NFL2014 Crystal Schnoz Predictions – NFC East

3 notes before we get to the predictions:

1. NFL predictions are so hard to nail because of injuries, parity, and random bounces of the ball. That’s why this is so fun.

2. FO = Football Outsiders. I reference them and their phenomenal stats a lot. Their almanac is fantastic, go buy it.

3. Share your predictions in the comments so we can come back in January and marvel at how much smarter I am than you. Sounds like a challenge!


#1 – Philadelphia Eagles

2 Things You Might Already Know

1) Whether you consider him a genius or a pile of hype, Chip Kelly’s offense delivered in 2013. Fastest paced offense ever, most Yards After Catch in over 20 years (7.04), and the #1 rushing attack in 2013 (all stats per FO). And beyond that, they made the playoffs.

2) The Eagles got lucky as well, losing the least amount of guys to injury in the NFL last year per FO’s Adjusted Games Lost measurement. (Or maybe it wasn’t luck? Kelly preaches nutrition, sleep, and medical technology. Maybe that stuff actually works?)

2 Things You Didn’t Already Know

1) Chip Kelly averaged 3.1 TKW* in 2013. While it was far and away the highest average in the league, it doesn’t come close to Andy Reid’s 17.4 TKPW mark set in 2009.

*TKW = Tastykakes eaten per Week

2) During a game of hide and seek during training camp, Eagles RB Darren Sproles hid in a microwave.

Random Object That Reminds Us Of This Team Without Any Context or Explanation: a scooter

Celebrity Fans: Bradley Cooper, Kobe Bryant, and Will Smith

Best Case Scenario: 16-0

Worst Case Scenario: Chip Kelly takes the technology thing too far and has electrodes implanted under every square inch of his players’ skin. When the circuitry goes awry during a January home game, the players start attacking the fans. Forced to defend themselves, the fans pelt the players with thousands of ice balls and they all die.

Schnoz Prediction: 11-5

Why: Just like it’s counterpart in the AFC, the East is terrible. We’ll document the other teams’ fatal flaws below, but it feels like all the Eagles need to do to earn a playoff spot is tread water. Their schedule is much tougher this year, but another season with Kelly at the helm and fresh weapons like Sproles, Matthews, and returning TE Zach Ertz should keep their offense two steps ahead of everyone else. Is Nick Foles good or just a benefactor of Kelly’s brilliance? Heck, is he even better than backup Mark Sanchez? We’re not sure on either count, but we’re not sure it matters either.

#2 – New York Giants

2 Things You Might Already Know

1) For the first time in eight years Eli Manning’s Offensive Coordinator will not be Kevin Gilbride. Ben McAdoo – he of the West Coast-inspired attack – is now calling the shots.

2) Per FO, this team has the worst injury luck in 2013 of any team in NFL history.

2 Things You Didn’t Already Know

1) The style guide for the New York Giants’ franchise lists their official shade of red as “Tom Coughlin’s face during a below freezing night game after an Eli pick six.” Very specific.

2) WR Victor Cruz once thought about playing Scrabble.

Random Object That Reminds Us Of This Team Without Any Context or Explanation: rusty pliers

Celebrity Fans: Spike Lee, Jordin Sparks, and Daniel Radcliffe

Best Case Scenario: 16-0

Worst Case Scenario: The Giants get their schedules mixed up and show up for their opening game at MetLife Stadium instead of in Detroit. Tensions mount inside the stadium because rapper 50-Cent is throwing a “Get Well Soon” party for recent gunshot victim Suge Knight on the fifty yard line of the field. Out of nowhere, Eli Manning pulls out a pair of glocks and starts firing shots into the soiree, angering Suge Knight because it’s annoying to be shot twice in the same four-week period. Suge Knight blacks out and destroys every living thing inside the stadium, and they all die.

Schnoz Prediction: 7-9

Why:  We wanted to pick the Giants as a surprise playoff team this year, we really did. This defense, which faced the toughest slate of opposing offenses last year, will be better in 2014. Their secondary, which added Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Walter Thurmond, might even sneak into the level of “Top Five Secondary in the Game” discussion. But the offense…oh the offense. Eventually Eli will adjust to the new scheme; heck, it might even be before Thanksgiving. But the growing pains will hurt, and like a wobbly deep ball in the swirling winds of the Meadowlands, achieving a winning record will probably end up just out of their grasp.

