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2009 NFC EAST PREVIEW & PREDICTIONS


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NFL Predictions and Projections

By Paul Bessire, WhatIfSports.com

June 15th, 2009

 

 

 

We will preview an NFL division each day for eight days, before presenting final standings, fantasy and statistical leaders, award winners, playoff results and power rankings. This analysis is part of a broader endeavor with FOXSports.com's Fantasy Football.

 

Rosters and depth charts are up-to-date and as accurate as possible as of June 9, 2009. A schedule of upcoming NFL preview content including links to other previews that have already been posted is located here.

 

For details on how we generate the results and the definition of the Absolute Record, click here.

To hide the details, click here.

 

 

For this analysis, each regular season game is simulated 10,000 times, with the sum of the winning percentages of those games being our final predicted record. As can be noted, sometimes a team is "favored" (wins more than 50% of the time) in a different number of our games than the expected record shows. We list this record as the Absolute Record. The assumption of the Absolute Record is that the more likely scenario always happens. Since we know that it does not (see Super Bowl XLII), our expected record (in parentheses next to each team) is far more accurate. Also, especially since we are rounding, it is possible for a team to win a game more often, yet score the same or fewer points on average. In those cases, for Absolute Records, we always take higher winning percentage and are not predicting a tie or a win by an underdog. This is another reason why the expected records are more accurate, as the teams are so evenly matched, the game could easily go either way.

 

Also, we account for players with injury histories who are considered likely to miss games despite currently being healthy by randomly taking them out of what the analysis dictates is the correct number of games throughout the season. For players who will begin the season injured or who are assumed to replace the current starter during the season, we deliberately make those roster changes in the appropriate weeks. All of these items can cause some perceived inconsistencies with the scores, especially when a team plays one opponent from its division with one set of starters and uses different personnel later.

 

Today we preview the NFC East.

 

 

 

 

New York Giants (9-7)

The Giants were a Super Bowl favorite for about 12 weeks last year until wide receiver Plaxico Burress was suspended and the offense floundered. Since then, New York also lost veteran wideout Amani Toomer and 1,000 yard rusher Derrick Ward. The offense may take another step back in 2009, but, with a healthy Osi Umenyiora and the additions of Chris Canty, Michael Boley and Rocky Bernard, the defense will carry the Giants into the playoffs as the second NFC Wild Card team. The Giants average 20.9 points per game (#19) and allow 18.3 points (#4) against a schedule featuring eight games against 2008 playoff teams.

 

Absolute Record: 11-5

 

Most Significant Newcomer: Hakeem Nicks, WR - New York signed several good defensive players in the off-season, yet none of those moves addressed the team's biggest issue, which was/is a lack of weapons for Eli Manning. The Giants lost 41.6% of their receptions from 2008. As we chronicled after the draft, first round pick Hakeem Nicks will have an impact on the Giants in his rookie season - because he has to. Domenik Hixon, Steve Smith, Mario Manningham and Sinorice Moss are the other options at receiver. Nicks has fantastic hands, decent size and athleticism and is a great route-runner. If Manning can get comfortable with him early, Nicks could have a rare breakout rookie season for a wide receiver. Our projections see him split targets almost equally with Hixon and Smith to catch 41 passes for 565 yards. Is that going to be enough?

 

Biggest Strength: Pass Rush - In 2008, without a healthy Osi Umenyiora, the Giants finished fifth in the NFL in sacks per opponent pass attempt. Umenyiora had 13 sacks the previous season. New York also added Chris Canty and Rocky Bernard, who combined for seven sacks in 2008 and rookie Clint Sintim, who made 13 sacks as an outside linebacker for Virgina last year, to the defensive line. Even if 32 year old tackle Fred Robbins is not fully healthy from off-season microfracture knee surgery, the Giants will spend a lot of time in the backfield terrorizing opposing quarterbacks.

