Year in and year out the NFC East continues to be one of the most interesting, dysfunctional, talented, yet overdramatic divisions in the entire NFL, and the 2015 season will not be any different. Tim Tebow is back in the league, the Dallas Cowboys are Super Bowl contenders, Chip Kelly might be a genius or just completely insane, New York is still in shambles and Washington continues to let the Robert Griffin III drama play itself out. The one thing football fans can count on is the entertainment value coming out of the NFC East.
Let's take a closer look at the division, important games and predictions for the 2015 season. All odds come from Bovada.
Super Bowl Odds: +1000
NFC East Odds: +125
Games of Consequence : Weeks 2 at Philadelphia; Week 4 at New Orleans; Week 5 against New England; Week 7 at New York (Giants); Week 8 against Seattle; Week 9 against Philadelphia; Week 14 at Green Bay
Dallas' biggest concern entering the 2015 season will be recreating the magic at the running back position after DeMarco Murray left the team during the offseason. The Cowboys signed former Oakland Raider Darren McFadden to help cover up the loss of Murray and will employ a running-back-by-committee approach. The team is hoping that its powerful offensive line was the main reason for Murray's success last season.
Schedule wise, the Cowboys have four difficult non-division matchups against the Saints, Patriots, Seahawks and Packers, and they must come away with a 2-2 split if they plan on winning the NFC East this season. Overall, the schedule is manageable for the team, so expect Dallas to produce another double-digit win season.
Prediction : 11-5, division champions
Super Bowl Odds: +1800
NFC East Odds: +180
Games of Consequence : Week 2 against Dallas; Week 5 against New Orleans; Week 9 at Dallas; Week 13 at New England; Week 14 against Buffalo; Week 15 against Arizona
Philadelphia has made a series of high-profile and downright weird moves over the offseason, and Coach Kelly is positioning himself to be viewed as either a genius or completely insane. The organization got rid of its star running back, starting quarterback, but then stole Murray away from the Cowboys and traded for Sam Bradford. The moves have the potential to pay off, yet they were seen as head-scratching decisions according to most NFL experts.
Schedule-wise the Eagles look to have an easier road to the playoffs than the Cowboys, and the team only has three difficult non-division matchups against the Saints, Patriots and Cardinals. The squad also has a soft load to begin the year and could race out of the gate with a 6-1 record before its Week 8 bye. The back half of the schedule is where things will get difficult. Expect another close NFC East division race.
Prediction : 10-6
New York Giants
Super Bowl Odds: +2800
NFC East Odds: +300
Games of Consequences : Week 1 at Dallas, Week 3 against Washington; Week 5 against San Francisco; Week 6 at Philadelphia; Week 7 against Dallas; Week 8 at New Orleans; Week 10 against New England
The only bright spot during New York's 2014 season was the emergence of Odell Beckham Jr. and his highlight reel catches over the course of the year. The squad is coming off its second consecutive disappointing season with a 6-10 record, and the organization did not do much over the offseason to fix its problems on both ends of the football. The Giants did bring a new defensive coordinator in Steve Spagnuolo and addressed their many needs on special teams, yet those additions won't be enough to turn this squad into a playoff contender overnight. Expect an improved, yet disappointing year for New York:
Prediction : 8-8
Super Bowl Odds: +10000
NFC East Odds: +1400
Games of Consequences : Week 3 at New York; Week 4 against Philadelphia; Week 9 at New England; Week 10 against New Orleans; Week 13 against Dallas; Weeks 15 and 16 at Philadelphia and Dallas.
Washington elected to pick up the final year of Griffin III's contract, which will pay the quarterback $16 million in 2015. The move confused many NFL pundits who thought the team would finally rid itself of the dysfunction situation between the player and coaching staff that seemingly wants nothing to do with him. The Redskins may have set themselves up for another year of quarterback drama and controversies as they sway back and forth between Griffin III and backup Kirk Cousins. Washington has done little to assure fans of an improved 2015 season, and expect much of the same mess that happened in 2014 to seep into the upcoming year.
Prediction : 3-13
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Read more articles by George Monroy
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