#3 – Dallas Cowboys

2 Things You Might Already Know

1) This team ran the fewest offensive plays in the league last year, despite being the second best team in the red zone (behind Denver). Can new O.C. Scott Linehan fix that and better utilize DeMarco Murray? We’ll see.

2) In the last 15 years, home teams that were up by 23 or more points have a record of 511-3. Two of those three losses belong to this current batch of Cowboys. If you’re scoring at home, that’s bad.

2 Things You Didn’t Already Know

1) Offensive Lineman Doug Free has never had polio.

2) Roughly 7% of Jerry Jones’ face is made from elephant hamstrings.

Random Object That Reminds Us Of This Team Without Any Context or Explanation: a VHS copy of Groundhog Day

Celebrity Fans: LeBron James, Carrie Underwood, and Jamie Foxx

Best Case Scenario: 16-0

Worst Case Scenario: Jerry Jones lives forever.

Schnoz Prediction: 6-10

Why:  If you’ve already had a fantasy draft, I guarantee someone has muttered these words while drafting Tony Romo, Dez Bryant, or Terrance Willams: “With that defense, they’re gonna be in a lot of shootouts!” And you know what, just because everybody knows it, doesn’t make it untrue. The defense WILL be that bad…but…the offense WILL be that good. If healthy, this offense will singlehandedly keep the Cowboys in the playoff hunt into December, but once again they’ll fall short. By the time Week 16 rolls around the only real question will be whether or not the Boys will finish with their 4th straight 8-8 season.

#4 – Washington Redskins

2 Things You Might Already Know

1) Remember when the Bears and Refrigerator Perry beat the Patriots in the 1986 Super Bowl? Redskins’ new O.C. Sean McVay doesn’t, because he was only two days old. (Seriously. He was BORN in 1986. He’s 28!!!)

2) Washington had the worst Special Teams unit in 2013, per FO.

2 Things You Didn’t Already Know

1) Before leaving the team after last season’s disappointing 3-13 season, Mike Shanahan hid blocks of swiss cheese throughout the Redskins’ facility. No one has discovered the cheese yet, as they all assume the smell in the locker room is Kirk Cousins’ B.O.

2) Subway and their spokesman Robert Griffin III have been trying for months to get the team to change it’s name from the controversial “Redskins” moniker. Fortunately, no one outside of them thinks renaming the team the “Washington Spicy Italians” is a good idea.

Random Object That Reminds Us Of This Team Without Any Context or Explanation: a hangnail

Celebrity Fans: Tom Cruise, Kevin Durant, and Matthew McConaughey

Best Case Scenario: 16-0

Worst Case Scenario: All the Native Americans of the world congregate at Dan Snyder’s house demanding he change the team name. Snyder retreats to his panic room and pushes the “Destroy The Team and the Entire World” button. Do they all die? No. Because there is a fail-safe. The button has a twin on the other side of the country. So Dan Snyder gets on the phone with his buddy Tom Cruise and implores him to also press his “Destroy the Team and the Entire World” button, which he refuses to do because he’s not as insane you think he is. But right after Tom Cruise hangs up the phone, head Scientologist David Miscavige accidentally sits on the button, and everyone dies.

Schnoz Prediction: 5-11

Why:  Twenty-five years from now, who will we look back at as the worst owner in the NFL over this time period, Jerry Jones or Dan Snyder? We’re not sure, but it’s gonna be close. Bringing in a new head coach and O.C. won’t mask the problem of an unimpressive roster, and neither will the additions of DeSean Jackson and Ryan Clark. Many are saying this year is a pivotal one for Griffin, and they’re right. Jay Gruden will ask him to pass from the pocket more, and we think the results are going to look more like last year’s 3-13 finish than 2012’s 10-6 mark. Unless Snyder makes a splash and finally renames the team, it looks like another forgettable season in the nation’s capitol.

Alright everyone, chime in with your thoughts on the NFC East.

What do you agree with and where am I dead wrong?


AFC: East | North | South | West

NFC: East | North | South | West | The Playoffs