The NFL season is about two weeks away. Time to go division by division and make my selections. I ‘ll start with the NFC East.
1) Eagles – Carson Wentz must prove he can stay healthy. That is the only question mark about the Birds. Not counting at QB, they are deeper than they were in the Super Bowl season. No Nick Foles if Wentz gets injured. The Birds have so many weapons and they should have one of the top 5 offenses in the league. Some concerns about the defensive secondary. No concerns about Fletcher Cox - he will have another All-Pro year. Due to his stellar play, the Eagles allowed the 12th fewest points in the league in 2018. Record in 1st seven games is projected at 5-2. Loses to Atlanta and Dallas.
2) Cowboys – Dallas will be right on the Birds heels. The holdout of Zeke Elliott will change this team dramatically. The 1st three games are against the Giants, Redskins and Dolphins. These are wins even if Zeke does not play. Dak Prescott has improved every year. He did develop chemistry with Amari Cooper. Jason Witten will still be old reliable. On defense, DeMarcus Lawrence should get double digit sacks again. Dallas’s defense will be top 5 again. They were ranked 7th in the entire league and 3rd in the NFC. Record in the 1st seven games is projected at 6-1. They lose to the Saints.
3) Giants - New York will finish 3rd in the division. This will be Eli Manning's last season as a starting QB. The G men will be better than most prognosticators anticipate. Just not good enough to challenge the Cowboys and the Eagles. Manning offensive line is better so he will have more time to throw. Saquon Barkley will be the work horse and get over 450 touches. Record in the 1st seven games is projected at 4-3. Loses to Dallas, Minnesota and Patriots.
4) Redskins – Washington will finish 4th. The offense will not be productive and has players that are approaching the end of their careers. Adrian Peterson and Vernon Davis. Jordan Davis is capable but injury prone. Dwayne Haskins will eventually be the starter but will take his lumps as a rookie QB. The defense will keep them in games early, but they will struggle to score. Josh Norman needs to play like the Josh Norman of 2016.The Skins punted on 47.9 % of their offensive drives in 2018. That number was the 4th highest rate in the NFL. Record in the 1st seven games is projected at 1-6. Only win is against Miami.
Follow me on Twitter and share your division winner. On Wednesday I will dissect the NFL AFC North.
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