The 2016-2017 NFL season is set to kick off in Denver in nine days with the Broncos taking on the Carolina Panthers in a rematch of Super Bowl 50.
The guys at Tailgate Talk are going to breakdown all eight divisions in projected order of finish.
Today’s division in the NFC East.
New York Giants
2015 record: 6-10 (third in NFC East)
Key acquisitions: Oliver Vernon, DE; Janoris Jenkins, CB; Keenan Robinson, LB; Damon Harrison, DT; Eli Apple, CB.
Key keepers: Jason Pierre-Paul, DE.
Key losses: Prince Amukamara, CB; Cullen Jenkins, DT; Reuben Randle, S; Brandon Meriweather, S; Jon Beason, LB.
W2W4: It’s safe to say the Giants want to move on from their dismal 2015 season that sent coach Tom Coughlin out the door after 12 years. Five times they blew fourth quarter leads, including double digit leads in the season opener against the Cowboys and home opener against the Falcons. The team’s defense ranked last in the league, and the front office addressed the issue by signing Vernon, Janoris Jenkins, Robinson and Harrison. They drafted Eli Apple to assume duties at corner, and has looked impressive during camp. The offense will score points, and the defense should rebound. Is it crazy to say it might be the Giants division to lose?
2015 record: 4-12 (fourth in NFC East)
Key acquisitions: Alfred Morris, RB; Cedric Thornton, DE; Ezekiel Elliot, RB; Dak Prescott, QB.
Key keepers: Rolando McClain, LB; Morris Claiborne, CB.
Key losses: Greg Hardy, DE.
W2W4: Two weeks ago, it looked like the division would come down to the Cowboys and Giants, but since then, the team has lost QB Tony Romo. If 2015 is any indication then the Cowboys are doomed. The team went 1-11 without Romo last season, and he is continuing to battle back injuries. The offense though should be alright this time around if Prescott lives up the hype he’s shown in preseason and Dez Bryant stays healthy. The offensive line is regarded as one of the best — if not the best — in the league. That is a big benefit to a rookie quarterback and the underrated Alfred Morris along with promising rookie RB Elliot. The dooming factor though will be the defense that has starters DeMarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory serving four game suspensions and Rolando McClain serving ten games.
2015 record: 9-7 (First in NFC east; lost to Packers, 35-18, in Wild Card game)
Key acquisitions: Josh Norman, CB; David Bruton, S; Josh Doctson, WR.
Key keepers: Kirk Cousins, QB.
Key losses: Jason Hatcher, DE; Dashon Goldson, S; Alfred Morris, RB; Terrance Knighton, NT.
W2W4: There’s no QB controversy for the Redskins in years with Robert Griffin III going to Cleveland. But it’s not reassuring when the franchise gives Cousins a one-year deal, putting him in a situation to continue to prove he’s the right guy in D.C. I expect the team to take a few steps back and keep the eleven-year streak of no consecutive division winners alive. The biggest signing was a five-year, $75 million contract for Norman to play cornerback. There are a lot of questions surrounding the signing, but the biggest will be if he can continue the success he had in 2015 going against Dez Bryant and Odell Beckham Jr. twice.
2015 record: 7-9 (Second in NFC east)
Key acquisitions: Dorial Green-Beckham, WR; Rodney McLeod, S; Carson Wentz, QB.
Key keepers: Sam Bradford, QB.
Key losses: Byron Maxwell, CB; Kiko Alonso, LB; DeMarco Murray, RB; Walter Thurmond, S.
W2W4: Not much is expected out to this team. Not harsh, just the reality of things. Parting ways with coach Chip Kelly and a number of big name players that didn’t fit the Eagles system, the franchise is in full rebound mode. Drafting Wentz second overall out of North Dakota State is a sign they have turned a page and looking to hand the big roles to younger, talented players. It wouldn’t be a surprise if the team holds a record similar to 2015 and hands the reigns over to Wentz by the end of the season.