KEEP in mind, when these predictions come out, no one knows who will be drafted by which team. So this is an assessment of the team as it is staffed by veteran players with track records.
Rookies may contribute heavily to their team, but they don’t usually shake up the NFC East as a division. That being said, there’s a pretty good chance that what you see here, will be how it shakes out for the year.
Now let’s look at 2020:
Strongest Offense: PHILADELPHIA
This Offense won the division last year on spare parts. To imagine that they won’t be more potent at full strength, is naive. Oh, and they still have most of those spare parts under contract. Oh, and then there’s that whole thing about the players not having to learn a new system. Fact is, if the season were to start today (and we are discussing today’s rosters), Philadelphia’s second string would be more ready than their rival starters, who have yet to even do basic installations of their systems.
Weakest Offense: WASHINGTON
This unit has deficiencies everywhere, and they haven’t even decided on who will be their starting QB. That will lead to leadership issues, and a lack of uniformity in how players execute technique in their approach to the new offensive system.
Strongest Defense: PHILADELPHIA
Keep in mind this is mostly a rating of the athletic talent and experience. This rating does not take into account the defensive systems that teams will run. Talentwise, both New York and Washington are on Philadelphia’s heels, and Washington will likely run a better system. This however, is about how things stand today, BEFORE the draft, BEFORE camp, and BEFORE injuries. At this moment, Philadelphia owns the edge in talent, experience, and intel on rivals. Also keep in mind, anything that can improve for the other three teams, are also things which can still improve for Philadelphia.
Weakest Defense: DALLAS
The secondary is a mess. The hole left by an OLB’s injury in Week 11 last year, still has yet to be addressed. A series of desperation moves were made to shore up a defensive line that suffered a bug loss. Worse yet, if the offense sputters, the workload will shift to a defensive unit built for speed, not for the pounding of being on the field for 33 to 35 minutes per game.
Strongest Special Teams: WASHINGTON
Washington has the division’s most reliable kicking game, and the only return unit to be concerned about, at this point. On its own it won’t win any games, but if this unit can get some help, it could turn into a couple of upsets this season.
Weakest Special Teams: PHILADELPHIA / DALLAS
Neither team has a returner to be concerned about, and both allow too many punt return yards. It can be argued who has worse kicking. While Philadelphia’s kicking game is eroding slowly enough to barely notice it, Dallas is holding auditions for anyone who might be reliable. In either case, neither team shows much cultural respect for the hidden yardage game anymore.
Projected Winner: PHILADELPHIA
As it stands today, Philadelphia is a 9 win team. New York is a strong 7, with Dallas hovering at 6 (without their QB). Amazingly, Washington may see their win total double from 3 to 6.
Philadelphia did it’s rebuild early, and now gets to watch the rest of the division suffer through one. Despite the holes currently on the team, there is coaching stability, and cultural stability in the locker room. It’s a host of young players who have been battle-tested, working shoulder to shoulder with guys still on the roster. The roster doesn’t hope they can weather adversity, they know they can, because they’ve done it for the last three seasons. Heaven help the NFC East if the Eagles aren’t injury riddled this year
Darkhorse Winner: NEW YORK
Washington has no shot in 2020. Dallas has quite a bit of internal turmoil kicking off right now, and loading up on troubled players, is not the way to overcome internal adversity. Should Philadelphia decide to secede from the NFL, then New York would have the best chance at winning the division. Otherwise, this one is pretty much a wrap for 2020.