2013 NFL Preview: NFC East

NFC East race always entertaining, but who wins it?

9/7/13 in NFL   |   jakeryanbrown   |   28 respect

The NFC East will arguably be the toughest division to predict in 2013.  The Giants, Redskins, and Cowboys all have a shot to win it.  The top of the division really all falls on the knees of Robert Griffin III.  If the Redskins superstar quarterback stays healthy, the Redskins have a shot to continue their winning ways this season.  Eli Manning may have something to say about that though.  Let's take a look at how the tight NFC East race will play out in 2013.  
1. New York Giants (10-6)
Aug 29, 2013; Foxborough, MA, USA; New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) drops back to pass against the New England Patriots during the first quarter at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stew Milne-USA TODAY SportsThe Giants always seem to fall under the radar every year and two Super Bowls later, it's time to show Big Blue some love.  The countdown to the Super Bowl at MetLife Stadium will be hanging in their locker room and this team is motivated.  This team missed out on the playoffs last season, but that’s just more motivation for Tom Coughlin’s squad.  The one issue with the Giants is staying healthy and they are already hobbling into the 2013 season.  Andre Brown will miss the first four to six weeks and running back could be the Giants major weakness.  They are hoping David Wilson could become their guy in the backfield.  Eli Manning has plenty of targets to carry the offense, though.  Rueben Randle is expected to have a breakout season behind Victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks, and their new tight end Brandon Myers.  The Giants biggest weakness is their secondary, especially after losing safety Stevie Brown for the season.  Their pass rush is expected to make up for that with Justin Tuck, Jason Pierre-Paul, Cullen Jenkins, Johnathan Hankins, and Damontre Moore.  If the Giants can stay healthy late in the season, expect them to win the NFC East with a 10-6 record and get to play in their home building in February. 
2. Washington Redskins (10-6)
The Redskins came into the playoffs last year as the hottest team in the NFL,
winning seven straight to Jan 6, 2013; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) drops back to pass during the second quarter of the NFC Wild Card playoff game against the Seattle Seahawks at FedEx Field.  Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports get there.  Their whole reason will rely on the return of Robert Griffin III and him keeping that knee healthy.  The young stud QB has to stay on the field and be the playmaker he was for this team to have success.  His running back Alfred Morris came out of nowhere last season to be one of the best running backs in the NFL in his rookie year.  This is essentially the same team as last season as the Redskins didn’t make may changes in the offseason.  Their secondary got better at safety where they drafted Phillip Thomas and Baccari Rambo.  The defense will definitely see some improvement this season.  This Redskins team is back and ready to go after another NFC East title.  If RGIII can just stay on the field and play like he did in the second half of last season, expect the Redskins to go 10-6 and get to the playoffs as one of the two Wild Card teams.
 3. Dallas Cowboys (8-8) 
Aug 24, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) throws prior to the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY SportsThe Cowboys are always a tough team to predict, especially in a tough NFC East this season.  Dallas didn’t do enough in the offseason to put them ahead of the Giants or Redskins.  The one major change was the switch from the 3-4 defense to a 4-3 defender under new coordinator Monte Kiffin.  The problem is they don’t have enough talent on defense for that to make a significant impact.  The Cowboys are especially weak at safety after losing Gerald Sensabaugh in the offseason. This team is heavily relying on Tony Romo and DeMarco Murray to lead this team and put up a lot of points on offense.  After Murray, this team has no depth in the backfield, though.  The Cowboys offense should be good and put up some points, but their defense will give up more.  Expect Dallas to finish behind the Giants and Redskins with an 8-8 finish.
 4. Philadelphia Eagles (7-9) 
New head coach Chip Kelly will be implementing plenty of changes to this Eagles team, but his Aug 24, 2013; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick (7) rolls out to throw a pass during the first quarter of their game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field. Mandatory Credit: Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sportsstyleisn’t going to work in the NFL.  His radical scheme shifts aren’t going to see as much success in the NFL as they did in college.  The Eagles offense will try to move the ball down the field quickly as they will be going no huddle throughout the game.  With an injury prone quarterback in Michael Vick, don’t expect that to be much of a success in 2013.  This team is still trying to get over the Riley Cooper offseason saga, which still is being talked about over a month later.  On the defensive side, it won’t be pretty in Philadelphia.  The defensive line got worse as they switch to a 3-4 defense.  Their secondary is completely revamped, after their defense gave up the most touchdown passes in the league last season.  The defense will be a big reason the Eagles finish 7-9 and in the cellar of the NFC East in 2013. 
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