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A Look At The NFC East As Summer Approaches

Power rankings at this time of year are always good to spark a little debate among friends about what's taken place in the free agency and the draft. Are the moves that your team did (or did not) make going to help out?

In his weekly Monday Morning Quarterback column, Peter King of Sports Illustrated ranked each team in the league with an important caveat - don't take his rankings to the bank. King himself noted that last year he picked the Bears to make the Super Bowl (they didn't make the playoffs) and he had the Saints ranked 24th, which is something that head coach Sean Payton reminded him of shortly after winning the Super Bowl.

Still, King plowed ahead and unveiled his current team-by-team rankings and it's no surprise that two of the three NFC East teams are in the top 10. No, King doesn't have the Eagles as one of them. And no he doesn't have Dallas at the top.

Coming in at No. 9, King had the New York Giants.

"Pick a team out of the hat in this division. In the last six years, the NFC East champs, in order, have been Philadelphia, New York, Philadelphia, Dallas, New York and Dallas," King wrote. "The offense will score enough, that I know. What it comes down to for the Giants is the defensive investment being smart enough, and I say it will."

Right behind the Giants are the Cowboys at No. 10. And while King is confident two teams from the NFC East will make the playoffs, he wouldn't be surprised if the Eagles get in there.

"The Eagles could rebound with the energy of a new quarterback to make the playoffs, but I feel pretty good about a second team making the playoffs out of the division," King wrote. "For five straight years, the East has produced at least one Wild Card."

The Eagles were ranked No. 15 by King as one of the teams who enter the season "on the playoff bubble."

"I was in favor of going to Kevin Kolb, but that doesn't mean there's a 12-win season waiting to happen," King wrote. "There's likely to be growing pain, maybe with a Mike Vick replacement game or two."

King estimated that the Eagles have already done one remarkable thing in the last two years - make the playoffs in consecutive seasons. In the last five years at least six new teams made the playoffs that didn't the year before. King only has five new teams making the playoffs, but he does have five new division winners.

And by the way, King had the Redskins at No. 20 to round out the NFC East.

It'll be fun to revisit this list in January, but until then ...

-- Posted by Chris McPherson, 1:05 p.m., May 17*

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