When the Washington Redskins closed the 2012 season seven straight wins and won the NFC East, it completed the division’s superfecta—all four teams had won it in four successive years. The streak started with the Dallas Cowboys in 2009, then the Philadelphia Eagles in 2010. The New York Giants won the division en route to their Super Bowl title in 2011 and then Washington last year.
Other than New York though, that hasn’t translated into postseason success. Nor even regular season dominance for that matter. All four division winners failed to get a first-round bye and had to play on the opening weekend of the playoffs. Dallas won a game in ’09—even that was against wild-card Philly—but the ’10 Eagles and ’12 Redskins each exited in the first round on their home field.
If the conventional wisdom of the preseason is accurate, we can expect more of the same in 2013. The NFC East race is expected to be razor-tight. The Redskins are the narrowest of favorites at 9-5, with the Giants right behind at 5-2 and the Cowboys at 9-4. Even the Eagles, at 5-1, are hardly a longshot.
This is also the one division where the early Las Vegas numbers are conflicted, in that betting odds are conflicted—while the Redskins are the slight division favorite, it’s the Giants who have the highest expectations on the Over/Under win prop for each individual team. New York is on 9, with Washington and Dallas at 8 ½.
All of that tells us it’s anyone’s ball game in the NFC East this year. The NFL analysis at the links below previews each team and measures them against their Over/Under win prop. We’ll have final preseason predictions here at TheSportsNotebook in the early part of next week, prior to Thursday night’s opener.
There’s also one other thing that looks the same in the NFC East—with San Francisco, Seattle and Green Bay as the favorites in the NFC, it’s not anticipated that the division champ will make a deep run in the playoffs.