Point – Counterpoint: NFC East Match-up Predictions
By DC Staff Writer John Manuel & Steve Shoup:
JOHN – POINT:
The Washington Redskins finished last in the NFC East in 2011, going 2-4 in the division. The Skins shockingly led by Rex Grossman had both their wins versus the Super Bowl Champion Giants while being swept by the Cowboys and Eagles. Washington easily could have been .500 only if DeAngelo Hall could make a play versus Dez Bryant late in both Dallas games.
How will they fare against these teams in 2012? Will Robert Griffin III make a difference in his run around the NFC East? How did over 75% of people have Dallas winning the division while only 6% had the Giants in an NFL Network poll? Don’t we miss the days of having the St. Louis/Phoenix/Arizona Cardinals in the NFC East? Time to debate it all, start it off Steve!
STEVE – COUNTERPOINT:
I think the first thing that is clear is apparently NFL Network only ran that poll opposite a Yankees game, as there is no reason the Cowboys should have such a high percentage relative to the Giants. As for the Skins beating New York twice last season, I thought it was a great surprise, but it shouldn’t be something that Redskins fans should come to expect, even with the addition of RGIII. The Giants are a superior team, which is why they were able to win the Super Bowl. We might have caught them napping or banged up, and that is why we play these games, but can anyone really say we were better than the Giants?
And even with Griffin at the helm and a few other new pieces, it is hard to find many areas were this team is superior to their NFC East foes. Obviously there are some teams we match-up better with, but really there isn’t an easy game in this division.
The Skins don’t play a division rival until week 7 versus the Giants. They do have what looks to be some of their weaker opponents leading up to that match in St. Louis and Minnesota before getting into division play. Then again that is all based on last year’s teams but hopefully it will allow them to build some confidence and continuity. Also not forgetting we lost to the Vikings at home without Purple Jesus.
I don’t like our chances versus the rest of the NFC East, but on the positive side the only bad loss was the finale versus the Eagles, but that game was close in the 3rd. The problem I see is that both the Eagles and Cowboys should be better, although I still think Romo could implode in 2012, and the Giants are still the champs. As of August 1st, I wouldn’t expect the Skins to be favored in any of the six games.
I do think it is good that the Skins have some time to build up their confidence (and some added experience for our rookie QB) before they face the division, but I still see no more than 2 wins in the NFC East. I think that talent wise we aren’t good enough to win those two games, but we’ve seen Shanny pull out all the stops in some of divisional games (McNabb’s return to Philly, where he “won” the game ball despite Tebowesque passing numbers comes to mind).
Despite us having the Giants number last year, I think we are more likely to upset Dallas or Philly, though hopefully the Redskins can win the injury battle (fewer and lesser talented contributors of ours injured, compared to theirs), though obviously we aren’t off to a good start there. What games do you see as realistic divisional wins this year?
I am surprised you went as many as 2. I actually see 1-5 as the divisional record. I think they get one of the Dallas games as their only win.
I don’t like their match-ups with the Giants and Eagles this time around. Then again if one of those teams gets off to slow starts their cities can easily turn on Reid or Coughlin. Crazy to say Coughlin but some of the New York fans amaze me still. Although I am far from a Vick believer, I still think we will have lots of trouble against the Eagles no matter where they play. Washington fans don’t worry, one of the good teams will send Philly packing come playoff time and the dynasty beginning will be on hold till 2013. And we are due to take a beating from the Giants after last season’s results.
The NFC East is always going to be exciting when you have Jerry Jones talking glory holes, a QB yet to take a snap in RG3 doing Subway commercials and a team like the Eagles who haven’t won anything claiming dynasties. The Giants are quiet but that is most likely because Brandon Jacobs is in San Fran. Who is the team you feel the Skins have the least favorable matchup with?
I think 1 win is pretty definite, but I think 2 are possible and it will likely be due to a favorable match-up, or injury report (let me put it this way I wouldn’t put a lot of money on 2). I see us being able to beat Dallas at home, but beyond that I’m not sure where that 2nd win necessarily is going to come. For me the least favorable match-up is the Giants. Last year that team was pretty banged up when we played them, and it allowed us to get up on them early.
I know we kept Eli in check last season, but his growth as a QB is getting him near the Peyton territory, and I just don’t see us winning those match-ups with a rookie QB. Add in the fact that either Jammal Brown, Tyler Polumbus or Maurice Hurt will have to slow down a rotation of Osi, Tuck and JPP and I really don’t like our odds in either game.
I am right with you. The Giants games could be disasters in the making up front or a highlight reel of RG3 scrambles and crazy plays. Like something from “Little Giants.” Won’t be a boring watch for sure.
I am far from sold on Dallas this season. I think it’s the beginning of the end for Tony Romo in Dallas and it may not be a pretty ending. Everyone always talks about their receivers, but they let their most productive one walk in Robinson. Dez Bryant looks great at times when he plays, but he may be too busy trying to avoid Jerry Jones spankings. Austin can be explosive but gets nicked up easy. Witten is Witten and solid but I am far from jumping on Murray much like 3 years ago I was far from jumping on Felix Jones.
They did pull a major upgrade in the secondary, but let’s wait and see on Carr and Claiborne until we see them play. Last year it was the Eagles who jumped on new corners and those fellas didn’t really impress as advertised.