1. New York Giants
2008 record: 12-4
My 2009 projected record: 12-4
My take: The Giants are a complete team, and only getting better. I believe they will duplicate their 2008 season this year. While their secondary is a little suspect, their defense line won't give the quarterback anytime to throw. D-ends Justin Tuck (12 sacks in 2008) and Osi Umenyiora (13 in '07) will give the quarterback heck.
Now to the offense. Eli Manning, while inconsistent, is one of the league's better QBs. Brandon Jacobs is an absolute wrecking ball, and Bradshaw is a good #2. While the wide receivers are young and inexperience, they are also talented. I think Steve Smith is going to have a breakout year.
Overall, the Giants should win the NFC East and go deep into the playoffs, baring any injuries.
2. Philadelphia Eagles
2008 record: 9-6-1
My 2009 projected record: 10-6
My take: The Eagles barely squeezed into the playoffs last year, but I think the team will do about the same as they did last year. While some have aged (McNabb, Westbrook), some have matured (DeSean Jackson, Akeem Jordan).
The Eagles offensive line has been the worry for all Eagle fans heading into the season. They are all talented players on that line, and they'll eventually pull it together. I think Brian Westbrook will decline as much as people are saying. He can be effective as a rusher, and receiver, if he can stay healthy, which I kind of have to assume.
The defense, I am worried about. If they had the kind of defense they had 5 years ago, this would be a Super Bowl team. But their defense had looked bad in the preseason and they are unproven. There are several game-breakers on the unit though. Trent Cole and Asante Samuel can change the game with their ability.
3. Dallas Cowboys
2008 record: 9-7
My 2009 projected record: 9-7
My take: The Cowboys again missed the playoffs, and I don't see any reason why they should make it this year. They lost their best wide out, Terrell Owens, and Roy Williams and Patrick Crayton don't really inspire confidence. The Cowboys collapse late season, and Romo has not done well under pressure.
The Cowboys defense is always good and I expect no change this year. Their defense is stingier than most. They have many playmakers on the defense side of the ball, but I think their schedule is the reason why they will miss the playoffs. The NFC East is an extremely tough division and they also have games against Seattle, Atlanta, and San Diego.
4. Washington Redskins
2008 record: 8-8
My 2009 projected record: 7-9
My take: The Redskins would finish 2nd in most divisions but not the tough East. Their only real improvement was signing monster tackle Albert Haynesworth. While he is a big man, on player can't make all the difference. Their defense is pretty good, but the offense lacks consistency.
When their offense is good, the Redskins look like a playoff team. When it isn't, they look like an average team with a good defense. Jason Campbell, while improving, is still the worst starting QB in the NFC East. Clinton Portis is a beast, but how much will he deteriorate with age, running in his usual physical style.