As always, the teams in the NFC East are going to have a lot of pressure on them this year to succeed. The Super Bowl champs are in this division, and there are three other teams that think that they can pull off the same task this year as well. The odds to win the NFC East are always tight, and that should lead to a great year of football once again in what is seemingly always one of the most competitive foursomes in the game.
Of course, it isn’t the defending Super Bowl champs, but the Philadelphia Eagles (NFC East Betting Odds: 1.40 to 1 5Dimes Sportsbook) are the NFC East favorites this year. The so-called “Dream Team” was a bit of a nightmare last year, though hindsight being 20/20. Losses to teams like the Buffalo Bills and San Francisco 49ers weren’t nearly as bad as they seemed to be at the time. The Eagles are still very talented and are extremely fast. The combo of QB Michael Vick, WR Jeremy Maclin, and WR DeSean Jackson is clearly the fastest in the league, and RB LeSean McCoy is most certainly not a slacker either. The defense seems to be more prepared now than it was at the outset of the year to dominate, and that could go a long way in helping out Vick as well. In the end though, it is going to be up to No. 7 to take care of the football. If he does that, the Eagles will win this division. If he doesn’t, it could be another year of missing the playoffs and the last year for Head Coach Andy Reid on the sidelines in the City of Brotherly Love.
Second in line is the team that won the Super Bowl last year, the New York Giants (NFC East Betting Lines: 2.05 to 1 5Dimes Sportsbook). QB Eli Manning has definitely proven that he is an elite quarterback worthy of being called Peyton’s baby brother, though this year, he is going to be given a bit of a tougher task with WR Mario Manningham now in San Francisco. The ground game isn’t the greatest, but it is serviceable with RB Ahmad Bradshaw. It is the pass rush that really makes the team though, and Head Coach Tom Coughlin has been preaching that over the course of his entire tenure in the Big Apple. The question is whether there is a Super Bowl letdown coming for Big Blue, though. It happened a few years ago, and it could happen again in 2012.
As always, there is a heck of a lot of pressure on the Dallas Cowboys (2012 Odds To Win AFC East: 2.65 to 1 @ SportBet Sportsbook). QB Tony Romo is always under a microscope, and that isn’t going to be an exception this year. He puts up great numbers thanks to the fact that he has a remarkable set of receivers, but perhaps he deserves more credit. No one had ever heard of WR Miles Austin before Romo put him on the map, and when both he and WR Dez Bryant were hurt last year, it was WR Laurent Robinson that suddenly became a hero. On the ground, it was supposed to be RB Felix Jones that carried the load, but instead, RB DeMarco Murray came out of nowhere to be one of the most punishing backs in the league. Defensive Coordinator Rob Ryan was figured to be one of the hot head coaching candidates available in this past offseason, but after an atrocious year on the sidelines managing the Dallas defense, no one bit on Rex’s brother. It could be a make or break season both for Ryan and for Head Coach Jason Garrett, as more seasons of missing the playoffs won’t sit well with owner and GM Jerry Jones.
We give all the credit in the world to the Washington Redskins (NFL Betting Lines in the NFC East: 11.20 to 1 5Dimes Sportsbook). Last year, they weren’t a bad team, though they weren’t exactly a fantastic one either. Young defensive players like LB Ryan Kerrigan and LB Brian Orakpo stepped up in a big time way, and there was enough talent at the skill positions to put some points on the board. Keep a close eye on TE Fred Davis this year as a potential top tight end in the league. What was missing was a quarterback. Washington had a good draft slot at No. 4, and it knew that it had to put together a great package to move up to No. 2 to take QB Robert Griffin III. And that’s exactly what the Redskins did. They got the job done, and now, they have the man that they hope will right the ship. We saw some rookie quarterbacks play well last year and get their teams to show big time improvement like QB Cam Newton with the Carolina Panthers and QB Andy Dalton with the Cincinnati Bengals, and if Griffin can do that with the Redskins, this might suddenly become a fun team to keep track of on a weekly basis.
Philadelphia Eagles Win NFC East +140
Field Wins NFC East -170
New York Giants Win NFC East +205
Field Wins NFC East -265
Dallas Cowboys Win NFC East +265
Field Wins NFC East -355
Washington Redskins Win NFC East +1120
Field Wins NFC East -1740
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