NFC East Preview: Philadelphia Eagles Attempt Rare Division Repeat

Posted on: August 29, 2023, 10:23h. 

Last updated on: August 30, 2023, 11:25h.

The Philadelphia Eagles enter the regular season as the betting favorite to win the NFC East in consecutive years at -135 odds, which is much harder to achieve than you think. There hasn’t been a repeat division winner in a hyper-competitive NFC East since 2004.

Jalen Hurts Eagles
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts scores a touchdown against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium in Week 14 last season. (Image: AP)

The NFC East crown is a hot potato. It’s been nearly 20 years since a team won consecutive division titles. The Eagles won three straight NFC East titles between 2002 and 2004.

Three different teams won the NFC East over the last three seasons, which leaves pundits wondering if the New York Giants can prevail and complete a perfect cycle. The Giants haven’t won the NFC East since 2011. In the following 11 years, their rivals won multiple division titles. The Eagles and Dallas Cowboys won four times each, and the Washington Commanders shipped the division crown three times.

The NFC East didn’t have a losing team in 2022, and the last-place Commanders finished the season with an 8-8-1 record.

Three teams from the NFC East qualified for the playoffs. The Giants and Cowboys were NFC wild card teams. The Eagles secured the #1 seed in the NFC playoffs and a first-round bye with a 14-3 record.

The Giants and Cowboys won their first-round games during Wild Card Weekend, but both teams lost in the NFC divisional round.

The Eagles defeated a banged-up 49ers to win the NFC championship. But they lost to the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LVII.

Philadelphia Eagles: Another Shot at the Super Bowl

  • NFC East Odds: -135
  • Super Bowl Odds: +650
  • 2022 Record: 14-3
  • 2023 Win Total: 11.5 o/u

Winning teams can become the victims of their own success, and their coaching staff will get raided by other teams in the off-season. This is an ongoing problem for head coaches like Kyle Shanahan and Sean McVay, who are unable to retain their coordinators before another team offers them a head coaching job.

Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni lost two trusted assistants this off-season after a trip to the Super Bowl. Former Eagles offensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon is the new head coach of the Arizona Cardinals, and former defensive coordinator Shane Steichen is the new head coach of the Indianapolis Colts.

While the Eagles adjust to new coordinators, they hit the road for four out of their first six games. After a bye in Week 10, the Eagles have nondivisional road games against the Chiefs and Seattle Seahawks. They also host the Buffalo Bills and the San Francisco 49ers.

The Eagles had the best record in the NFL last season at 14-3, but they only have a projected win total of 11.5 o/u this season.

The Eagles have one of the best offensive lines in the NFL, and also boast a top-notch defense. They have a dangerous deep-threat duo with quarterback Jalen Hurts and wide receiver AJ Brown.

The Eagles are +250 odds to win the NFC championship in consecutive years, and they’ll open the season as the consensus favorite. The Chiefs are the betting favorite to win the Super Bowl in back-to-back seasons at +600 odds, but the Eagles are right behind them at +650.

Dallas Cowboys: Texas Coast Offense

  • NFC East Odds: +195
  • Super Bowl Odds: +1400
  • 2022 Record: 12-5
  • 2023 Win Total: 10.5 o/u

The Cowboys fired offensive coordinator Kellen Moore, which was a bit surprising considering Dallas averaged 27.7 points per game in the last four seasons under Moore. The high-octane Chiefs were the only team to boast a higher scoring average (28.8 ppg) since 2019.

Owner Jerry Jones tossed Moore under the bus after a devastating 19-12 loss in the NFC divisional round against the 49ers. Moore wasn’t unemployed for long before the Los Angeles Chargers hired him to run their offense.

The Cowboys hired Brian Schottenheimer as their new offensive coordinator. But head coach Mike McCarthy will take over play-calling duties. McCarthy hasn’t called plays since the 2018 season with the Green Bay Packers.

Quarterback Dak Prescott joked that he’s running the “Texas Coast Offense,” which is a wordplay on McCarthy’s affinity for the popular West Coast offense. Schottenheimer admitted that 70% of their playbook and verbiage is what Moore used in the last four seasons.

Running back Ezekiel Elliot is no longer with the Cowboys, and Tony Pollard becomes the focal point of their rushing attack. Wide receivers battled injuries the last few seasons, but the Cowboys have a reliable trio with CeeDee Lamb, Brandin Cooks, and Michael Gallup.

The Cowboys will play challenging nondivision road games against the 49ers, Chargers, Bills, and Dolphins.

New York Giants: Best Betting Team in 2022

  • NFC East Odds: +900
  • Super Bowl Odds: +6500
  • 2022 Record:  9-7-1
  • 2023 Win Total: 7.5 o/u

Even though the Giants won nine games last year, they have a win total of 7.5 o/u because of their difficult schedule. They could start the season 1-5, with four road games in a five-week span.

In Brian Daboll’s first season as a head coach, the Giants had the best betting record in the NFL last season with a 13-4 record against the spread. They were also 10-2 ATS as underdogs.

Heading into the 2023 season, the Giants are listed as an underdog in eight out of their first 12 games.

The Giants face challenging nondivisional road opponents, including the NFC West favorite 49ers, along with the Dolphins, Bills, and New Orleans Saints. They also host tough home games against the Seahawks, Jets, and Patriots.

In a weird scheduling quirk, two of the final three games of the season are against the Eagles.

The Giants are +160 odds to make the playoffs, according to a prop bet by DraftKings. They’re a betting favorite to miss the postseason at -190 odds.

Quarterback Daniel Jones earned a lucrative pay raise with a four-year contract extension worth $160 million, which troubled many fans who weren’t 100% convinced that his performance in 2022 wasn’t a fluke.

Running back Saquon Barkley wasn’t thrilled when he was unable to negotiate a contract extension with the Giants this off-season. They slapped a franchise tag on him, and Barkley avoided a potential holdout when he signed their tender offer of $10.09 million prior to the start of training camp.

Washington Commanders: ‘Riverboat’ Ron in the Hot Seat

  • NFC East Odds: +1300
  • Super Bowl Odds: +6500
  • 2022 Record: 8-8-1
  • 2023 Win Total: 6.5 o/u

The Commanders hired Eric Bieniemy as their new offensive coordinator. Bieniemy was considered the top offensive coordinator in the NFL after he won two Super Bowls with the Chiefs. He could have secured head coaching positions, but the Commanders persuaded him to join them as their OC.

Bieniemy is tasked with revamping their offense. The Commanders named Sam Howell their starting quarterback, but will utilize a running back by committee with Brian Robinson and Antonio Gibson.

The Commanders finished in fourth place in the division and missed the playoffs with an 8-8-1 record in 2022. They’re a long shot to make the playoffs at +300 odds, and -370 odds to miss the postseason for a third year in a row.

Head coach “Riverboat” Ron Rivera enters this season with the assumption that he will lose his job if he can’t produce a winning record. He’s 22-27-1 in three seasons as a head coach with the Commanders. He secured a playoff berth in 2020 after the Commanders lucked their way into a division title with a 7-9 record.

The division was so bad in 2020 that fans shared memes that included a dumpster fire and trash cans with NFC East logos. Then again, the NFC East pulled itself out of the gutter in two years and sent three teams to the playoffs in 2022.