Friday, September 09, 2005

NFC East: Eagles

1. Philadelphia Eagles - It is possible to win championships while fighting each other. The A's of the early 70's bickered with themselves and the owner and still won three straight titles, but you never saw Reggie Jackson trash talking Sal Bando in public and doing sit ups for the cameras. The Eagles with or without T.O. will win 12 games, but come crunch time, barring an intervention by Dr. Phil, the Eagles won't reach the Super Bowl. Sometimes the pieces are there, but fate intervenes. In the Bay Area, the arrival of Chris Webber signaled a possible title run for the Golden State Warriors, but ended when he couldn't get along with coach Don Nelson. Same thing is happening in Philly.

2. Dallas Cowboys (Wildcard) - Coach Bill Parcells' reputation is on the line in Dallas and it won't be tarnished. Drew Bledsoe will play well in this offense where budding superstar RB Julius Jones will run all day. Bledsoe's health shouldn't be a concern with future Hall of Famer, Larry Allen, guarding his blind side. TE Jason Whitten will have a big year as Bledsoe's top receiver. This is Parcells' team and they will begin to prove themselves by beating Philly at home in week five.

3. Washington Redskins - Joe Gibbs won't improve this team until it settles on a quarterback. QB Patrick Ramsey is not Gibbs' man--he's Spurrier's. RB Clinton Portis ate large doses of humble pie last year and should rebound with a new system that will allow him show his speed to the outside. Their new additions on the O-Line should help that, too. The additions of smallish WR's Santana Moss and David Patten harken back to the days of the Smurfs in Washington. This retro design just might catch some teams focused on height and bulk off guard.

4. New York Giants - The NFL talking heads are afraid to anger older brother, Peyton and father; Archie. QB Eli Manning will not be anywhere as good as any of his family members. He has "happy feet" and that's something that undermines, not only his throwing and accuracy but his leadership in the huddle. WR Plaxico Burress is a bad pickup. Aside from their poor choice of direction at QB, there's no plan for life after DE Michael Strahan.

2004 LFR Genius Prediction: "Ten years away from the game coach Joe Gibbs isn't going to straighten this dysfunctional organization."

2004 LFR Dumb Prediction: "This defense is so quick that it will lead the NFL in defense and get the Cowboys into the playoffs."