NFC East 2006 - 2007 [NFL]

After being called the NFC Least a few years back, the division is now considered by many, once again, to be the best in football. Here is the place to discuss anything about this division: teams, players, games, predictions, whatever for the 2006 - 2007 season.

For those who may not know, the teams in the division (alphabetically) are:


I am a Dallas fan. In sum, the team is in its second year of 3-4 defense, having moved Ellis to outside linebacker. Demarcus Ware is also entering his second year and should improve. An already good defense last year seems improved overall.

The Cowboys were in many close games last year. A missed field goal here or there kept them out of the playoffs. So, on special teams, the Cowboys added Vanderjagt. Nice add. He suffuered a groin pull, but should be ready to go by game 1.

On offense, the big news, of course, is Terrell Owens. He is apparently pulling his crap with his “sore hamstring”, but it doesn’t seem to be really destructive, yet. I don’t think it will be. Once the season starts, I think things will calm down in terms of internal politics, even though T.O. will still be a showboating A-hole. Root for the team, not the player. Hold your nose as he scores touchdowns for Big D.

Somewhat overlooked offensive news is the offensive line. Bledsoe is slow and immobile but has an experienced and deadly arm, so a strong offensive line is key. Larry Allen went to San Francisco for salary cap reasons. Flozell Adams is nursing an injury. From what I read, Parcells is going more with a two-tight end formation for added protection. Based upon preseason games, the offense looks pretty damn sharp even though TO has not played. I think this is another reason TO will fall into line. He may be expendable if his crap gets out of hand. Jamaica Rector is playing in TO’s spot very nicely in preseason.

Lastly, we shall see if Julius Jones can play a full season without injury. He’s apparently spent a lot of time in the gym strengthening up in the off season.

As far as the rest of the division, all the teams look strong, but I don’t have details. Also, I have not looked at the schedule for the season yet.

-Pontificators don’t seem to be sure how strong the Giants are, having won the division last year.

-The Redskins were a playoff team last year and apparently spent a lot of money on talent in the offseason. However, they have done that before with little to show for it in terms of wins.

-The Eagles were a good team two years ago. The TO debacle plus injuries sent them into the division cellar last year. They dumped TO and appear healthy. They seem to be poised for a comeback. Maybe they will try to run the ball a few times this year.

It should be an interesting year in the Eastern Division of the National Football Conference.

Bearflag, could this be combined with Ominiscient’s overall NFL thread? In the interests of one-stop shopping and all…

IIRC, historically (i.e., last year), the predictions thread was mostly a thread about pre-season crystal ball predictions of the outcome of the NFL season. The predictions thread was not a continuing discussion of NFL games and events.

The NFC East thread was an ongoing weekly discussion of the division as events unfolded.

… similar to the annual Steelers thread

Thanks for the explanation. I think I’ve got it now.

Funny, I remember last years thread as a place to come and bash the Cowboys on a weekly basis :cool:

Big Blue looks good. We’ve shored up weaknesses in our defense. The offense has pretty much stood still, so a lot depends on Eli maturing and not turning the ball over as much, and the o-line still providing good protection and running lanes for Tiki. If T.O.-lite keeps his head in the game and on the team, we’ll do very well.

Redskins fan checking in, and chuckling at the impending collapse of the Cowgirls.

Jerry Jones is an unmitigated idiot. Decent team last year, could use improvement at receiver… what does he do? Make a play for any of the high-quality free agent WRs available? Nah… goes against his Hall of Fame coach’s wishes and brings in Jackass T.O. Kind of reminds me of a fateful night when Jerry bragged to Jimmy that he could win a Superbowl without him…

He’s gonna bring your team down. Might not be week one, week five… but it’ll happen.

Meanwhile the 'Skins and Giants will battle it out for the division crown. Eli Manning is way overhyped and will have a middling year. The ground game for the Giants via Tiki Barber is going to lead this team. Danny Snyder, meanwhile, has figured out how to spend his money wisely… on coaches. The greatest collection of NFL minds ever on one staff - Gibbs, Williams, Saunders, Bugel - all former head coaches - are going to lay waste to the NFC East. (Okay, that’s hyperbolic. But it will be awesome to see what those guys can do together.)

I’m an Eagles fan. My opinion is that right now, the Redskins, Eagles, and Giants all have legitimate chances at winning the division, depending on a few critical factors.

