1 Eagles – Eagles and G-Men should run neck-and-neck. McNabb has plenty of weapons and the defense has been revamped. Maclin could end up being rookie of the year. They death of defensive genius Jimmy Johnson shouldn’t effect this veteran unit too much, but it could.
2 Giants – NY is still a very tough team. Eli will struggle at times because he lacks a big play receiver. He’ll need rookie WR Hakeem Nicks to step up. Look for Brandon Jacobs to carry the load. The defense is very good but it is a little banged up right now.
3 Redskins – I am not in love with J Campbell but he doesn’t have to be a fantasy stud for this team to do well. He just need to manage the games and let Portis do his thing. The defense should be one of the league’s best.
4 Cowboys – Last place in the East isn’t a terrible thing but it probably means the end to Wade Phillips. Romo’s only legitimate target is TE Jason Witten. The running game is very vanilla. They will need to get Felix more time in the backfield. The defense is also very average and the defensive backfield a little suspect.
1 Bears – Da Bears have a franchise QB, one of the league’s best young RBs and a dynamic duo at the TE position. The offensive line looks solid after an off-season overhaul. They may need a big play WR but Hester and Bennett show some promise. The defense is the only question mark. We will see what magic Marinelli can work with the D-Line.
2 Vikings – The Vikings will be right on the Bears tail. A.P. is awesome and now he has a pro-bowl caliber passer on his side. Granted he is almost 40 but he still has one season left in him. Look for Percy Harvin to be an immediate contributor. The defense is solid once again. The only weak spot might be the defensive backfield but the front seven should make up for that.
3 Packers – Green Bay could surprise and take the division but they have a couple of big questions to answer. RB Ryan Grant has to show he can stay healthy for this team to have a chance. The passing game should be entertaining with Rodgers & Co. The defense is the other question mark. They are switching schemes and have some new personnel. There could be some growing pains.
4 Lions – Why even make a comment here. They are bad but there is hope now that there is yet another new coach in town. The development, or impending slaughter, of QB Matt Stafford should be interesting to watch.
1 Panthers – The Panthers should do well again this year. Delhomme isn’t a great QB but he is one of the better game managers in the league. It also doesn’t hurt that Steve Smith is catching his passes. RBs DeAngelo Williams and Jon Stewart are a great tandem. The defense was a question mark in the off-season but getting Peppers back in the fold and Beason healthy were keys and they’re both back.
2 Falcons – Atlanta’s defense took a hit in the off-season and teams shouldn’t have any problems scoring on them. However QB Matt Ryan, RB Michael Turner, WR Roddy White and newly acquired TE Tony Gonzalez should make for a high powered offense. Good enough to stay in the wildcard hunt but not good enough to over take Carolina.
3 Saints – New Orleans has Drew Brees and that is enough to give any team hope. However he has no run help at all. The often injured Reggie Bush and Pierre Thomas will be average at best. WRs Brees has, RB support he doesn’t. Look for lots of scoring, by both teams. The Saints are in the middle of a defensive revamp but they’re still a year or two away from being a good unit.
4 Bucs – This team isn’t going to be very good. I think coach Raheem Morris will be a good one but he doesn’t have the horses yet. RB Cadillac Williams will try to stay healthy and could contribute but it looks like a committee with Ward and Graham. Leftwich is the QB and you can’t help but root for him but he’ll get injured and their is a young, inexperienced guy behind him. Yikes! The defensive line is pretty good but the rest of the D is still a work in progress.
1 Seahawks – Seattle is back. QB Matt Hasselback is finally healthy and he has TJ and John Carlson to throw the ball to. They also have a balanced running attack with Jones, James and Forsett. The defense should be improved this season with the additions of Kerney at DE and rookie linebacker Aaron Curry.
2 Cardinals – Last year must have seemed like a dream to Cards fans and I think 2009 is the wake up. They aren’t a bad team but they are a truly mediocre bunch. Warner is a good QB but time will eventually catch up to him. One thing the Cards have is a tremendous group of WRs in Fitzgerald, Boldin and Breaston. However I don’t see the running game being all that effective. If teams blitz Arizona a lot and hurt Warner this season will be over. Defensively the team is OK but not great. Their depth at key positions should be a concern.
3 49ers – If Singletary keeps his pants on it will be an improvement over last season. San Fran has RB Frank Gore and he will keep the offense moving, at least a bit. The Niners are still unsettled at the QB position and their #1 WR is still unsigned. The defense will be decent but I anticipate they will be on the field a lot.
4 Rams – This could be the worst team in football. Bulger and Jackson will have to run for their lives. The system has changed with new coach Steve Spagnola and it will be a few years before he gets the right people in place. The defense, more specifically the pass defense will be brutal. It would surprise me if they gave up an average of 30 points per game.