NFC East - What You Need To Know
-Record Last Year 9-7, Wildcard; Beat Bears 16-15 in Wildcard round; Lost to Saints 20-14 in Divisional Round
-Season Win total 10 -125, +105
-Odds to win NFC East -125
-Odds to win NFC 5-1, 3rd favorite behind Rams and Saints
-Odds to win Super Bowl 13-1, 5th betting favorite
-Odds to make Playoffs -225
-Lots of hype surrounding the Eagles this season, most notable of course Carson Wentz returning from his slew of injuries. All indications are he's back and ready to go. I would argue the division is down overall as well with the Giants and Skins, and possibly the Cowboys all taking a step back, which is partially the reason for the positive vibe around this team and their chances in the division this season.
-One thing to note, they did just have to sign 40-yr old Josh McCown away from his job at ESPN as a backup QB after losing Kessler in the preseason, so if Wentz goes down again, lookout.
-I really like some of the off-season moves, bringing in Jordan Howard from Chicago, resigning Jason Peters, and very underrated, they brought in Zach Brown from the Redskins to play Middle LineBacker, kind of the centerfielder for the defense so to speak.
-Scheduling wise they catch brakes as well, playing the 26th rated schedule in the league. They do have a 3-road game in a row stretch from weeks 6-8 in October, which only a few teams get a year, and they were one of them. It's never a good thing. The games are @Vikings, @Dallas and @Buffalo-- but if they can get through that they do get a bye before the Patriots game, and then the schedule really opens up, Seattle, Miami, Giants, Redskins, Cowboys and Giants again to end the year. Not exactly murderers row.
-They were also -6 in Turnover Differential last year and they were still able to get to 9 wins and a playoff spot. That TO differential should improve this year with Wentz back and an improved offensive unit overall.
-Record Last Year 10-6, NFC East Division Champs; Beat Seattle 24-22 in Wildcard Round; Lost to Rams 30-22 in Divisional Round
-Season Win total 9 +105, -125
-Odds to win NFC East +155
-Odds to win NFC 12-1
-Odds to win Super Bowl 22-1
-Odds to make Playoffs +110
-The Cowboys offseason news cycle of course has been dominated by the Ezekiel Elliott holdout, and unlike Melvin Gordon's, I think Zeke has a legit case here and this one could drag on. Not helping matters is Jerry Jones joke yesterday saying "Zeke who", and then they resigned Jalen Smith for $65m. So along with Smith's contract, they have to resign Zeke, Dak, and Amari Cooper...only so much money to go around.
-On top of that you have backup RB Tony Pollard stepping in and doing pretty well in the preseason, which of course only raises the debate of how much are RBs really worth. He rushed for 5 carries and 42 yards and a TD last game, and Week 1 had 4 carries for 16, so pump the brakes on him for now in my opinion.
-Dallas is a team on paper that is solid, its just the same thing every year. They have coaching issues with Garrett which we've chronicled over the years, Jerry Jones is a bigger problem the more he gets involved in things seemingly, and I'm still not sold on Dak Prescott--He's above average yes, but I have yet to see anything to indicate that he's the guy to get you to a Super Bowl, much less winning one.
-Last year he had 22 passing TDs and 8 Int, with a 67% completion percentage, but to be honest, that's not going to get it done in today's NFL. For comparison, that's 16th among eligible QBs last year. Patrick Mahomes led the league with 50, Andrew Luck had 39 and then Russell Wilson and Matt Ryan both had 35. So 22 isn't going to cut it.
-That said, this is a team that is extremely talented, and if Garrett can somehow figure it out in his 10th year, with a record of 77-59, I can see them making some noise down the road.
New York Giants
-Record Last Year 5-11, last place in the NFC East
-Season Win total 5.5 -130, +100
-Odds to win NFC East 11-1
-Odds to win NFC 40-1
-Odds to win Super Bowl 80-1
-Odds to make Playoffs 5-1
-I'll say this about the Giants drafting Daniel Jones...at least they've BEGUN the process of replacing Eli Manning, one that should have started about 5 years ago. I understand that Eli won them Super Bowls, the first one being ELEVEN years ago, but at a certain point you have to cut bait. They tried a little bit a few years ago when they benched him, and the fans all but revolted, and they were forced to put him back in there, but the numbers are what they are. The Giants were 5-11 last year, and 3-13 the year before for a grand total of 8-24 over the last 2 years.
-On top of that they found the need to trade arguably the best WR in the league this offseason in Odell Beckham and make no other significant improvements across the board. On top of that Sterling Shepard fractured his thumb last month, and is questionable for Week 1, and Golden Tate is suspended the first 4 games for the PED Suspension, so not a lot to like with the QB and receiving core.
-There's a reason Saquon Barkley is going 1st overall in most drafts..he's going to have to carry this entire offense on his back which is great for fantasy owners, not so great for his long-term durability.
-Defensively this was a team that was 24th in yards allowed, and 23rd in points allowed last year. Improvements? Minimal--They signed Dexter Lawrence and DeAndre Baker, nice players, not going to get you over the hump.
-There's a reason this win total is hovering around 5.5, that said there's one bright spot for the Giants and it's the schedule--27th Strength of schedule overall with definite winnable games on the schedule against the Cardinals, Dolphins, Bills, Redskins, Jets, and Lions which is the ultimate reason I passed this win total.
-Record Last Year 7-9, 3rd in the NFC East
-Season Win total 6 -110, -110
-Odds to win NFC East 12-1
-Odds to win NFC 50-1, long-shot along with Arizona
-Odds to win Super Bowl 125-1
-Odds to make Playoffs 5-1
-Is there a more mediocre or boring franchise right now than the Washington Redskins? 7-9 last year, 7-9 the year before that, and 8-7-1 the year before that. They remind me of the Miami Dolphins over the year---not good enough to make the playoffs consistently, but not bad enough to get top draft picks that could turn your franchise around.
-I think Jay Gruden is definitely on the hot seat this year, and he knows it, all but admitting it earlier this summer. He's entering his 6th season as Head Coach, and has a 35-44-1 record, with 1 playoff appearance and 0 playoff victories. He's held his job much longer than a lot of other coaches would these days in the NFL with those numbers.
-He did lose his QB last year, Alex Smith, so they have a 3-way race going on right now between Dwayne Haskins, Case Keenum, and Colt McCoy--not exactly Montana, Marino and Brady. In doing my reading, I think if they had their choice, they'd start the season off with McCoy, but it looks like he might not be available and they don't want to throw Haskins out there, so it looks like Keenum may get the start almost by default.
-Their All-Pro OL Trent Williams continues his holdout, and the longer than drags on, the more likely it is they probably will have to trade him.
-Their season win total has seen Sharp action on the Under. It opened as high as 7 in some shops, and now has been bet down to 6 flat, which I think is right. When you see the way Haskins has struggled, the Trent Williams situation, and just the overall poor culture that the Redskins have generally speaking, this is probably a 6 or 7 win team.