Around the NFC East

Posted: September 7th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 23 Comments »
phi vs dal

2011 will be another season where the Boys and Birds battle for NFC East dominance.



Today the Giants lost MLB Jonathan Goff to a torn ACL.  Reportedly, he bumped knees with a teammate in practice.  This hurts.  Rookie Greg Jones is listed as the backup MLB.  It will be interesting to see if the Giants stick with him or look for a veteran.

The Giants have now lost 2 of their top 4 tacklers from last year to ACL tears (CB Terrell Thomas and Goff).  Osi Umenyiora is dealing with nagging injuries.  Rookie DT Marvin Austin went on IR with an upper body injury.  LB Clint Sintim is out for the year.  Backup CB Brian Witherspoon is also out for the year.  That’s a tremendous amount of season ending injuries before the first game.

The team is still loaded with pass rushers (Tuck, JPP, Kiwanuka), but has an odd group of DTs.  Chris Canty, Rocky Bernard, Jimmy Kennedy, and Linval Joseph combined for 4 sacks and 5 TFLs last year.  The Giants let Barry Cofield and his 4 sacks walk in free agency.  That group is big and has some potential, but also could prove to be a weaker area than expected.

The Giants have a strong set of skill players, with one exception.  With slot receiver Steve Smith and TE Kevin Boss gone, you wonder who Eli will get the ball to in the middle of the field.  Nicks and Manningham are the outside guys.  Either guy can move to the slot, but that leaves the Giants weaker on the outside.  They need Domenik Hixon or one of the young receivers to step their game up.

The OL has some issues.  The right side is good, but there is change beyond that.  David Baas comes over from the Niners to be the C.  David Diehl moves from LT to LG, his more natural position.  William Beatty is the new LT.  He was up and down in the preseason.  Beatty can be a good run blocker, but his pass protection is less than ideal.

The Giants have some big time pieces still in place, but their degree of difficulty on being a playoff team has gone substantially up due to all the injuries.  Interesting note about the Giants.  They won the SB in 2007.  They won the NFC East in 2008 and looked like the best team in the NFL for a while.  They began 2009 5-0 and looked like the best team in the league after demolishing the Raiders, 44-7.  Last year the Giants started off 6-2 and once again looked like one of the best teams in the league.  The ’08, ’09, and ’10 seasons ended badly.  Even if the Giants look good early on, there is going to be doubt about them until they win in November and December.


John Beck was the QB all spring and summer.  Now it’s Rex Grossman.  Either way, is anyone really worried?  Rex started 3 games late last year.  He was 1-2 and led the team to 21.3 ppg.  The Skins offense is definitely improved, but I’m not buying that it will suddenly be some explosive unit.  The Skins scored 30 points in one game last year.  I’m supposed to believe that Tim Hightower, Rex Grossman, and Jabar Gaffney solve all the offensive problems?

The defense should be much better, but then again improving from 31st in the league isn’t a huge challenge.  This year the team has personnel that better fit the 3-4 scheme.  I’m not enamored with Barry Cofield at NT.  I like him more as a 4-3 DT, but he signed up knowing what he was getting into.  Ryan Kerrigan is the key guy.  If he proves to be a good pass rusher, that changes everything.  Last year Brian Orakpo was the only one up front who could rush the passer.  He had 8.5 sacks.  After that, several guys tied with 2.5 sacks.

Mike Lombardi has picked the Skins to win the division.  I don’t know what the heck he’s drinking, but I’d like to try it.  The team will be better, but just because they played well in August doesn’t mean squat during the regular season.  Just ask Steve Spurrier.  He looked like Vince Lombardi in preseason games, but more like Ray Handley in the regular season.


Jerry Jones decided to revamp his O-line and got rid of some veterans.  Sound familiar?  The Cowboys actually outdid the Eagles.  They have a rookie at LG and RT.  They have a C with only 1 career start and who was a UDFA in 2010.  The line will be smaller and more athletic than last year.  It will be interesting to see which line does better, us or them.

