April 11, 2014 in Redskins Offseason
Earlier this week I wrote an article why I liked the Redskins better than the other NFC East opponents. Now let's take a look at the other side of it…
1. Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles could sign Randall Cunningham today to come back and play quarterback and it still wouldn't be a bigger story in Philadelphia than DeSean Jackson's departure. The Eagles do lose a big play talent in Jackson but they feel his loss is actually going to be a positive for the entire team. At first I laughed it off and thought Chip Kelly was crazy to let Jackson go for nothing and to a division rival, but if I am an Eagles fan it has to reassuring that the team has clearly supported Kelly's call here. I am shocked no one has come to defend Jackson and even say they wish he was still around. Is he that bad in the locker room? Could be which worries me when it comes to the Eagles and the Skins. As for replacing the talent on the field the Eagles are in a decent spot in the first round to add a third receiver at a cheaper cost than Jackson who can fill in much like Dallas saw last season with Terrance Williams.
Chip Kelly's first season had to be considered a positive one even after a home playoff loss to New Orleans. Part of me as I stated before wondered if the league in year two can catch up to Kelly. That is a huge question when it comes Kelly and the Eagles but I don't think with Kelly it’s similar to figuring out the read option. Kelly's offense is just faster. Add Darren Sproles into the mix and it could be tougher to stop especially for a team that struggles on defense like the Redskins. The Eagles also will most likely plan on having Jason Peters closer to 100% than the last couple seasons to pair with a second year Lane Johnson. Brian Orakpo who will once again be in a contract year must be able to raise havoc versus these guys if the Redskins want to slow down Kelly, Foles, McCoy and the Eagles.
Philly added Malcolm Jenkins to help in the back and I am not a huge fan but what do the Skins still have at safety? I think it’s more of a concern at that spot for Washington.
The Eagles swept the Redskins after blowing huge leads in both games last season and for the Redskins to be better it will take a huge jump from them. It is not crazy to think the Eagles could drop a game or two back but I can't see them doing anything close to what Washington did from 2012 to 2013.
Tom Coughlin will always get criticized in New York no matter how many rings he can show. One thing we know about Coughlin is that he has been and will continue to be one of the top coaches in the NFL. We don't know yet what kind of coach Jay Gruden is yet. What worries me about the Giants most is that there is a potential to see a Coughlin vs. Zorn type mismatch on the sidelines between these two teams. Also, just like Coughlin, when you think Eli Manning is also is down a bit too, he finds a way to bounce and do things like win Super Bowls. Griffin has the potential to bounce back and Manning has proved time and again he can bounce back and win big games.
What the Giants did in the offseason also was to go out and shop at quantity more than go after the big price guys. Rodgers-Cromartie cost them a bit but a guy who might be just as good like Thurmond did not. The Giants seem to fills holes with two guys instead of just one. Just by simple math they have a better chance it works out. And they don't have a rookie coach like the Redskins to try and piece it all together.
Like the Eagles the Giants swept the Redskins in 2013. Both games were pretty ugly including a week 17 disaster in the rain. Can the Redskins make a move to catch the Giants? I think so because I think the Giants are a team in limbo. They have been in the mix for a long time now and at some point the wheels fall off with almost every organization for a year like it did last season in Washington.
The Dallas offense if their key figures can stay healthy should still be one of the best in the league. If Dez Bryant can find a way to be more consistent he will be right up there with Calvin Johnson on the field and not just in his head. That is what most worries me about the Cowboys. They have the offensive parts to make them still a division contender and if some of those parts can even get better like a Murray and a Williams they could be scary on offense. Witten is Witten and you can expect him to contribute. But the key is always Romo and if he can get over the problems he has had in big games. Good news for Skins fan is Rob Jackson is back in the mix. Dallas would have been smart to grab him just so Romo didn't have to see him.
As for the defense, it was as bad as you could get when it comes to defense. They went 8-8 even with a defense that bottom ranked offensives could scorch. So they can't be as bad as last season because I don't think it is possible. So if the old school coaches can do any kind of turnaround with the Dallas defense they have to be improved. Everyone here thinks that without Shanahan having the vice on Haslett that he will be able to improve the Washington defense so it’s far to think that the same can happen in Dallas.
Like the Eagles and the Giants the Dallas Cowboys swept the Redskins in 2013. They won five more games than Washington as well. Can the Redskins close the gap on Dallas? I think so because I don't think there is a huge difference in talent here and unlike the Giants and Eagles I am far from concerned about coaching. Like I mentioned with the Giants it wouldn't be crazy to see the Cowboys have the huge drop to a 4 or 5 win team. But then again if they can finally get everything going they could win the KFC East also.