NFC East Q&A: Who will win the division?

Who will win the NFC East and how many teams from the division will make the playoffs? Our NFL Nation reporters take a look.

Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas Cowboys reporter: Eagles win, Cowboys are a wild card. No team has repeated as division champ since Andy Reid was coaching the Eagles back in 2003-04. The Eagles are coming off a Super Bowl win and should be the favorites. The Giants probably weren’t as bad as their 2017 record indicated, like the 2015 Cowboys. The Cowboys will benefit from a full season of Ezekiel Elliott. The Redskins might have the furthest to go to get to the playoffs. At some point there has to be a repeat champion. Philadelphia will get Carson Wentz back from his knee injury and has a defense that can suffocate teams. The Eagles will win the division and the Cowboys will earn a wild-card spot but that might not be enough to save Jason Garrett’s job.

John Keim, ESPN Washington Redskins reporter: Eagles win, Redskins are a wild card. Nobody has repeated as champion since the Eagles did so in 2004 – their fourth straight title. I believe we have to mention this stat any time we discuss potential winners. That said, I just don’t see how you pick anyone but the Eagles. They won the Super Bowl without their MVP-candidate quarterback Carson Wentz. He’ll be healthy this season, and for as well as Nick Foles did in the postseason (really, it was about the final two games, considering they scored just 15 vs. Atlanta), Wentz can do things he just can’t. It’s hard to win as many games as they did in the regular season last year (13), so they could win a game or two fewer. They’re still on top in the division. Two teams from the NFC East will make the postseason. Both Dallas and Washington are interesting. The Cowboys need Ezekiel Elliott available for 16 games; Washington needs its young defensive players to prove they’re good and for Alex Smith to be a solid quarterback. Perhaps the Giants contend for a spot, but that team had a lot of holes and now has a first-year coach.

Tim McManus, ESPN Philadelphia Eagles reporter: Eagles win, Cowboys are a wild card. The Eagles will be the first team to win the NFC East in back-to-back seasons since Philly posted four straight first-place finishes from 2001-04. Their schedule is pretty challenging and there are a number of players coming back from major injury, most notably QB Carson Wentz, but the roster is deep enough and the culture strong enough to push through the adversity that awaits. One more NFC East team will end up in the playoffs. The Giants might surprise with a rebound season, but Dallas seems best positioned to make a postseason play.

Jordan Raanan, ESPN New York Giants reporter: Cowboys win, Eagles are a wild card. The Eagles are the favorites coming off a Super Bowl, but they face challenges against history, have a huge target on their backs and have a handful of key players coming off serious injuries. The NFC East hasn’t had a repeat winner since the Eagles in 2004. The streak will continue. My choice instead is the Cowboys, who still managed to win nine games last season despite their star running back Ezekiel Elliott missing a good chunk of the season because of a suspension. Dallas is ready to ride its dominant offensive line and Elliott to a better year. There is no Dez Bryant to keep happy, which will free up quarterback Dak Prescott in order to mask a defense that is barely good enough. But it will be a winning formula. The Cowboys win the division, the Eagles still make the playoffs – as a wild card – while the Giants and Redskins are stuck in mediocrity.

from http://www.espn.com – NFC East https://ift.tt/2JgLUoF
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