Dallas is still loaded at the skill positions, assuming they can make up for Roy Williams dropped passes and sporadically lethargic effort.  I have faith that they’ll come up with something.  If the Boys stay healthy and the line works as expected, they could score a lot of points.

Can they stop anyone?  LB Anthony Spencer needs a big time bounce-back year to help DeMarcus Ware out.  CBs Mike Jenkins and Terrence Newman also need bouce-back seasons.  Abram Elam and Gerald Sensabaugh are veteran Safeties.  We’ll see how they play in 2011.  For some reason, Keith Brooking is still listed as a starter at ILB.  At some point Sean Lee should take that role from him.  Rob Ryan is the new Defensive Coordinator, but I think some of the hype that comes with him is based more on his last name than his track record.  Rob has only had one unit finish in the Top 10 in fewest yards or points allowed in his 7 years of running an NFL defense.  Wade Phillips has an infinitely better track record.  Ryan has a great last name and a fiery personality, but the truth is that he’s been a middle of the road DC in the NFL.  Dallas gives him a chance to coach talented players and to benefit from a good offense.  We’ll find out just how good a coach Rob really is.

I think Dallas is the key competition for the NFC East title.  Staying healthy will be crucial for the Cowboys.  I’m not a big fan of their depth.

* * * * *

For those of you who like to keep up with the other NFC East teams, there is one crucial site:

It’s run by Jimmy K.  He does a great job of covering the 4 teams and providing good information.  He’s not very smart.  He’s not a gifted writer.  He’s wanted in 37 different states for various crimes.  And yet, he somehow manages to run the best NFC East site out there.  Miracles never cease, huh?  Make sure to check it out.  Just don’t make direct eye contact with him or touch his new fur coat.

23 Comments on “Around the NFC East”

  1. 1 Tommy Lawlor said at 12:37 AM on September 7th, 2011:

    Here are the experts picks:

  2. 2 D3Keith said at 1:16 AM on September 7th, 2011:

    You were kind to Jimmy there.

    I wish more people would point that Ryan stat out; even in the ’06 season when he led the 3rd ranked yardage defense, he had the 17th scoring D. And while one might argue he hasn’t always had a wealth of talent to work with, one might also argue he doesn’t this year either.

    I actually like the Redskins. I don’t think they’re great, but now that their personnel fits both their offensive and defensive schemes, and they got rid of the BS in the locker room, I don’t see how they can be worse. I like Rexy over Beck too. They might not win many more than six games, but they should be functional. Granted I’m not exactly scared of them either.

    With the Giants’ injuries, I used to see them as the No. 2 team in the division. Now I’m thinking:
    1. Eagles
    2. Cowboys
    3. Redskins
    4. Giants

  3. 3 theguyotc said at 1:52 AM on September 7th, 2011:

    I just did a fanpost on BGN about my list of worries for the Eagles this year (kind of like your post, only you know what you’re talking about).

  4. 4 JimmyK said at 3:04 AM on September 7th, 2011:

    36. Let’s just say that local sheriff in North Dakota won’t be poking around in my business anymore.

  5. 5 theguyotc said at 3:09 AM on September 7th, 2011:

    @ JimmyK

    Didn’t even know it was possible to commit a crime in North Dakota. How much can a frozen tumbleweed be worth?

  6. 6 w-w-J-J-d said at 8:30 AM on September 7th, 2011:

    2 things. why don’t you putting bloggingthebeast on the blogroll then and also could you clean up some of the links over there…some of them are old/dead-ish

  7. 7 FinnEagle said at 8:46 AM on September 7th, 2011:

    This is getting ridiculous! When talking about NFL broadcasting, I don`t think that Eagles would be something that needs to be discussed.

  8. 8 Cliff said at 8:47 AM on September 7th, 2011:

    Lombardi picking the Skins is one of thos pundit moves where they say something to sound like a genius, knowing just about nobody will remember 5 months later when Washington is 8-8.

    As if I didn’t hate the Cowboys enough, they went and added a Ryan to keep the bulletin board material coming. Really dumb move. You’d think Ryan fits that “Big D attitude,” but that’s just not what the Cowboys need. Distractions kill them every season. A few years ago it was Romo and his girlfriends, then it was T.O., now it’s a Ryan who actually can’t back up what’s coming

  9. 9 Cliff said at 8:48 AM on September 7th, 2011:

    * back up what’s coming out of his mouth.

