From NFC Least to NFC Beast?
This week I am kicking off my new article series called “Keys To The Division” where I am going to highlight one division each week and pick the most important factor that is going to determine each teams success. This week I am kicking it off with the NFC East. Of course.
Let’s jump right in!
Key To The Division: Mike McCarthy
Sure, you can point to a handful of guys on this team that need to step it up but to me Mike McCarthy takes the cake. He is awful at time management and you really just have to scratch your head at some of these calls he makes. There is no in between with Mike McCarthy, he either thinks he has unlimited time-outs, forgets he has time-outs or he calls time-outs at the oddest times possible. McCarthy's inability to manage a game clock has cost the Cowboys games on more than one occasion. He also needs to get this team better at handling adversity which in turn should clean up some of these penalties. My god, the penalties. How many times have we seen the Cowboys absolutely blow a game because of a series of penalties that just becomes too much to overcome? More times than I think they would like to count.
Key To The Division: Jalen Hurts
Pressures on! I think we can all agree (whether we like it or not) that the Eagles had a great draft and landing AJ Brown was a solid move for this team. AJ Brown opposite DeVonta Smith? I hate it as a Giants fan and love it as a football fan. Reportedly the Eagles have said this is a “one-year audition” for Hurts and they are allowing him this year to show us he’s got the stuff to be the Eagles long-term starter. Hurts has had flashes of greatness and has shown he has potential, but he isn’t consistent. Then again, last year’s team didn’t exactly set Jalen Hurts up for success. The Eagles OL was horrid and Jalen Reagor dropped anything and everything that came his way. The expectation is that this season will be much different and the expectations couldn’t be any higher for Jalen Hurts.
New York Giants
Key To The Division: Daniel Jones
If I had to name any player in the entire league that is entering into a Make It or Break It season it’s Daniel Jones. DJ is at the top of my list and not because I am a Giants fan but because it’s pretty clear that the Giants aren’t entirely sure what they want to do with him. The Giants did not pick up his 5th year option but they also acknowledged they haven’t given DJ the pieces he needs to be successful. So here we go again, another new head coach, new regime and in that sense I feel for Daniel Jones, believe me no one wants a Giants quarterback to succeed more than me! Maybe this re-vamped o-line and the “on paper” offensive talent will finally start coming together this season. Or maybe we have seen all we need to see out of Daniel Jones. I think the fan base is just as confused as the Giants organization. You want him to succeed, you think there is chance he could succeed but really, what basis do any of us have to make that determination? We haven’t seen it yet so that is what makes this so difficult.
Key To The Division: Jack Del Rio & the Defense
Last season was rather disappointing for this group. I expected this defense to be much better than it was especially since the future looked so bright during the 2020 season. That all seemed to disappear in 2021 and Chase Young missing the last 8 games of the season didn’t help. This is a defense that gave up 434 pints in 17 games in 2021, that’s 105 more than 2020! Del Rio will have to deal with some changes like Safety Landon Collins being let go but most of the guy’s up front are returning so that should lend itself to some cohesiveness. Let’s not forget the NFC East usually has some bruising defenses to contend with and now with Carson Wentz at the helm you already know that he will malfunction at the worst time possible. The Carson Wentz meltdown is inevitable and this defense will have to be prepared to bail out this offense at the most crucial points of the game.
Final NFC East Thoughts
Overall I think the NFC East can go from NFC Least to NFC Beast with all the talent and potential each team has. Defensively, this division is usually one of the better ones although not so much offensively. The AFC West this is not. The NFC East has been a laughingstock for the past few years and rightfully so but I think this is the year it all starts to turn around. The Cowboys and Eagles will look to fight it out for the division, but the Giants have major surprise potential if all the pieces come together and the Commanders defense should start looking more like the 2020 version rather than the disappointing version we got last year. This division is on an upswing and the rest of the league should not take the East lightly.
I would love to know what you all think of the NFC East this year so leave a comment or find me on Twitter @nikkinic9384!