 

Most Exploitable Weakness: Passing Offense - Without Derrick Ward, the running game will likely take a step backwards in 2008. Eli Manning and Company would typically be expected to rely more on the passing game to move the ball and make plays. In this case though, the Giants still have a better chance of succeeding offensively on the ground as opposed to through the air. Even with receives he could trust, Manning finished 19th in the league in completion percentage and 21st among qualified quarterbacks in yards-per-attempt in 2008. Expect his interception percentage to go back up and his completion percentage to go down significantly from career bests in those stats in 2008.

 

Possible Fantasy Sleeper: Ahmad Bradshaw, RB - The third-year player looked poised for a big season last year after a showing signs of brilliance in the 2007 playoffs, but was superseded by Derrick Ward. The problem with Bradshaw - and the likely reason the Giants favored Ward - is that, like Felix Jones above, he is not a very good receiver. Unless the Giants run more than 55% of the time, Bradshaw will probably not have great fantasy value. As it turns out, that is exactly what we are advocating they do and what happens in the simulations. The projections give Bradshaw 877 rushing yards on 177 carries.

 

Closest Game: @New Orleans Saints (Week 6) - Drew Brees creates matchup problems for everyone. The Saints also have a weak secondary so this could be a game the Giants steal with their lackluster receivers. The Giants play four straight against 2008 playoff teams following this game.

 

Fantasy Notables: Eli Manning (20) 2,696 yards, 17 TDs, 11 INTS; Brandon Jacobs (22) 1,221 total yards, 9 TDs; Admad Bradshaw (32) 959 total yards, 8 TDs; Domenik Hixon (45) 45 receptions, 691 yards, 4 TDs; Hakeem Nicks (49) 41 receptions, 565 yards, 4 TDs; Steve Smith (59) 45 receptions, 494 yards, 3 TDs; Kevin Boss (26) 28 receptions, 303 yards, 2 TDs; Lawrence Tynes (25) 37/37 XPs, 21/33 FGs

 

 

 

 

WHAT IF SPORTS LINK

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Some of the projected stats are realistic, but the rest is garbage. The Eagles absolute record 16-0......gimme a break. And we aint finishing 3rd in the division. Our WR corps is going to be good, Eli is gonna have an MVP type season amd our D speaks for itself......the best. If someone cant see we are the best in the NFC, maybe the entire leage....they need to open their eyes. :brooding:

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Some of the projected stats are realistic, but the rest is garbage. The Eagles absolute record 16-0......gimme a break. And we aint finishing 3rd in the division. Our WR corps is going to be good, Eli is gonna have an MVP type season amd our D speaks for itself......the best. If someone cant see we are the best in the NFC, maybe the entire leage....they need to open their eyes. :brooding:

 

 

The media hates us, every year we listen to this bullshit. They want the Eagles and the Cowboys to win so bad, they figure if they predict it EVERY SINGLE year it will eventually happen.

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Records aside, I think the assessment is spot on. Of course, assuming that Bradshaw will be the definitive second is yet to be realized and I'm interested in seeing if his size keeps him out of the full 2nd place role. He is one heck of a spot player - change up, but we'll just have to see...

 

As for our passing game...who isn't slightly concerned? I'd say the emergence of a second receiving TE is going to be huge for us, so we're not a dead give away all the time.

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Records aside, I think the assessment is spot on. Of course, assuming that Bradshaw will be the definitive second is yet to be realized and I'm interested in seeing if his size keeps him out of the full 2nd place role. He is one heck of a spot player - change up, but we'll just have to see...

 

As for our passing game...who isn't slightly concerned? I'd say the emergence of a second receiving TE is going to be huge for us, so we're not a dead give away all the time.

 

Another factor might be Brown. Supposedly (I haven't seen him play), he can actually catch the ball, and we haven't had a legitimate receiving threat out of the backfield for a couple of years now.

 

I wouldn't rule out that record, either. The NFC South isn't exactly a bunch of slouches.

