The Redskins finished an awful 1-5 in the NFC East last season, and while much of that was self-inflicted, the division was quite tough as well.
The Eagles won the Super Bowl, with their backup quarterback, and the Cowboys went 9-7. The Giants bottomed out at 3-13, but much of that was due to injuries and a mess of a coaching situation.
Now, it's a new year. New teams and new seasons.
Let's run through what things will look like, or are expected to look like anyway.
The defending Super Bowl champs are set up to be just as good as they were a season ago, and maybe even better. They added Michael Bennett to an already dominant defensive line and should get multiple players back from injury, including nine-time Pro Bowl tackle Jason Peters.
Biggest question: What is going on with Carson Wentz? In 2017, the second-year QB emerged as a star for the Eagles before a late-season knee injury. Head coach Doug Pederson has been very guarded about Wentz’s status, and backup QB Nick Foles will start against the Falcons on Thursday in the Week 1 opener. To be their best, the Eagles need Wentz. And they need him back at full strength.
Biggest loss: Super Bowl-winning teams typically see some offseason turnover in the coaching department, and that's exactly happened in Philadelphia. Frank Reich went from Eagles offensive coordinator to Colts head coach, and John DeFilippo went from Eagles QB coach to Vikings offensive coordinator. That’s a lot of coaching churn.
Good follow for Eagles info: @DZangaroNBCS
The Cowboys won nine games last season even as their best player Ezekiel Elliott was forced to miss six games due to a suspension. The Cowboys might be the biggest mystery in the NFC East, as they lost a lot on their offensive line and at pass catcher. Dez Bryant got released, Jason Witten retired and Travis Frederick is out.
Biggest question: Zach Martin, the linchpin of the offensive line, avoided a serious knee injury during the preseason. The Cowboys need their O-line to be dominant because the offensive system runs through Elliott. If Dallas has to rely too much on Dak Prescott, Dallas is not a .500 ball club.
Biggest loss: Some might say Dez, but it’s more likely Witten. The tight end served as a security blanket for Prescott and last season, even at 35 years old, Witten posted 63 catches for 560 yards and five TDs. Prescott targeted Witten nearly 90 times. Where is that production going to come from?
Good follow for Cowboys info: @NewyScruggs
New York Giants
Don’t take too much from their terrible record in 2017. Big Blue was a mess last year. They fired their coach and GM, and are kinda starting fresh. They still have a strong defense, and still have Odell Beckham Jr., who missed most of the 2017 season with an ankle injury. And, oh yeah, they added freakshow former Penn State running back Saquon Barkley with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.
Biggest question: Eli Manning. The 37-year-old QB played bad last season, and also had awful protection in front of him. Manning got sacked 31 times in 2017. Thirty-one times. He also threw for less than 3,500 yards with 19 TDs against 13 interceptions. And, oh yeah, he got benched for the first time in his career. So, 2017 is over, and the Giants invested in improving their offensive line, both in the draft and via free agency. If the O-line is better, will Manning be better?
Biggest loss: For the Giants, the biggest losses will actually look like additions. Former coach Ben McAdoo lost the team and had to be fired. He was. Former GM Jerry Reese lost the team and had to be fired. He was.
Good follow for Giants info: @JordanRaanan
MORE REDSKINS NEWS:
- Turnover Problems: Season-opening issues trace back to turnovers
- Looking Ahead: Five pivotal games for the 2018 Redskins
- Fantasy Football: Potential 2018 sleeper picks
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