  10. 10 ppk said at 9:00 AM on September 7th, 2011:

    re:BGN — Good post.

    I hadn’t realized how inexperienced is the Cowgirls O line. With Trent Cole talking about our D line feeling like hungry lions, I look forward to Romo being fresh meat.

  11. 11 Tommy Lawlor said at 9:19 AM on September 7th, 2011:

    @ wwJJd…

    I did just add Blogging the Beast to the blog roll. Honestly thought I’d done that a while ago.

    The other links all work for me.

  12. 12 juggadore said at 9:31 AM on September 7th, 2011:

    Hey jimmyK is smarter than I am so that’s all I care about.

    I agree with D3Keith. eagles, cowboys, redskins, giants. I feel bad putting the giants so far down though.

    Also, number changes: I’m glad Ronnie Brown changed his number. I didnt like seeing anyone else wearing #36.

  13. 13 deg0ey said at 10:00 AM on September 7th, 2011:

    Do we think that the Skins will pick up Garrard? He’s not gonna have a whole lot of options and is a definite upgrade over Grossman and Beck. IMO Washington become a much bigger threat this season if they have a decent QB.

  14. 14 Tommy Lawlor said at 10:07 AM on September 7th, 2011:

    I think Team Shanny wants a veteran QB they can control. Rexy Beck is their guy(s). Garrard would come in and have to be re-trained. They’d have to hope he bought in to their way of doing things. I think David will go elsewhere.

  15. 15 cvd said at 11:10 AM on September 7th, 2011:

    Our dline could have a field day against the cboys oline.

    What is #18 doing in that pic? It looks like he is using the force

  16. 16 Kevin (RC) said at 11:14 AM on September 7th, 2011:

    Eagles re-sign Joselio Hanson. Hopefully it means we drop Trevard Lindley. Hanson at a reduced price? Awesome.

  17. 17 GermanEagle said at 11:20 AM on September 7th, 2011:

    Re re-signing Hanson.

    I hope Asante won’t get traded!!

  18. 18 Alex K said at 11:30 AM on September 7th, 2011:

    It’s funny to see how many national pundits are now leaping off the Eagles bandwagon because they don’t want to be seem unoriginal.

  19. 19 Thunderlips said at 11:31 AM on September 7th, 2011:

    Goodbye Dream Team….

  20. 20 Thunderlips said at 11:35 AM on September 7th, 2011:

    #Eagles officially announce a two-year deal with Joselio Hanson. Trevard Lindley is released.

    Hello Dream Team! The dramatic return of MmmBop!

  21. 21 GermanEagle said at 11:43 AM on September 7th, 2011:

    I’m really curious if Ronnie Brown gives up his #21 now…lol

  22. 22 phillybirdzfan said at 11:51 AM on September 7th, 2011:

    So… Hanson tested the waters and decided to take the paycut that may have been offered a week ago?

  23. 23 D3Keith said at 8:45 PM on September 7th, 2011:

    “Lombardi picking the Skins is one of those pundit moves where they say something to sound like a genius, knowing just about nobody will remember 5 months later when Washington is 8-8. ” <—- This.

    Not that anybody cares, but one of the things we do with the D3 site is review all the preseason predictions in January to see how they panned out.

    In the NFL, it's way too easy to be let off the hook, partially because there are so many people doing predictions, but mostly because picks are disposable and there's no risk in going out on a limb.

    "It’s funny to see how many national pundits are now leaping off the Eagles bandwagon because they don’t want to be seem unoriginal."

    <— Yup. Nobody cares about being right, they care about being heard. There's no love in being safe and right, and there's no consequences for being wrong. Just look at [fill in name of talking head].

    Same deal with picking the Lions to improve. Nobody's doing it anymore because it's been said.

    I am a little surprised, though, how many pundits are picking the same teams to be good this year as last year. Falcons will definitely win 13 games again :roll eyes: