Three teams from the NFC East made the 2022 playoffs. This was the most from a division in the NFC. Heading into the 2023 season, the NFC East could be the best division in the conference yet again.
The Philadelphia Eagles are among the NFL odds’ Super Bowl 58 favorites (+700). The Dallas Cowboys seem poised for another postseason appearance following back-to-back 12-win seasons. The New York Giants are rising with coach Brian Daboll, while the Washington Commanders have promising potential with a new starting quarterback.
This can be one of the toughest divisions to bet on. No team has won consecutive divisional titles since 2004. The Eagles seem like the best team, but they won the East in 2022. Will Philadelphia end the curse? Let’s look at promising NFC East futures for the 2023 season.
Brutal Schedule Leads to Under
The Giants were one of the pleasant surprises in the 2022 season. Daboll’s immediate impact was evident, leading New York to a 9-7-1 record and playoff win. After adding several promising rookies and tight end Darren Waller, will the Giants take another step forward?
I’m expecting a letdown season for the Big Blue. It’s not that I dislike New York’s additions. Waller has mostly drawn glowing reports in the offseason, and rookies John Michael Schmitz Jr. and Deonte Banks should make notable contributions.
The @Giants YouTube account uploaded Darren Waller’s highlights throughout camp
Let’s just say…he’s different pic.twitter.com/kIcstlF5rX
— Nick Falato (@nickfalato) August 23, 2023
The Giants have a brutal schedule to start the 2023 season. In the first six weeks of the season, New York faces the Cowboys, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Miami Dolphins and Buffalo Bills. Good luck surviving that stretch.
A 1-5 start is realistic, as the Arizona Cardinals in Week 2 could be the only “easy win.” New York will also play the New York Jets, Green Bay Packers, New Orleans Saints, the Eagles (twice) and the Cowboys in the second half of the season. The Giants could be in store for a disappointing season.
Commanders Charge to Third-Place Finish
The sportsbook has the Washington Commanders with the longest odds to win the division (+1200). Washington shocked the league by winning the East in 2020. The Commanders had the longest odds ahead of the 2020 season too. Is Washington capable of doing it again in 2023?
Don’t count on it. The Commanders have not had a winning season since 2016. The NFC East is no longer the weakest division in football like it was in 2020. This division has quickly rebounded, as the Eagles (+325) and Cowboys (+600) are among the NFL lines’ top three favorites to win the NFC.
However, Washington is still capable of improving. It has a much more favorable schedule compared to the Giants. The Commanders will play the Cardinals, Denver Broncos, Chicago Bears, Atlanta Falcons, New England Patriots and Los Angeles Rams.
Quarterback Sam Howell impressed in the preseason. Washington could finally have quality QB play. This could spell trouble for opposing defenses, as Terry McLaurin, Jahan Dotson and Curtis Samuel form a formidable receiving trio. The defense finished third in allowed yards per game in 2022.
I’m willing to take the risk on the Commanders. In Howell’s sole starting game, Washington cruised to a 26-6 win, covering the 7½-point spread. Washington is an intriguing pick to finish third in the division (+210). You could also pair this bet with the Giants finishing in fourth (+210).
Repeat Curse Lives On
The question on everyone’s mind: Will the Eagles finally end the curse? Philadelphia was the last team to do so, winning the East from 2001-04. Maybe it’s fate; only the Eagles can repeat in the modern era.
How can we ignore a 19-year trend, though? Avoiding a consecutive champion has consistently provided results in NFL betting. I still believe Philly is the best team in the division. Who doesn’t? The Eagles nearly won Super Bowl 57 and should be in contention once again.
So who will prevent a repeat? Dallas has the best chance. The Cowboys at +175 are not far behind Philadelphia (-130). It’s easy to make fun of Dallas for its incompetence in the postseason.
However, the Cowboys have succeeded in the regular season with 12 wins in 2021 and 2022. Dallas has not reached 12 wins in back-to-back regular seasons since 1994 and 1995. This was the Cowboys’ heyday with the triplets: Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith and Michael Irvin.
Dallas should have one of the best defenses in the NFL, led by Micah Parsons. The offense has some questions following the departure of Kellen Moore. On paper, it’s still a talented unit. The receiving corps is improved with the addition of Brandin Cooks.
Doesn’t matter what team he’s on, Brandin Cooks gets it done. pic.twitter.com/MdKO2HdyoN
— NFL (@NFL) August 27, 2023
Most importantly, the Cowboys competed with the Eagles in 2022, splitting the two head-to-head matchups. Look for Dallas to prevent a Philadelphia repeat.