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Fact or Fiction: NFC East Battles


*STATEMENT: Ahmad Bradshaw will rush for more yards in 2012 than he did in 2011.
SCHMEELK: Fact - Fact: You might as well ask me if Ahmad Bradshaw is going to stay healthy this year because that's going to decide the answer to this one. Considering he rushed for fewer than 700 yards last year, and the Giants offensive line struggled blocking in the running game, I'll go with the over.

SALOMONE: Fact - Across the board, every facet of the run game should improve this year, and Ahmad Bradshaw's numbers will reflect that. Bradshaw will benefit from a concentrated effort on offensive line as well as some added weapons to the offense. The only thing holding him back are injuries, but he appears healthy and motivated this offseason.

*STATEMENT: David Diehl will start more games at tackle than guard in 2012.
SCHMEELK: Fact - David Diehl, in my opinion, is the perfect fit at right tackle for the Giants. He can even slide over to left tackle if William Beatty can't stay healthy. Kevin Boothe, Chris Snee, and Mitch Petrus should be able to handle the guard positions.

SALOMONE: Fact - Between multiple Pro-Bowler Chris Snee, Kevin Boothe and Mitch Petrus, the middle is locked down. David Diehl just seems to fit on the outside, and it will be the right side this year with Will Beatty returning to the other.

*STATEMENT: At least one member of the Giants secondary will make the Pro Bowl this season.
SCHMEELK: Fact - If the Giants secondary plays like this did in the team's final six games last season, one of their safeties or corners should be able to earn their way to the Pro Bowl. I'll roll the dice and say it's Antrel Rolle, who finally gets some interceptions playing his traditional safety position.

SALOMONE: Fiction - The caliber of players is definitely there. Corey Webster was one interception shy of a share for the NFL lead last season and Antrel Rolle has already made two Pro Bowls with his former team in Arizona. With that said, Pro Bowls are about name recognition, and if some of the vets like Webster haven't made it yet, it becomes harder to do so. But who knows? One of them could get off to a monster start and get the nod.

*STATEMENT: The NFC East will be the toughest division in football this year.
SCHMEELK: Fact - The NFC East is scary. The Redskins finally have their franchise quarterback, even though he will only be a rookie in 2012. The Cowboys improved their greatest weakness, the cornerback position. The Eagles will be together another season, and improved the middle of their defense. This division is going to be tough, and I don't think there is a better one in football.

SALOMONE: Fact - Don't want to sound like a homer, but it simply is the toughest division in football, top to bottom. That's why last-place Washington could come into the Meadowlands and get the season sweep of the eventual Super Bowl champion Giants. And each team only seemed to improve this offseason beginning with the draft. If you're a numbers person, Sporting News completed a project last month to find out this very issue and the NFC East came out on top. Among a litany of stats, it had the highest winning percentage in non-divisional games.


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