The Cowboys, in my opinion, are the weakest team in the division, but that’s really only because somebody has to be. I question what the strength of this team is. Pretty good defense, OK quarterback, a committee backfield, etc. One thing that can’t be overlooked, though, is the short-term TO effect. Yeah, he’s a huge problem, and yeah, in the end fans are going to get stung, but when he’s on the field he wins games. The effect he has on the locker room, so to speak, is rivalled by the effect he has on offensive production. I don’t think anybody would seriously make the argument that having TO was good for the Eagles franchise in the long run, but for one year, he was so nice. Lord, he was lovey-dovey. What I’m saying is, at some point he’s going to be lining up at wideout in a Dallas jersey, and for the purposes of this season, that adds a very scary dimension to the Dallas offense. Defensively they were already all right, and, although I wasn’t as aroused by the pick as everybody else in the world seemed to be, Bobby Carpenter’s a solid addition at a spot where he’s needed. Otherwise, I didn’t like their draft too much (I liked their draft last year, except who thought Ware was going to be a better 3-4 edge rusher than Merriman? Who?). Fasano will help out in the running game, I guess, and I got to see (and like) a lot of Pat Watkins, who’s a physical specimen of the highest order, but why address a position of strength like TE that high in the draft? Off the top of my head, I can’t think of a single skill position they’ve drafted the last two years other than Barber. I guess that’s more of a long-term question than one for this season, though. So, offensive line problems, a good but not great defense, and a lot of questions in the backfield, plus the TO thing… I don’t think all that adds up to a playoff team most of the time.

I don’t like the way Washington is put together, but they do have some talent. Portis, Duckett, Betts, Moss, Lloyd, Randle El, and Cooley is more than enough to win games, and of course the defense hasn’t been a problem in a while. Their offensive schemes last year made me vomit more than once, so any changes they demonstrate under Saunders will be an improvement, probably. How many times can you run the same bubble screen to Cooley? Of course it wouldn’t bother me so much if it hadn’t worked as often as it did. I don’t like Brunell at this point in his career either, so I think in large part the offense will continue to be held back by his limitations. Maybe Jason Campbell ends up as your starter; I don’t know if he can handle it or not, but I think as that position goes, so goes the rest of the team. On the other side of the ball, Archuleta really doesn’t excite me, because now you’ve got two gamblers in coverage at safety on every play. I’d be afraid of one of those two getting caught up and allowing a big play, personally, although both those guys also bring a lot of big play potential in the opposite direction. Andre Carter was probably a better addition than Archuleta was. This is also a pretty shallow team at a lot of spots, especially defensively. I’d say probably not a playoff team, unless they stay healthy, unless they get consistent quarterback play, unless, unless, unless.

The Giants are probably the consensus favorites in the division, I guess. As D_Odds says, they return essentially the same roster. Arrington’s athleticism is a good fit as kind of a rover in an otherwise solid and disciplined front seven, so I think that will be a rare case of a greatly hyped, drawn out signing that pans out. Sam Madison doesn’t appreciably change the face of the defense, in my opinion.

The real question for me is the offense. I still don’t see it from Eli Manning, and I’m one who really expected to. This is going to make me sound like an idiot, but I really thought he was better in college than his brother. But he still makes wildly inaccurate throws, and more importantly, he makes bad throws in places where they become turnovers. He doesn’t, for instance, just overthrow his deep balls occasionally. He overthrows the intermediate throws over the middle. That just can’t happen on a team that’s trying to win a championship by outscoring people. It also doesn’t seem like it’s clicked for him that sometimes the right throw is to dump it off, or to throw the ball away (not to the safety, Eli, out of bounds). It’s like Charlie Weis supposedly said at his first Notre Dame practice, when Brady Quinn forced a throw – “That’s why you’ll always be a 50-50 passer.” I’m obviously not the first person to point out that Manning’s not all that accurate. What I wonder is, is he inaccurate because he’s just inaccurate, or because he’s got the mindset to make throws that he shouldn’t be trying to make, so he’s even hurrying/forcing the right throws? Either way, I don’t think that’s something you fix during one offseason.

So, assuming, as I do, that you’re going to get the same things out of quarterback, where are you going to get more, and where are you going to get less? I don’t think an improvement in the ground game is all that likely. 2400 total yards out of Tiki Barber, I should think, is about as good as you can ask for. Not that he’s not a great back, but the odds are somewhat stacked against 3500 yards in two seasons for a, what, 32 year old? Even if he is the most quietly murderous back in the history of the league. Likewise, I think you got the best shot you’re going to get out of Burress, and I expect a downturn if anything from Toomer. I don’t see any young receivers ready to explode, either; Moss isn’t the kind of guy you can expect that from. How about the defense? You have to be pleasantly surprised if you get another 26-27 sacks out of the starting ends (speaking of whom, Kiwanuka was a ghastly pick, but a really good athlete… if you disregard where they took him he’s an all right addition). The linebackers, if healthy, will be better. All in all, though, it looks to me like the most reasonable assumption is a slightly improved defense (but not vastly so), and a less productive offensive season. So, about the same as last year, really, with an option on worse if the Barbers, Burresses, and Strahans have significantly worse years, which is a legitimate concern, from my perspective.

