1 – Anthony Spencer will have one awesome game early in the season, which will inspire Jerry Jones to give him a contract extension in which he wildly overpays. Spencer will be released less than 3 years later.
2 – The Giants won’t lead the league in giveaways this season like they did in 2010. They also won’t lead the league in takeaways like they did last season.
3 – Kurt Coleman will lead the Eagles in tackles, partly because he’s really good, but also because he’ll have to.
4 – This could be London Fletcher’s last season. He probably won’t be headed to Canton, but he should be.
5 – Jason Pierre-Paul is suddenly expected to have a monster year. I think he’ll be good, but people need to calm down a little bit there.
6 – If Keith Brooking isn’t a starter, will he still do his dumb pregame thing? I mean… After yelling “We’re gonna hit them in the mouth, we’re gonna bloody their nose, we’re gonna eat their babies,” etc, you can’t really cap it off by saying “Alright guys, I’ll see you in the locker room after the game. 1-2-3 WIN!”
7 – For the past year or so, I’ve been killing the Redskins for changing from a 4-3 to a 3-4 when they had players that perfectly fit their 4-3 scheme. The Redskins basically said to their players “You adjust to what we want to do,” rather than adjusting their scheme to fit their players’ strengths. It would almost be hypocritical to not criticize Eagles OL coach Howard Mudd for trying to do the same.
8 – What’s the best 1WR-2WR-TE combo in the NFC East? Gotta go with the Cowboys there on the shoulders of Jason Witten. But the Cowboys have absolutely no depth at WR behind those guys, and TE depth, once thought to be a strength, really isn’t anymore.
9 – Tim Hightower will have 1,400+ yards from scrimmage. What the hell are the Cardinals thinking? Hightower for Vonnie Holliday and a late 2012 pick? Seriously? And I’m as big a believer in Kevin Kolb as you’ll find, but Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and a 2? Really? The NFC East is treating Arizona like that guy in your fantasy football league that doesn’t have a clue.
10 – With an OL that includes 2 rookies and a 2nd year guy with just 109 NFL snaps under his belt, Tony Romo better beef up his life insurance. Ditto that for Michael Vick and the two rookies at C and RG that he’ll be playing behind.
11 – The Redskins will not finish last in the division.
12 – Is Jay Ratliff still an awesome player? I’m not sure I saw it in 2010. He’s a guy I’ll be watching closely the first few weeks of the season.
13 – The Redskins’ defense, at least on paper, looks pretty good to me. They’ll be in the Top 20 this year, statistically. That may not sound like a big deal, but it is considering they were 31st last season.
14 – The Cowboys’ “3 bullies” will combine for 5 sacks or less. Departed Cowboy Stephen Bowen will have at least 4 on his own.
15 – Giants LT William Beatty, assuming he doesn’t get hurt, will lead the division in penalties.
16 – Redskins fans will complain excessively about Brian Orakpo being held by opposing offenses, when Trent Cole, DeMarcus Ware and Osi Umenyiora are held just as much.
17 – Marion Barber. Marc Colombo. Leonard Davis. Roy Williams. And now Andre Gurode. Terence Newman, you might be next.
18 – Speaking of Roy Williams and Marion Barber, what in the hell are the Bears thinking?
19 – Let’s come back to Newman: Last year, per Football Outsiders, Newman was targeted 83 times and gave up 9.1 yards per target, or roughly 755 yards on the season. Mike Jenkins was targeted 80 times and gave up a staggering 10.5 yards per target, or roughly 840 yards. By comparison, the Eagles starting corners, again per Football Outsiders, fared slightly better. Nnamdi Asomugha was targeted 31 times, and gave up 5.9 yards per target, or roughly 183 yards. Asante Samuel, meanwhile, was only targeted 36 times, and gave up an astoundingly low 3.2 yards per target, or roughly 115 yards. Also, despite being targeted just 36 times, somehow Samuel picked off 7 passes, often times when he wasn’t even the defender being targeted.
20 – In a related note, Samuel will pick off 10+ passes this season if he can say healthy.
21 – OJ Atogwe has the best profile pictures in sports.
22 – Bigtime year upcoming for Mario Manningham. Thinking 1,100 yards and 10 TDs.
