Is the NFC East Still A Beast? Yes, But….

The NFL Network hit a home run (to use a baseball term) with its Top 100 NFL Players for 2011. For ten weeks, NFL Net strung out revelations of players ranking, as voted by the players themselves, building fan buzz as they went along.

The list held little interest for Washington Redskins fans. NFL Net listed the only Redskin to make the list right off the bat–Donovan McNabb as the 100th top player for this season.  We’ll save the topic of McNabb being the top 100th player for some other team for another day. What I want to point out right now is that no NFC East player ranked in the top 10 and only two ranked in the top 20.

Has the beast lost its bite?

NFC East Players on the  NFL TOP 100 Players of 2011
DALLAS POS RANK   NY GIANTS POS RANK
DeMarcus Ware  DE 12 Justin Tuck DE 60
Jason Witten TE 36 Antrel Rolle S 68
Andre Gurode G 57 Chris Snee G 77
Miles Austin WR 70
Tony Romo QB 72
Jay Ratiff DE 75
PHILADELPHIA WASHINGTON
Michael Vick QB 20 Donovan McNabb  QB 100
DeSean Jackson  WR 29
Asante Samuel CB 54
Trent Cole DE 73

The fact that Washington’s only player on the list is considered a bust by the front office is just silly. (There is no other word for it.) If the players were surveyed after the ’05 season when the Gibbs II gang was at their height, then Clinton Portis, Santana Moss, Chris Samuels and perhaps Sean Taylor and Shawn Springs would have made the list.

DeMarcus Ware of the Dallas Cowboys was the highest-ranked beast and the second-ranked defensive end after Julius Peppers (Bears, ranked 10th). Only four Beast players were voted among the top 50 players.

The NFC East boasts of being the league’s toughest. Lets just call them the most competitive instead.

Real players have more informed opinions than fans. Opinion is not prediction. Albert Haynesworth in a Sports Illustrated survey of players was ranked as the NFL’s top player going into the 2009 season. Redskins fans know how that turned out.

The underachieveing Cowboys had the most players in the Top 100. That can only mean that they underachieved last season. Count on it. They will be favored to win the division in 2011.

The Eagles have the most dynamic offense in the division. Philadelphia was the second-ranked offense in 2010 and that was more than Michael Vick. The Eagles offense is no worse off with Vick and running back LeSean McCoy than they were with McNabb and Brian Westbrook. But oh my, that receiving corps of Jackson, Jeremy Maclin and Brent Celek is better than the group McNabb worked with since Terrell Owens pouted his way out of Phily.

The Eagles are the menace within the beast. 

Anthony Brown

About Anthony Brown

Lifelong Redskins fan and blogger about football and life since 2004. Joined MVN's Hog Heaven blog in 2005 and then moved Redskins Hog Heaven to Bolguin Network. Believes that the course of a season is pre-ordained by management decisions made during the offseason. Can occasionally be found on the This Given Sunday blog and he does guest posts.

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