Which brings us to the Eagles. 2004 – Super Bowl team. 2005 – close to a total disaster. TO’s gone, so there’s the spiritual renewal that comes with that. McNabb’s healthy and looks good in the preseason. Another very important factor. The Eagles picked up Darren Howard via free agency, who will help tremendously with the pass rush, both as an end and as a tackle. In the draft, we got Bunkley in the first round at 14, which was really just an inconceivable value. So, defensive line, and more generally pressure on the quarterback, which was a glaring weakness last year, has undergone a major upgrade. The linebackers are still about the same (read: suck + Trotter), and the secondary is still full of great players who will play better with an improved pass rush after a pretty bad 2005. Offensively, then, starting with the O-line: well, the Eagles were supposed to have been looking at Winston Justice at #14, but obviously they had to jump on Bunkley when he dropped. I’ll let Scouts Inc. tell the story of the Eagles getting Justice at #39 (!) instead:

So, there’s that. The Eagles get Correll Buckhalter back at running back to go with Westbrook, who’s really a really good receiver playing in the backfield. They’ll run the ball more, but they still won’t run the ball. Which leads me to the really important thing: the receivers. Didn’t get Eric Moulds. Didn’t get Javon Walker. Didn’t get Lelie. Didn’t trade for Branch. Didn’t draft Chad Jackson. They did draft a possession guy in Avant, and signed Jabar Gaffney. Still, no big names, which was very disappointing until the Saints decided to give Donte Stallworth up for freaking peanuts. With Stallworth, Reggie Brown, Hank Baskett (who I actually thought they should draft, but ended up not getting drafted at all), and some combination of the other 20 receivers they have in camp, plus LJ Smith, McNabb will actually have a pretty solid mix of targets to throw to. Anyway, long story short, I think they’re back on track. 10-6 is realistic.

Predicted order of finish, with W/L for the hell of it even though it’s ridiculous to act like I know:

Giants: 10-6
Eagles: 10-6
Redskin: 8-8
Cowboys: 6-10

Hyperbole is right. Head coaching experience doesn’t mean coaching genius. How’d the Ravens offense look last year under Jim Fassel? (That hurt to type.)

It’s doubtful that anyone will ever knock the Giants off the top of the list when it comes to “greatest coaching staffs ever”, though there was a decent group in Green Bay in the mid 90s.

In the late 50s, the Giants defensive coordinator was Tom Landry. Offensive coordinator? Vince Lombardi.

You just don’t get better than that.

I’m also very down on the Cowboys this year (or down on them relative to most people’s expectations, at least). Their defense is solid and TO was a nice short-term pickup, but they didn’t do anything to significantly improve their O-line, which was awful last year and should be pretty bad this year.

That O-line combined with Drew Bledsoe at QB is a deadly combination. Quarterbacks are more responsible for sacks than most people realize, and Bledsoe has always taken more than his fair share even with good lines. With a weak line . . . yikes. Last year, 9.3% of the Cowboys’ pass plays resulted in sacks, the 5th worst rate in the league. Bledsoe is going to get knocked around, and when he inevitably gets hurt, it’s Romo-time. This is the worst team in the division, and I don’t think it’s that close.

Gary Danielson said on tv a few years ago, that bf you want to see how a team will do check their second and 3rd qbs. Almost nobody gets through with one and a big dropoff will kill them. They will lose games they are expected to and need to win.

Gary Danielson said on tv a few years ago, that if you want to see how a team will do check their second and 3rd qbs. Almost nobody gets through with one and a big dropoff will kill them. They will lose games they are expected to and need to win.
There is no professional football where I live. Detroit

Sure you do. How about the Giants coaching staff in 1991-1992?


Vanderjagt misses two field goals inside of 35 yards in OT. I’m very sad.

I see he’s picking up where he left off.

Well, woohoo for Big Blue’s 4-0 preseason…

No big deal? Take a look at the last time they accomplished this – 1990, a year that ended in a Giants Super Bowl win. Hey history…mind repeating yourself?

The Redskins on paper look like a fantasy team. They just haven’t shown any rhythm at all on offense this preseason, and the defense which was so solid last year seems to be a little suspect this preseason. Now I realize that the starters haven’t played a whole game together yet and the coaches are using a “vanilla” playbook, but I want to see the “death-by-chocolate” playbook for a few plays dammit. Give the fans (and critics) some glimpse into what we can expect this year.

As for the rest of the division, F**k 'em! Actually, this division is so packed that any team in this division could be a division winner in almost any other division in football. It’s a shame that only one or two of these teams will make the playoffs when 3 of them could easily make it. Of course injuries could ruin any teams year, but right now the NFC (B)East is the best division in football.

Can somebody answer a stupid question for me about last night’s Giants game? Okay, here’s the situation: about ten minutes into the second quarter, Patriots facing third and long. Cassel drops back, and doesn’t find a receiver, so he starts hoofing it downfield, and picks up 25 yards or so. Right before he goes down, holding is called on one of his blockers downfield, wideout K. Kight. Now, I thought the penalty would be assessed at the line of scrimmage, so the Patriots would be facing like third and 26. But instead, the penalty was assessed either at the site of the penalty, or the end of Cassel’s run, so the Patriots only ended up facing third and 1. What gives? Is this a rule change that I missed, or has it always been this way?

Not sure. I assume it’s always been this way. Most holding that gets called happens at or behind the LOS, and for that matter it’s usually pass blocking anyway, so it doesn’t come up much.

How friggin’ awesome was it when J-Load lowered his shoulder and de-cleated Biesel?

I love watching that guy play. I also love the idea that if your nose tackle goes down, you can plug your third-string quarterback into the line.

How about that guy Jacobs? He impressed me a lot.