Can Vick and the Philadelphia Eagles maintain control of the AFC East?
Philadelphia Eagles (2010 ATS 8-8)
The Philadelphia Eagles are a team that seems to fight themselves as much, if not more, than any
other team in the league each season. High profile storylines and
controversies have come to define them in the Reid era. Last year it was
the Vick/Kolb saga. In the end Vick regained most of his form, developed
as a quarterback, and becomes the main man going into 2011.
They owned their division once again and played real well on the
road. McCoy gave them a legitimate threat to replace Westbrook,
they scored well in all drive categories, took care of the football, and
terrorized opposing quarterbacks.
Unfortunately, they stunk at home, couldn't protect Vick whatsoever, took far
too many penalties, and couldn't stop a high school team in the red zone. In the draft they took the crowd favorite Watkins to improve the O-line and a
safety in round two - presumably to replace Mikell.
According to the NFL betting odds, the Eagles currently have the best shot of winning the Super Bowl in comparison to their AFC East competition, listed at 15/1 at Bodog.
To-do list:solidify O-line, resign Bradley, fill needs at CB, S, DE, and
Biggest post-lockout question: Can Juan Castillo really coach a defense?
New York Giants (2010 ATS 7-9)
The New York Giants were their typical up and downs selves in 2010. They beat
everyone they were supposed to, but failed under the bright lights. Special teams also really let them down, but other than that they had a lot
going for them last year.
Coughlin's smash-mouth run game put up great numbers, the O-line did a great
job in protection, and they had good ball control and drive stats. On
defense, they gave opposing quarterbacks a lot of sleepless nights, and they
knew how to get off the field on 3rd down. Overall they were solid
in most critical areas.
Yet, 'solid' isn't good enough when it comes to making noise come
January. I expect Nicks to make people in NY dismiss any notion
that Plaxico Burress is coming back, and their main area of focus in the draft was on
defense (they drafted a CB and DT). Fewell had an underrated year as
To-do list: re-sign Bradshaw, keep Boss, fill needs at LT and G.
Biggest post-lockout question: Will Umenyiora stay in NY with the team
11 million over the cap?
Dallas Cowboys (2010 ATS 6-10)
How the mighty have fallen. What should be made of the Dallas Cowboys? The team completely tanked it last year almost in protest to Wade
Phillips. Once Jason Garrett took over the players decided to come in and
earn their paychecks. Not exactly the sign of a well-oiled machine.
Garrett will have challenges heading into 2011. His pass defense
completely sucked, couldn't stop anybody in the red zone, get off the field on
3rd down, or give any top team any type of challenge.
So where does he start? Well he does have good lines on both sides of the
ball to work with and they went out and drafted a LB, S, and G in the top
couple of rounds. Romo will return healthy and Bryant could breakout in
2011. We'll see what they do in free agency, but it looks like all signs
are pointing up in Texas.
To-do list: Fill big needs at S, resign Free, solidify O-line, upgrade at
G, DE, CB.
Biggest post-lockout question: Is Romo really the right guy for this
team, and if he can't be a leader--who will?
Redskins (2010 ATS 8-5-3)
At the other end of the spectrum are the Washington Redskins. Does anybody in the
league have any respect for this organization anymore? It continues to be
a place where guys just come to get paid. Shanahan was supposed to come
in and provide them with stability, but he was the source of more dissension
than anybody else last season.
In his defense, Washington is the kind of place that needs to be blown up before it
can be set right. Despite their record, they did step up and play good vs
tough opponents last year. At the same time, there are weaknesses up and
down the roster still. They were terrible on the ground on both sides of
the ball. Stopping the pass was even worse thanks in large part to
their inability to rush the quarterback. On offense they couldn't sustain
drives worth a lick.
This all leaves Washington with far more questions going into free agency than all
other teams in the division combined. They did address the defensive line
in the draft, but what will be their strategy when the market opens up?
To-do list: figure out QB, upgrade O-line/RB, fill needs at CB, LB, DE,
WR, RT. Put an end to the Haynesworth chapter one way or another.
Biggest post-lockout question: Has Shanahan really changed anything in
Washington or this is a case of same old, same old in Snyder-Land?
your thoughts? Check out the SBR Forum and share your opinions and keep a close eye on the opening
betting odds for the 2011 season.