Upon returning from a 3 week holiday, DBSF encountered the inevitable mid-August reality: that the NFL season starts in less than a month. Thus, prognostications are due. Over the next few days DBSF will analyze each division, starting with the NFC East.
1. Washington Redskins (10-6)
Coming off a 4-12 2009 season this might seem absurdly optimistic, but keep in mind that Shanahan + a great QB = Superbowls in Denver and San Fransisco (Shanahan was the Niner's O-Coordinator). Although the Skins have an unproven O-Line, an ancient RB corps, and spectacularly ineffective WRs Shanahan's system sytem relies on bootlegs and misdirections, which in combination with McNabb's athleticism, will buy McNabb time without putting too much pressure on the O-Line.
If McNabb is getting out of the pocket, and moving the ball through the air then the running game should open up as the defense will get spread thin. Shanahan also relies heavily on TEs and the Skins have two elite receiving (not blocking) TEs in Cooley and Fred Davis. Thus, the issue of the inability of the Skins' WRs to get open/ catch a ball should be ameliorated. The Defense is already solid, and DBSF believes that the Haynesworth drama will die down before the season starts as he will learn that he can only make 8-figures a year playing football and not drinking Patron and playing XBox by himself, and as such will likely put in a dominating season whether he's in a 3-4 or a 4-3 because he's 6'6" 350+ pounds and genuinely crazy (which represent the two requirements for a dominant DT--bigger and crazier).
2. Dallas Cowboys (9-7)
Although Dez Bryant might have been the steal of the draft based on ability, DBSF predicts that the Cowboys will become mired in inconsistency and fall off from their 11-5 2009 season. DBSF can see the Cowboys winning five games in a row and blowing out a division opponent by 25+, and then dropping games to less worthy opponents. Going back to back against the Saints and Colts in late November and early December doesn't help either.
3. NY Giants (8-8)
The Giants look eerily similar to last season's 8-8 team, and haven't made any additions that would suggest a change (although David Carr is in San Francisco now, so their back-up QB should get sacked less often in practice). Outside the NFC East their schedule doesn't look too menacing except for the Colts and the Vikings, who may or may not have Brett Favre, so they could get up to 9-7.
4. Philadelphia Eagles (7-9)
Gone are McNabb, Westbrook, and Dawkins, in are Kolb, McCoy (and friends), and Allen. This team is facing the same gravitationally bound direction as other aging could've beens, like the Denver Nuggets and LA Angels. However, DBSF thinks Kolb is going to impress this year, and Andy Reid will find ways to pull out victories.
So, 10 wins takes the NFC East, and in a dark horse Superbowl prediction DBSF likes the Skins led by Shanahan and McNabb coming out of the NFC.