Will the NFC East be a lot tighter than most observers think this year? The number crunchers at Football Outsiders think that it will be.
The put out their 2012 Football Outsiders Almanac earlier this month and among the many interesting nuggets contained in the book (PDF version available now, I’m waiting for the Kindle version) is a projection of the NFC East wins. It is safe to say that their prediction is quite unlike you’re going to find on ESPN or in Street and Smith’s or whatever your newsstand preseason magazine of choice is.
Basically, FO projects a repeat of 2011 with the division champ again posting a single-digit win total. Here is what the project (via Blogging the Boys):
If you round those to the nearest whole numbers here are their projected standings
Cowboys 8-8 (or 7-9)
Under this scenario with just two games separating first place from last, the Redskins would have a shot at sneaking into the playoffs with some good fortune on their end and a bit of bad luck on the part of the Eagles and Giants.
Still, it would not be a good idea to catch the next flight to Vegas and put the mortgage money on the Redskins’ chances. They projected the Eagles at 11.7 wins last year and we all know that the Dream Team did not have a dream season as Philly went 8-8. They were in the ballpark with the other teams in the division, however, projecting 8.2 for the Giants (actual total 9 wins), 7.7 for Dallas (8 actual) and 5.6 for the Redskins (5 actual).