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Dan Pompeii - An Early look at the NFC East - TSN


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Pompeii sees it really close!

An early look at the NFC East

With the Redskins making personnel improvements and the Cowboys hiring Bill Parcells, this should be a competitive division. The Giants made a statement last year when they beat the Eagles in their final game of the regular season.

The predicted order of finish:

1. Giants (9-7). They were one of the strongest teams in the league late last season when a bad call cost them the chance to advance in the playoffs.

2. Eagles (9-7). A great defense and a great quarterback is a nice combination. But losing to Tampa Bay in the NFC championship game might have taken some of the steam out of the Eagles.

3. Redskins (8-8). They should improve now that they have had a year to learn Steve Spurrier's offense and Patrick Ramsey has had a year to mature. The former Jets brigade also will help.

4. Cowboys (6-10). Parcells is certain to leave a big footprint on this team. The question is: Will he have to tear down the Cowboys before building them back up?

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Since the Norv era of the Redskins history it has been pretty obvious (I really hate to admit this) that the Redskins have been soft. We are in a tough division and have a tough schedule.

I absolutly think there is enough talent on the Redskins team to be better than a .500 team. There is enough talent to be a playoff team. There is enough talent to be the NFC East Division Champions.

The real question to me is, has this team the make-up to be winners? In the NFL that means you have to have more desire than the other teams, that when you are smacked in the face you come back even harder, that you concentrate and do the little things even when you are dog tired.

Is this that team?

I think Ramsey has that character and Jon being the O leader has that character. On D it seams that there are several guys who may inspire that unit to be winners.

For the first time since '92 I think this can be a team that has the character. If so we will be better than people think. A true will to win with the talent that exists on this team can carry them very far.

If the team does not fair well this year it will not be because of injury, or bad officiating, or.... It will be because the Redskins have yet to shake their soft, lack of desire underbelly.

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Basically, Pompeii is predicting that the NFC East is a dead heat at least where three teams are concerned. Pompeii is acknowleding the ferocity of the NFC East schedule and I think he's right on the nose with this prediction

We beat Dallas twice and split with the Giants and Eagles...we win the Division.

Study hard, Saint Patrick, and get those reps in!

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You guys see this prediction as him acknowledging the tough schedule that all NFC East teams will face. I see this as a lack of respect for the NFC East. Hopefully, the NFC East can prove him wrong. There will be at least one double digit winner. If I am not mistaken, the East has never been won by a team with less than 10 wins. It won't happen this coming season Mr. Pompus.

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What? Better O-line than last year, better receivers than last year, running backs that fit the system better than last year, better special teams then last year, and a better arm at QB than last year, and the Skins are only one game better?

And that's not all. Just having the same system in for two years in a row will be a huge boost. Plus, Marvin Lewis refused to put the Skins best cornerback on the opponents best receiver and had Lavar in a three point stance going up against OTs. All that has changed as per Edwards own words.

I just don't buy what Pompeii's selling. The Skins are a 10-6 team waiting to happen.

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The last few years have taught us that what looks like a "tough" schedule now could look pretty good in October. I remember in 2000 and 2001 we came to what was supposed to be a tough stretch and came out of it really strong. Where we stumbled was the "easy wins" towards the end.

We'll do better than 8-8 and I suspect the Iggles will be a little better than 9-7.

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Obviously in recent years teams have gone up and down quicker than they used to, so it can be tough to read a schedule ahead of time, but still- I do think the 'skins schedule (and the whole NFC East's schedule) is tough. And the whole league is obviously showing a lot of parity, so it's not unreasonable that 9-7 could win the division.

The whole NFC East has to play the AFC East, who was the 2nd best division in the AFC (behind the AFC West), and everyone in the division other than the Jets appears to have improved in the offseason. Also the whole NFC East has to play the NFC South, who was the best division in the NFC last year, and they still look tough for this year. Then the two extra teams the 'skins play are the Seahawks and the Bears- and a lot of people are predicting big things for the Seahawks this year. And of course there's the division and the Eagles and Giants are obviously both tough and the Redskins always have difficulty with the weak link in the division- the Cowboys.

So, while there are no games that I'd say the 'skins are definitely going to lose, there aren't any gimmes either. Which game would anyone say is a gimme- @Carolina? Maybe. @Chicago (on Dec. 21st, and not at the U. of Illinois this year) I wouldn't count on it.

So anyway, I think 8-8 is quite reasonable for most people to predict for the 'skins. Better is possible, and more likely than in recent years, but I'm still of the belief that this year we'll be pretty good and next year very good. And of course a great deal does depend on Ramsey.

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schedules now don't matter. injuries and further player movement will change the prospects of some teams that are counted on to be very good from the start and make others that are supposed to be poor (like last year's Bills) decent spoilers down the road.

I think TWO teams in the NFC East will win 10 games. I don't see San Francisco or the Packers being as good next season.

Playing solid defense the Eagles, Giants and Redskins will be in all their games with a chance to win at the end.

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I think the predicition is pretty gutless. He can't decide who will step up, so everyone is an 8-8 team give or take a win. That's pretty lame, especially considering Tom's point that the NFC East has never had a 9 win champion.

Kirk also raises a good point. I don't think the team is lacking 'character' exactly. Norv's teams lacked character. Nowadays we lack an identity. We had plenty of character in 2001 when we scrapped our way to 8-8. But our coaching and QB turnover has kept the Redskins from building anysort of foundation. This year is the first year since Norv's departure we have that continuity. I think our identity will become apparent rather quickly this season. Ramsey will decide if we like it or not.

Because of this I think 8-8 is a lousy prediction for us. Either Ramsey pans out and we win 10 or so, or he doesn't and we win 6 or 7 again. 8-8 is a cop out. I'd much rather see someone take a chance and make a real prediction.

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I think because the 1st halve of the season is so tough If we go .500 or over

we will be in good shape to win the east

If we're under at the end of 8 games we could go anywhere from 6 to 8 wins

JMO

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the cache of being a returning playoff team is not the same as it used to be. many teams win 10 or 11 games one year and are back to 6 or 7 wins the next, just consider the Bears from 2002.

I don't see any games on the schedule that are unwinnable right now, not that the team WILL win them all. But to put down a L next to any games right now is just crazy.

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