Thursday, Sep 5th
Monday, Sep 9th

NFC East

Cowboys ::

  • Dan Quinn DC (ATL HC)
  • OL finally healthy, could push for top 5
  • Top 3 offense with Kellen Moore at OC as long as Dak is healthy
  • Played at the second fastest situation neutral pace of play in 2020
  • Ranked 12th in the league in situation neutral pass play rate (61%)
  • Defense vulnerable second level inside (Dan Quinn much better DC than HC, but personnel may hold them back)
  • Although a top overall offense, expect it to be extremely spread out with mismatches able to be created on all levels
  • For all the talk about Zeke and Pollard in the pass game, RBs were targeted only 18.1% of the time in 2020 (middle of the pack)
  • Unclear expected TE target and snap rate distribution
  • Not much else to say about this offense or what to expect as not much has changed (Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb, Michael Gallup, and Ezekiel Elliott are all +++ talents)
  • New DC Dan Quinn has been a longtime proponent of a 4-3 cover-2 defensive philosophy, but was hired as the DC after a successful interview where he pitched updated 3-4 single high and 3-4 cover-3 defensive philosophies
  • Expect a high level of zone concepts defensively with tailored blitz packages defensing on down and distance
  • The problem is the Cowboys don’t possess the personnel to remain consistent in these high zone defensive looks
  • Expect them to struggle in the early going over the short-intermediate middle of the field and deep sideline areas

Giants ::

  • Added corner Adoree’ Jackson
  • Failed to address OL until 53-man cuts, adding three players
  • PFF has this OL unit ranked last in the league entering 2021
  • Evan Engram appears likely to miss the start of the season (this dude just can’t stay healthy)
  • Jason Garrett somehow maintains a coaching job in the NFL while trotting out mundane offenses year after year
  • Sterling Shepard moves back to the slot after the signing of Kenny Golladay
  • Expect Golladay and Darius Slayton to man the perimeter
  • Vanilla offense, little to no pre-snap movements and misdirection, and mundane route trees for all my friends
  • It is likely, in my eyes, that Sterling Shepard leads the team in targets, but not a lot to get excigted about here
  • The Giants held RB Saquon Barkley’s health close to the chest this offseason; while he appears set for Week 1, it is likely he is eased in over the first few weeks of the season
  • Biggest change for this team is the return to health of James Bradberry and the addition of Adoree’ Jackson to the secondary; Bradberry was graded as a top five corner in 2020 while Jackson is one year removed from a top five finish himself, after missing parts of 2020 due to injury
  • Joined by Jabril Peppers and Logan Ryan, this secondary actually looks quite good on paper
  • The 3-4 cover-2 base defense utilizes little blitz rates and relies on NT Austin Johnson to clog running lanes inside, forcing opposing backfields to the edge, where athletic linebackers handle the rest

Eagles ::

  • Nick Sirianni HC (IND OC)
  • Shane Steichen OC (LAC OC)
  • Jonathan Gannon DC (IND DB)
  • Jalen Hurts at QB
  • Youngest starting WR corps in the league (DeVonta Smith-22, Jalen Raegor-22, Quez Watkins-23)
  • Zach Ertz returns; expect a good bit of 12-personnel with Dallas Goedert
  • Atrocious pass-blocking OL (yielded the most sacks in the league in 2020), due in part to injuries
  • Young WRs + young/mobile QB + OL better at run-blocking than pass pro = naked Hurts
  • Expect Shane Steichen and Nick Sirianni to devise an offense set up to feed their strengths; layered route depths and quick slants and screens to take advantage of the speed and quickness of his WRs, targets to RBs out of the backfield, and TE involvement not only to the middle of the field
  • Look for this Eagles offense to loosely resemble that of the Lions, with heavy RB involvement and unique heavy personnel groupings
  • DC Jonathan Gannon gets his first crack at defensive coordinator duties; served most recently as the DBs coach under Frank Reich, but worked for three years under Mike Zimmer’s Vikings
  • New-age coach that intends to build a scheme around his roster… so, who do they have on the roster?
  • Based on up-front personnel, I’d expect a 4-3 base with Derek Barnett, Fletcher Cox, Javon Hargrave, and Brandon Graham along the line and Genard Avery, Eric Wilson, and Alex Singleton filling a “flex LB” look
  • On the back end, I expect a mix of man and zone principles with single high through cover-4 and quarters coverages; basically, this defense is going to be flexible, both in-game and week-to-week
  • Complexities abound on the back end :: again, this should take time (and mistakes) to really get down, so targeting this secondary to start the year should prove fruitful
  • Darius Slay had somewhat of a bounce back season in 2020 after disappointing in 2019, but I don’t expect him to shadow at all this season based on the new DC hire

WFT ::

  • Added corner William Jackson
  • Head coach Ron Rivera is one of only a handful of coaches who doesn’t take a series off, regardless of the score
  • OC Scott Turner, Norv Turner’s son, should enjoy continued growth in his second season as OC; his scheme is complex and adaptable
  • Washington runs a base 11-personnel groupings offense and added WRs Adam Humphries and Curtis Samuel to the WR corps, joining third year pro Terry McLaurin
  • Logan Thomas has developed into an every-down TE and ran routes at an extremely high rate in 2020; now, with more talent at the WR position this year, will that continue?
  • WR Adam Humphries is your prototypical slot WR, which should mean Curtis Samuel is forced outside for the majority of his snaps
  • WFT targeted the RB position at the second highest rate in 2020 (28.1%, second only to the Saints)
  • Finished 2020 middle of the pack in situation neutral pace of play but ranked third to last in drive success rate on offense, an area they must improve on with the new additions to the offense to be effective
  • Charles Leno, Jr. joins the offensive line, a unit ranked 17th in PFF’s preseason rankings (finished last season ranked sixth overall – simply a case of OL turnover, but this team has the personnel to return another top 10 finish)
  • Brought in QB Ryan Fitzpatrick
  • Reports from Camp Rivera indicate he is looking to utilize RB Antonio Gibson like he did CMC in Carolina
  • On the defensive side, expect a 4-3 base cover-2 defensive scheme with Kendall Fuller and William Jackson forming a formidable corner pairing
  • Expect high zone rates and high blitz rates

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