It is tough to argue why I could like the Redskins better than a team that won a zillion more games than them last season but I have a couple reasons why.
First, these teams were in the exact opposite spots at this time last season most will forget. Nick Foles was far from a lock at QB for Philly. Then he exploded with Chip Kelly once he took over for Mike Vick. But he lost one of his weapons and crazy but he lost him to the Skins. That has to have an impact on their offense even with adding Darren Sproles to their mix. More will be expected from rabid concert goer Riley Cooper and Jeremy Maclin who is coming off an ACL. And of course we in Washington now know a lot about returning from ACLs. LeSean McCoy is great….at football…not at Twitter but running backs as we have seen can take steps back. I doubt he does but it’s possible.
And I am still not sold on their defense. Fletcher Cox is a top d-lineman, Trent Cole and Connor Barwin are still disruptive on the outside but I am far from sold on the secondary. Just from the eye test last season they got away with all kind of holds and contact, just ask the Arizona Cardinals. They can use the draft to add on the d side or a replacement for Desean but I am still far from sold.
The Saints game was very telling once they got out of an Eagles fan friend of mine called it the KFC East. The Saints slowed the Kelly offense down and Foles looked very average. A tough way to end of the season so let’s see if they can rebound as the defending champs.
2. New York Giants
The Giants made all kinds of moves in free agency. So much they looked like the Yankees more than the Giants. Well note fair because the Giants did actually add guys in their 20s not mid-30s. Will this pay off? Most were low risk adds but they will be dependent on DRC and Thurmond revamping their defensive backfield. Is DRC a top corner? He got paid like one so let’s see him take on the best of the KFC East. I was shocked the Giants spent a lot of money but failed to hang onto Linval Joseph? The defense is very different and Perry Fewell will have to piece it together if they want to improve but they still do not scare me.
The offense will need a bounce back from Eli Manning behind a new offensive line crew. New York added a lot of mid-level talent to try and fix an aging crew. I still think this unit could breakdown and Eli could be looking at another turnover machine season. Gone are Hakeem Nicks and his Stevie Nicks like touchdown production of 2013. The running game has been most erratic in the division the past few seasons but Jennings should help by adding to the mix. But still they aren’t looking at having a Morris, McCoy or Murray in NY.
So unlike past seasons I saw the Giants with Manning and Coughlin as the favorites in the East but not anymore. They could jump back in and win it but I am not scared of the at all. I like Coughlin over the unknown of Gruden but nowhere else do I see the Gmen having a legit advantage.
3. Dallas Cowboys
Dallas finally paid the price of having Jerry and Stephen Jones run the team. They were handcuffed this offseason for paying the price of bad personnel moves that haven’t paid off with any playoff success. Dallas lost more than it added to historically bad defense watching Ware and Hatcher roll. The Redskins Defense can look at Dallas and actually say there is a defense on the same level. And the Skins were at least able to add some pieces this Spring. I can write all day on Dallas bad signings much like I have from the Cerrato Skins. Easy one I can mention. Brandon Carr got crazy money. I was in Dallas and heard radio guys talking he was a shutdown top of the line corner. The next week Megatron almost broke the single game yardage record against him. Jones prays that Rod Marinelli can turn around this defense this summer. Where was Rod last season? Part of that horrific defense.
Of for the offense it still does look good on paper. We make Romo jokes but he can move that team down the field. But remember how his season ended? With a major back injury so that has to be a concern. Brandon Weeded is there now and somehow Kyle Orton and his $4 million cap number is also. DeMarco Murray is impressive but he is the most fragile star in the league now. Well maybe that should actually go to his own teammate Sean Lee, who is another concern for the miserable Dallas D. Dez is there and still can be a freak but he still has babysitters. Babysitters! I think it’s the biggest laughable joke in the league still. So I never think he is out of the woods of doing something idiotic. Jason Witten is still the best tight end in the league. I wish he would start to decline but he hasn’t yet. Your Dallas o-line got better last season but you can still pressure Romo when you need to.
Dallas has become the kings of 8-7 going into week 17 and losing to miss the playoffs. I don’t think week 17 is going to have the same importance it has the past few seasons. Jason Garrett has to be gone at some point and this could be the year. Dallas doesn’t scare me.
Next up. Why I think the Redskins aren’t better than…
#KFC East credit goes to Eagles fan John Neher