Heller: NFC East Answers to my Preseason Series “3 Burning Questions” 

With the regular season over, here are the answers to my three burning questions from before the season.

New York Giants 

Is this Eli’s farewell tour? The reigns were handed over to rookie Daniel Jones in Week 3 after the Giants started 0-2 with Manning under center. The team’s season was far from a successful one. Head coach Pat Shurmur lost his job on Black Monday, and it could be the last we see of the two Super Bowl Champion, too.
How much will no Odell hurt? That seemed to totally derail this team before the season even started. While Beckham had a quiet season in Cleveland, so did all of the Giants receivers, with the exception of rookie Darius Slayton.
Can opposing defenses slow down Barkley? Only when he’s playing through a high ankle sprain. It took until Week 15, but the second year running back finally started looking the way he did in his rookie season.

Dallas Cowboys 

When will we see Zeke? Ezekiel Elliott held out but was back for the start of the season. He took a few weeks to get back to form, but all in all, he had a good season.
Can Dak survive without Zeke? He couldn’t make it even with him. Prescott struggled quite a bit this year. The team lost to many teams they should have beaten and missed the playoffs, which will make for an interesting offseason in Dallas. Will Prescott get a new contract in Dallas? If so, will Jason Garrett be his coach?
Can the front seven mask a suspect secondary? The secondary was exposed quite often, forcing the offense to play catch-up on the scoreboard more often than not throughout the season.

Philadelphia Eagles 

Can Wentz survive a whole season? The short answer is yes. Wentz, although it took until the final weeks to clinch his team the NFC East title, will play in a wild card matchup against the Seahawks next weekend. What’s most impressive was Wentz’s performance despite his receiving core being depleted all season due to multiple injuries.
Is that who we think it is? Desean Jackson did not have much of an impact this season. Neither did his fellow receivers, as they all battled injuries that caused them to miss many games.
Did they add more running backs? The running backs also saw injuries. Jordan Howard missed multiple games. Second-round pick Miles Sanders carried this team’s running game all season quite successfully. There were also a few games where Jay Ajayi saw another stint with Philly.

Washington Redskins

When will it be Haskins’s time? Haskins got quite a bit of playing time. Albeit it was nothing more than his learning curve, since the Redskins season didn’t go as planned.
Can you win games with this D? Apparently not. The Redskins gave up quite a bit of points. That is sure to change heading into next season. Ron Rivera has been hired as head coach and former NFL head coach Jack Del Rio joined the team as defensive coordinator. With the No. 2 pick in the draft, Ohio State’s Chase Young could be the first piece to making this defense better next season
Will the backfield do enough? With all the names on the depth chart prior to the season, future Hall of Famer Adrian Peterson was the only one who made it through the season. Although he is getting older, he still showed glimpses of his Pro Bowl form of years past.

While I was right in the end that the division was Philadelphia’s to lose, the way they were able to win it was still rather impressive. We will have to wait and see how far they can go in the playoffs.

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