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The media hates us, every year we listen to this bullshit. They want the Eagles and the Cowboys to win so bad, they figure if they predict it EVERY SINGLE year it will eventually happen.

I don't know about you joizeygal, but I am most comfortable when the media "experts" have us coming in 3rd out of a 4 team division. We've always excelled when the media states we're not as good as the others in the division.

 

What's hillarious is that they have the Eagles going 16-0.....a perfect season.....duhhhh. And the Cowboys who lost some of their top players and had a dreadful draft are going to be "better than the Giants".

 

I don't care.....I love it when we aren't expected to beat our division rivals. McNabb may be an excellent QB and Romo (who I think is pretty damn average at best) won't throw a lot of completions when they are constantly on their backs. And with our defensive line....they are going to have an awful lot of grass stains on the backs of their jerseys. And our offense may very well improve this year. They didn't even mention Ramses Barden who I expect to have a far better year than expected and be a monstrous improvement over Sinorice Moss whom they do list.

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Woah! Dallas is going to have a better season than us? :lol: I guess losing at least one starter at every level of defense should have no effect on them, while losing one wide receiver on our team will...oh yeah, they lost a starting wide receiver as well, didn't they?

 

And I'm sorry--Philly's defense is going to be decent, but there will be a drop this year. Johnson is probably going to be in and out of things due to his cancer (I wish him well on that, I'm just going by reality.); and like him or not, Dawkins was a leader on that defense. You don't lose all that and not take a hit.

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They have Eli finishing with under 3000 yards passing. FAIL!

 

This WR corp isn't that bad, most weeks they'll do just fine, just like they did fine most weeks without Plaxico last year. If only they could have done fine without him against Philly, but thats practically the defense he was signed to play against.

 

I don't know if I would fault these guys for putting Philly on top. They finished strong last year, and they're going all-in for a championship in the next season or two. Philly will be good this year... but not better than a healthy NYG.

 

Their analysis of Dallas completely discredits everything else on the site. They must have been plugging in some fan boy assumptions for that team.

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I don't know if I would fault these guys for putting Philly on top. They finished strong last year, and they're going all-in for a championship in the next season or two. Philly will be good this year... but not better than a healthy NYG.

I don't think I am. But they aren't clearly the best team in the division, and if they couldn't get the job done when the rest of the division was 6-10 and they were easily the best team in the NFC, I don't see that much coming from them this year. Macklin might be good in a couple of years, but by all accounts he needs work. Westbrook may or may not be healed by the start of the season, so they might have to rely too heavily on their rookie RB.

 

Yes, they got some new tackles, but that line still has to gel, if that even happens.

 

There's as many if not more ifs on that team than there are on the Giants. Both teams had good drafts, but I personally think we did a much better job in free-agency.

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The media hates us, every year we listen to this bullshit. They want the Eagles and the Cowboys to win so bad, they figure if they predict it EVERY SINGLE year it will eventually happen.

 

 

It's good to see Jerseygiantfan posting the media predictions once again...We all know what this means... :violin:

 

Except for that improbable and magical year in which a no-name player who never really accomplished anything worth noting on the professional level trapped a ill-advised "pass" against his helmet, the media's predictions regarding the Giants have not been too far off base. Truth hurts... :crybaby:

 

The Eagles have been the dominant NFC East team and if they could just teach their players to catch some of McNabb's airballs with there helmets they too would probably have been "world champions" at some point...

 

As far as the Cowboys go, I prefer 52-17 thumpings in big games with no circus catches. That being said, it worked so well for Eli, I hope they are focusing on trapping balls against their helmets in OTA's... :TU:

 

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It's good to see Jerseygiantfan posting the media predictions once again...We all know what this means... :violin:

 

Except for that improbable and magical year in which a no-name player who never really accomplished anything worth noting on the professional level trapped a ill-advised "pass" against his helmet, the media's predictions regarding the Giants have not been too far off base. Truth hurts... :crybaby:

 

The Eagles have been the dominant NFC East team and if they could just teach their players to catch some of McNabb's airballs with there helmets they too would probably have been "world champions" at some point...

