Behind the Mic: Week One in the NFC East


Week One in the NFC East

The 2013 NFL season kicks off on Thursday, September 5 at 8:30 PM on NBC. The defending Super Bowl champions, the Baltimore Ravens, will visit the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. NFL fans will be a “mile high” anticipating the start of professional football. This should be a ratings giant for NBC and deservedly so.

As a division, however, it is the NFC East that will really be spotlighted in Week One. Whether that is justified certainly remains to be seen. On Sunday, September 8 at 8:30 PM, the New York Giants will play at Dallas, airing on NBC. Then on Monday, September 9 at 7:00 PM on ESPN Monday Night Football, the Eagles will play at Washington against the Redskins. Fans’ expectations are at their highest since no one has suffered a loss yet. Let’s analyze these two matchups:

Giants at Cowboys
The Giants usually play well in September, but in the first six weeks of the season they go to Dallas, Chicago, and Kansas City, then play the Broncos at home. Their offensive line is banged up and the preseason offense has been non-existent. They may struggle early. If they do not struggle early, they will be set up to have an outstanding season. Late in the season, they play either at home or close enough to home to avoid road weariness. That equates to 57 days without air travel.

After being 8-8 the last two years, the Cowboys on paper look much improved. The expectations are for improvement on that record (9-7; 10-6 being the best they could hope for). This is the year for Tony Romo not to just move the football, but actually put points on the board. The defense looks solid. The Cowboys should return to the playoffs.

Eagles at Redskins
Your guess about the Eagles is as good as mine. Chip Kelly seems like a good fit for the Eagles, but will his high-velocity offense work in the NFL? Even if it does, will the Eagles stop anybody from scoring? Can Michael Vick stay healthy? He’s the best fit for their offense. The defense could not stop the run or the pass last year and there does not seem to be new talent on that side. They were 4-12 last year – the record will improve, but by how much? No idea!!

The Redskins, on the other hand, will be the favorite to win the division. They ended the regular season riding RG3 to a seven-game winning streak. They can run, throw, and defend the run. Can they defend the pass? That seems to be their weakness. A healthy RG3 could make them a Super Bowl contender.