23 – Alan Ball was an unmitigated disaster at FS for the Cowboys this year, but he’ll been a decent nickle/dime corner. Nickle if the Cowboys cut Newman, dime if they don’t.
24 – Brandon Jacobs has a career per carry average of 4.6. Ahmad Bradshaw has averaged 4.8 for his career. Neither will be north of 4.5 this season.
25 – Osi Umenyiora will have 8 sacks or less in 2011.
26 – Felix Jones finally puts it together and has a good season. Rushes for over 1,000 yards, catches 50+ passes. Stat line similar to Shady McCoy’s 2010 season.
27 – DeMarco Murray will barely see the field, at least early in the season.
28 – The Cowboys defense is in for another really tough year. They were 23rd in yards allowed in 2010. They’ll be worse in 2011.
29 – Shady McCoy will have the best offensive numbers in the NFC East this season. Think Brian Westbrook in his prime.
30 – Apparently, Phil Costa went to my old high school. I wonder if he would have tired to give me a wedgie if we went to school together.
31 – I’m rooting for Jeremy Maclin to have a monster season. I don’t care if that sounds biased or not. Great kid. Deserves it.
32 – I would advise LaRon Landry to just keep his mouth shut before he faces DeSean Jackson this year.
33 – Prince Amukamara is set to return mid-way through the season. The ideal situation would have been to ease him into action gradually, but Prince will be forced to play way more than Perry Fewell would like, due to the absurd number of injuries to the Giants CB rotation. Expect Prince to get toasted early and often in his first tastes of NFL action.
34 – If Michael Vick gets hurt early in the season, the Eagles will put Vince Young in even though Mike Kafka is currently the better option. Also, on a side note Cowboys fans, Kafka > McGee.
35 – I don’t know if John Beck or Rex Grossman will start for the Redskins Week 1, and I’m not sure if I even care anymore at this point. However, Mike Shanahan will change his starting QB at some point this season, and not necessarily because of injury. Maybe twice… and maybe not even back to the original guy.
36 – Trevor Laws gets cut, signs with the Giants.
37 – The NFC East rookie of the year (not that there’s actually an award for that) will be Ryan Kerrigan. I took the following video of Kerrigan at the NFL Combine, and I must have been shaking like a crack baby. If you can watch this without getting nauseous, you’re a better man than me.
38 – Martellus Bennett, upon return from his high ankle sprain in 2-4 weeks, may find that the #2 TE job is no longer his.
39 – You know how teams just avoiding throwing at Nnamdi Asomugha for so many years because it was simply easier to pick on the other side? I think I sorta covered that earlier. Corey Webster better prepare for a very boring season manning his corner.
40 – Matt Dodge, and not Steve Weatherford, will win the Giants punting job.
41 – The Eagles will trade Joselio Hanson for either a 4 or a 5.
42 – Speaking of slot corners, Orlando Scandrick got paid WAY too much money.
43 – Michael Vick may very well “regress to the mean,” as many are predicting. But so will their atrocious red zone defense, which was historically bad. In fact, the Eagles’ red zone defense was the worst since the 1988 Oilers, a team that doesn’t even exist anymore.
44 – Giants and Cowboys fans might argue that the Redskins overpaid for Barry Cofield and Stephen Bowen, respectively, and I’d be inclined to agree. However, there’s little question those two guys will massively upgrade their DL. I don’t think Redskins fans will be missing Ma’ake Kemoeatu anytime soon.
45 – The Giants aren’t really going to use Bear Pascoe as a FB again this season, are they?
46 – I think I might keep a running tally of how many times announcers call Casey Matthews “Clay” Matthews this season. I would set the over/under at 15, but I’m not sure how long Casey will keep his job as a starter.
47 – Don’t be surprised if the Giants pick up two corners when teams cut down to 53, not just one.
48 – If Steve Smith is ready to go Week 1, truly is healthy, and produces right away, the Giants front office is going to have some serious egg on their face.
49 – Tashard, please, for the love of God, no matter what charity it might be for, you don’t ask the opposing QB for an autograph right after the game… especially after a loss. And don’t let him pat you on the head afterward like you’re his little buddy.
50 – The Eagles will win the NFC East… handily.