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SportsIllustrated.com: Busting myths about the 2011 NFL season


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If there’s one thing that we should have learned by now, it’s that there are no sure things in the NFL. Of course, every year about this time, we find ourselves picking through all the sure-fire bets to try and figure out what will actually happen.

More often than not, we wind up being proven wrong.

So with that in mind, here’s a look at five “guarantees” about the 2011 season that are far from locks:

The Eagles will cruise to an NFC East title

There’s one pretty key fact everyone lost during the Philadelphia “Dream Team” talk: The Eagles’ offensive line is a major issue. Philly has one rookie starter, Jason Kelce, and another, Danny Watkins, who played his way out of the lineup. Philly’s front struggled throughout the preseason protecting its quarterbacks.

That issue could mean Michael Vick finds himself on the receiving end of a ton of big hits during 2011 — he missed three-plus games last season after injuring his ribs against Washington, remember. And it could mean less running room for LeSean McCoy and company.

The other mistake being made with this assumption is that the rest of the division is going to just roll over. Forget about that. Sure, the Giants are already struggling with injuries, the Redskins look overmatched on paper and the Cowboys are working in a new defensive scheme. Dallas also has Tony Romo sits to pee returning from injury to guide a potentially potent offense, the Giants still have talent all over the field and the Redskins are just feisty enough to step up and bite a couple teams.

Forget about writing them into the Super Bowl: The Eagles will have a fight on their hands to just win the division.

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