Throughout the month of August The Sports Script is going to answer the 5 key questions regarding each division in the NFL. We have 3 of The Sports Script writers — Ricky Valero, Chad Woodroof and Mandi (@dvnmsm) — to answer the questions. These will lead up to the ultimate reveal of everyone’s prediction for the NFL season. Today we start off with the NFC East.
1. Which player needs to step up the most this year?
Ricky: Tony Romo/ Michael Vick: I can think of 108 million reasons why I would select Romo. He just got paid “Elite” money even though he hasn’t done enough to get paid like an elite player.
Vick. This is the last chance for Vick, it’s basically either do good or be a backup for the remainder of his career.
Chad: Mike Vick. The team looks prepared to make LeSean “Shady” McCoy the focal point of the Offense. So, Vick needs to play his role to a “T” this season to be the perfect compliment. Not only is it a make or break season for his career, but the Offense is slated to be perfect for his style of play. RUNNER UP: Dallas’s Offensive Line.
Mandi: Tony Romo. Football fans everywhere thought Jones lost his mind giving Romo a $108m contract, so he has to silence his critics. Hopefully, Romo’s O line won’t let opposing defenses sack him 36 times for the third year in a row, and his receiving corps will be reliable.
2. Which coach has the most pressure to win this year?
Ricky: Jason Garrett. I am not sure Jerry wants to get rid of him because Garrett is his puppet, but this has to be a make or break year for him.
Chad: Chip Kelly. We all have figured out that he only came to the NFL because he caught wind of his college suspension, but that’s neither here nor there. All we’ve heard from the players is how his Offense is perfect and they love it. This has high expectations with fans going into the 2013 season. If Kelly lays an egg and is something like 1-9, Eagles’ fans might be setting his lawn on fire.
Mandi: It’s a tie between Chip Kelly and Jason Garrett. I don’t know which is worse – Jerry Jones looming over your shoulder reminding you that he won’t accept anything less than winning, or the Philly sports media and fan base looming over your shoulder reminding you that they won’t accept anything less than winning.
3. Who is the Sleeper player to watch in the division?
Ricky: Michael Vick. I think he has the potential to take the Eagles to the playoffs or he has the chance to be on the bench by week 4. Either way, I think the way he plays will dictate how the dominos fall in this division.
Chad: The sleeper player in this division really might be David Wilson. Everybody knows how big a threat he is with the ball in his hands. If he can solidify the fumbling problems, he should have a huge 2013 season.
Mandi: The NFC East is talent-rich enough that there aren’t many secret weapons or hidden gems in the four teams’ ranks. I like what I’ve seen from Roy Helu in the preseason. If he stays healthy, the Redskins’ running game is going to be even better this year.
4. Which player means the most to their team’s success this year?
Ricky: RGIII is the easy answer but I think the Skins will find success without him on the field. I also think the Giants without Eli Manning would be in a world of trouble.
Chad: RGIII. The Redskins are a night and day difference with him in their lineup. You can count on one hand the Quarterbacks who are the difference between your team going 5-11 or worse, and 10-6 or better. Griffin is one of those Quarterbacks.
Mandi: Calling Captain Obvious! It’s Robert Griffin III. While Cousins is no slouch, and even though we have a huge talent in Morris, Griff put the shine back on the organization. That aside, this is the year that he must show maturity and forethought; he HAS to play smart. Hey! Griff! Here is your mantra for this season: Just Because I CAN Run Doesn’t Mean I SHOULD Run…
5. How will the division play out?
New York Giants: 10-6 – I think this will be the year the Giants get back into the playoffs by winning this close division
Dallas Cowboys: 8-8
Washington Redskins: 8-8
Philadelphia Eagles: 8-8
Washington Redskins 9-7 I’m being conservative with my prediction, because one never knows when the Sophomore Slump or an injury can rear its ugly head…
Giants 9-7 They tie with the Redskins. And lose the tie-breaker game.
Cowboys 9-7 They tie in overall record, but the Redskins and Giants have better Division records.
Eagles 7-9 Chip Kelley will have some success, but I think this will be a working out the kinks season
Washington Redskins 11-5
New York Giants 10-6
Dallas Cowboys 7-9
Phillidelphia Eagles 5-11