still low-key. You have to look close to even notice it. But once you do notice it…
The Suzette Charles Award: DALLAS
If for some reason the Eagles don’t win the East, only Dallas has enough talent to make the race for the division seem interesting. They don’t stand an actual shot in Hell, but if someone besides Philadelphia does it, it’ll be Dallas.