There was a span of years where teams dreaded playing the NFC East. The coaches, Andy Reid and Tom Coughlin with the longest tenure, followed by Mike Shanahan and Jason Garrett, all ran teams that competed every year. The games, outside of the Dallas Cowboys at home, were played in brutal winter conditions. Incoming opponents knew they were in for a challenge. Those years are now over. Let’s take a look at last season.
Last year the Washington Redskins turned in a 10-6 record under the arm and legs of Robert Griffin III. This was Griffin’s first season in the league and his success reminded us of the Michael Vick effect. Now, entering his second year, the game tape is out. Defenses will have time to plan and scheme to face him. Griffin will need to up his game and that isn’t always easy for a new quarterback.
The New York Giants ended the season 9-7. They were a team just removed from the Super Bowl and are often a puzzle of results. Eli Manning can look great and horrible in the same game. They would put up a run of dominating play and then find a way to lose. One of the Eagles four wins last year came against the Giants.
The Cowboys ended the season 8-8 and a team in shambles. Tony Romo, despite getting a new deal, is consistently lackluster in pressure situations. They hired Monte Kiffin as defensive coordinator this year and he must be cringing knowing that he will face Chip Kelly twice. Kiffin just came off a stint as a coach for USC where Kelly routinely thrashed his defensive squad.
It is not unheard of for a team to come off a losing season and make the playoffs the next year. Kelly and Billy Davis will face challenges, but if they do their homework and come out attacking the opposition, they can put a serious dent in the division. Don’t be surprised to see the team in the playoffs this year.