 

As far as the Cowboys go, I prefer 52-17 thumpings in big games with no circus catches. That being said, it worked so well for Eli, I hope they are focusing on trapping balls against their helmets in OTA's... :TU:

And out of hiding he comes,until January when the Cowboys fail to make the playoffs again. Because he would rather have the Cowboys the early "favorite" every year and fail to make the playoffs then admit that the Giants who have won two out of the last four division titles, are the best team in the NFL

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It's good to see Jerseygiantfan posting the media predictions once again...We all know what this means... :violin:

 

Except for that improbable and magical year in which a no-name player who never really accomplished anything worth noting on the professional level trapped a ill-advised "pass" against his helmet, the media's predictions regarding the Giants have not been too far off base. Truth hurts... :crybaby:

 

The Eagles have been the dominant NFC East team and if they could just teach their players to catch some of McNabb's airballs with there helmets they too would probably have been "world champions" at some point...

 

As far as the Cowboys go, I prefer 52-17 thumpings in big games with no circus catches. That being said, it worked so well for Eli, I hope they are focusing on trapping balls against their helmets in OTA's... :TU:

I don't know...personally, I prefer a circus catch that happened two years ago than a thumping that happened OVER 15 YEARS AGO.

 

If I were you, I'd settle for a big game win of any type at this point.

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It's good to see Jerseygiantfan posting the media predictions once again...We all know what this means... :violin:

 

Except for that improbable and magical year in which a no-name player who never really accomplished anything worth noting on the professional level trapped a ill-advised "pass" against his helmet, the media's predictions regarding the Giants have not been too far off base. Truth hurts... :crybaby:

 

NFC #1 seed. The fact of the matter is that most prognosticators are always wrong because they rarely account for team depth. This is by far the biggest omission and it's why the Giants will do well every year for many years to come.

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Here's My prediction, for what its worth

 

#1 Giants 13-3, or 12-4 (because of Tynes inaccuracy) or I'd go 14-2

Jacobs gets hurt early and Danny Ware makes the Pro Bowl with 2000 total yds run and catch

Bradshaw also breaks the 1000 yd rushing barrier at #2

The Giants dominate the entire league on D and reach Ruthian proportions- think 86 bears, 2000 Ravens despite rookie DC

The Giants sack level will be mind boggling.....look for Pierce to be a final cut and Blackburn move to the MLBer position

Contrary to popular pre-season predictions the Giants lead the league in WR yds with Moss and Manningham smoking the opponents on long catches and YACs .......the Rookies also have twin 600 yd years.....Hixon/smith too......we are LOADED at WR Kiwanuka returns to the SAM LBer position but also joins down lineman on 3rd and long

Also look for a trade for a VET at WR yet......loss of Carney a big mistake

 

#2- Eagles 9-7 McNabb has a bad year, their RBs are getting old, and without Dawkins their D falls apart

 

#3- Skins at 8-8 enough said they epitomize mediocrity

 

#4- Cowboys 4-12 Reconning year for the Boys who have been doing it with Romo and mirrors for years now

they are in dis-array, have lost a lot of key players and the wheels are finally coming off this wagon......it will be 3-4 drafts before the boys are a factor in the NFC east again....loss of Owens big despite his big mouth he was very productive

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It's good to see Jerseygiantfan posting the media predictions once again...We all know what this means... :violin:

 

Except for that improbable and magical year in which a no-name player who never really accomplished anything worth noting on the professional level trapped a ill-advised "pass" against his helmet, the media's predictions regarding the Giants have not been too far off base. Truth hurts... :crybaby:

 

The Eagles have been the dominant NFC East team and if they could just teach their players to catch some of McNabb's airballs with there helmets they too would probably have been "world champions" at some point...

