NFC East: 5 things to look for in 2018

NFC East, NFL Season Preview

With the Eagles, Cowboys, and Giants all hoping for big seasons, it’s tough to predict which team will come out on top. Here are five things to look for in the NFC East in 2018.

The NFL preseason has officially kicked off, so after nearly seven months away, fans are finally getting an up-close look at what their teams will bring to the table for the 2018 season.

It’s always a blessing and a curse, as the Washington Redskins found out on Friday when it was announced that rookie running back Derrius Guice, a second-round draft pick, will miss the entire year with a torn ACL.

And speaking of the Redskins, we are continuing with our NFL division preview slideshows, and today is all about the division the Redskins reside in.

This is always one of the most interesting and unpredictable divisions in the league; there hasn’t been a repeat champion in the NFC East in 14 seasons.

The Philadelphia Eagles won the Super Bowl last year, but they are far from a lock to win it again. Before they can even think about that, they’ll have to contend with their pesky division mates first.

With that being said, here are five things to look for in the NFC East in 2018 …

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – AUGUST 09: Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants calls out the play in the first quarter against the Cleveland Browns during their preseason game on August 9,2018 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

5. Eli Manning on the hot seat in New York

If you’ve watched Eli Manning over the last few seasons, and especially in 2017, sometimes it’s hard to believe that he is a two-time Super Bowl champion and a two-time Super Bowl MVP. In both of those Super Bowls, Manning outplayed the great Tom Brady.

The last championship came in 2011, and since then, the New York Giants have been finding themselves anywhere from average to just plain bad.

They’ve only made the playoffs once in the last six seasons, and in that lone appearance in 2016, they were blown out of the water 38-13 by the Green Bay Packers in the wild card round.

Manning, who has been New York’s full-time starting quarterback since 2005, will enter the 2018 season at age 37. His prime years are long behind him, as we’ve seen, but the Giants believe he has enough left in his tank to help them win for the near future.

With that being said, Manning will need to have a pretty good year in 2018 for a newly-remodeled Giants team or else they might start looking at other options.

As proven in the past, Manning is a pretty effective quarterback when he is surrounded by a pretty good team. After last season’s 3-13 debacle, Giants ownership gave the team a makeover.

They hired a new GM and a new head coach, made some improvements on the offensive line and some adjustments on defense. Now, all they need in order to have a bounce back season is production from the guy who has been their one constant over the years: Manning.

Fortunately, not all of the workload will fall on him, as the Giants drafted running back phenom Saquon Barkley second overall in the 2018 draft. Barkley has a superstar potential, and should take a good amount of pressure off of the aging quarterback.

Manning also has one of the best receivers in the league, Odell Beckham Jr., at his disposal.

New York has no intentions of replacing Manning any time soon, but that doesn’t mean his job won’t be in jeopardy if he can’t come through this season.

The Giants selected quarterback Kyle Lauletta in the fourth round, who will most likely be competing with second-year QB Davis Webb for the backup job, and the team will have a nice pair of options to choose from should Manning fail to bounce back.

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