 

As far as the Cowboys go, I prefer 52-17 thumpings in big games with no circus catches. That being said, it worked so well for Eli, I hope they are focusing on trapping balls against their helmets in OTA's... :TU:

 

Thats easy to do when youre playing mediocre competition. Maybe thats how the cowgirls obtained so many fair weather fans....false hope. It takes a circus like catch when youre playing quite possibly the best team in football at the time who are chasing destiny. (19-0)

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Thats easy to do when youre playing mediocre competition. Maybe thats how the cowgirls obtained so many fair weather fans....false hope. It takes a circus like catch when youre playing quite possibly the best team in football at the time who are chasing destiny. (19-0)

 

 

Your response is nonsense. But, speaking of fair weather fans, tell me Bigblue: In what period of Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals did you "cement yourself" as a Pittsburgh fan? Inquiring minds want to know? :g:

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Thats easy to do when youre playing mediocre competition. Maybe thats how the cowgirls obtained so many fair weather fans....false hope. It takes a circus like catch when youre playing quite possibly the best team in football at the time who are chasing destiny. (19-0)

i was chasing destiny the other night but she was too popular so i got hope to give me a lap dance instead.

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Here's My prediction, for what its worth

 

#1 Giants 13-3, or 12-4 (because of Tynes inaccuracy) or I'd go 14-2

Jacobs gets hurt early and Danny Ware makes the Pro Bowl with 2000 total yds run and catch

Bradshaw also breaks the 1000 yd rushing barrier at #2

The Giants dominate the entire league on D and reach Ruthian proportions- think 86 bears, 2000 Ravens despite rookie DC

The Giants sack level will be mind boggling.....look for Pierce to be a final cut and Blackburn move to the MLBer position

Contrary to popular pre-season predictions the Giants lead the league in WR yds with Moss and Manningham smoking the opponents on long catches and YACs .......the Rookies also have twin 600 yd years.....Hixon/smith too......we are LOADED at WR Kiwanuka returns to the SAM LBer position but also joins down lineman on 3rd and long

Also look for a trade for a VET at WR yet......loss of Carney a big mistake

 

#2- Eagles 9-7 McNabb has a bad year, their RBs are getting old, and without Dawkins their D falls apart

 

#3- Skins at 8-8 enough said they epitomize mediocrity

 

#4- Cowboys 4-12 Reconning year for the Boys who have been doing it with Romo and mirrors for years now

they are in dis-array, have lost a lot of key players and the wheels are finally coming off this wagon......it will be 3-4 drafts before the boys are a factor in the NFC east again....loss of Owens big despite his big mouth he was very productive

:huh:

 

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:huh:

 

hey I said its my prediction

 

based up on last years team performance its pretty spot on

 

Philly may be on the rise....then again they may not

 

We are the strongest team bottom to top of roster......Dallas is in a tailspin

 

We finished weak last year but I attribute that a lot to Spags premature decision to leave, Pierce growing even older and slower, Tucks leg injury, and the receiver corp relying too much on Plaxico......also Manning went into one of his funks and will work his way back on top......if not we probably have the best #2 QB in the NFL

 

This year will be vastly different.......its truly the year where our pent up reserves especially at WR get a chance to practice with the 1st team and blow the doors off if you can believe it

 

The D if it remains healthy will be a horde of huns

 

The danger fo rthe Giants is injuries, and the new DC if he falters

 

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Going into 2009, the Giants are stronger than the 2008 version. Losing Plaxico hurts, but losing his shitty attitude helps. Same goes for Shockey.

 

Replacing Ward with Bradshaw will be a net positive (in my opinion).

 

Boley and Sintim are big upgrades at OLB, and our interior is bolstered as well.

 

Simply put, there isn't another team, with the possible exception of the Patriots, that the Giants could not pound.

 

The Giants watched that Steelers-Cards SB and must have gotten sick to their stomach.

 

Bottom line, the G-Men are going to win the Super Bowl next season. Mark it down, baby.

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