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Fact or Fiction: 2024 NFC East Preview


The crew is presented with four statements and must decide whether they are Fact or Fiction.

Dallas is the biggest challenger to winning the NFC East.

John Schmeelk: Fiction – I am going to go with Philadelphia, but this is a close call. The Eagles return a team that is just as talented as last year's. The team's collapse at the end of 2023 concerns me, but the talent is still there and their decision to bring in two coordinators in Vic Fangio and Kellen Moore should make a difference. The Cowboys have added Mike Zimmer to replace Dan Quinn as their defensive coordinator, but they have more than a half-dozen key losses. The edge goes to the Eagles.

Dan Salomone: Fiction – In every other division, I would go with fact. But this particular division has not had a repeat champion since the Eagles won four in a row from 2001-2004.

Matt Citak: Fiction – It's tough to go against last year's division winner, especially after the Cowboys won 12 games, but the Eagles get the edge here. While Philadelphia did lose a couple of key contributors, such as Jason Kelce and Fletcher Cox, they also added some valuable pieces on both sides of the ball. Saquon Barkley could help take the Eagles offense to the next level, while the additions of Quinyon Mitchell and Cooper DeJean in the secondary should help improve the Eagles' biggest weakness from last season.

Washington will be the most improved team on the Giants' schedule.

John Schmeelk: Fiction – I am going to go with the Atlanta Falcons, and it has everything to do with Kirk Cousins. The rest of the roster was always strong, and now they have a quarterback who will give them a steady, high level of play. With the weapons already on the roster, I expect them to challenge for the division. The Carolina Panthers are a good runner-up with a new coaching staff helping Bryce Young develop with an improved offensive line and wide receiver corps. I expect Young could be the most improved player in the league this year.

Dan Salomone: Fact – Look at what C.J. Stroud did for the Texans last year and Aidan Hutchinson for the Lions the season before that. There's no reason Daniels can't add to the recent run on No. 2 overall picks.

Matt Citak: Fiction – Between the additions of Dan Quinn at head coach and Jayden Daniels at quarterback, the Commanders will certainly be a better team in 2024 than they were last year. But even with some improvement, they still fall short of the Atlanta Falcons. Adding Kirk Cousins to an offense that already featured Bijan Robinson, Drake London and Kyle Pitts, along with PFF's No. 6 offensive line, could help elevate this unit to one of the best in the league. The Falcons went 7-10 last year, but with Cousins now under center, they are the pretty heavy favorites to win the NFC South. The Week 16 matchup in Atlanta could end up being one of the Giants' tougher games of the second half of the season.

View photos of the New York Giants' 2024 active roster as it currently stands.

Commanders quarterback Jayden Daniels will be the toughest opposing rookie this season.

John Schmeelk: Fiction – Not all rookie quarterbacks are C.J. Stroud, and I'm not sure he will be at his peak powers when the Giants face the Commanders in Week 2 or even Week 9. I'm going to go with Eagles rookie cornerback Quinyon Mitchell, who fell way too far in the draft and should be an impact player early in his career. I think Daniels will be very good, just not yet.

Dan Salomone: Fact – We'll see how much he grows between their first meeting on Sept. 15 and their second on Nov. 3.

Matt Citak: Fact – I was very high on Daniels heading into the draft, and I believe he can eventually develop into an elite quarterback. But my answer on this one is more to do with the other rookies the Giants will face this season than Daniels himself. Outside of him, the Giants won't play against many of the other top rookies in 2024. Michael Penix Jr. likely isn't starting for the Falcons this season, while J.J. McCarthy may not win the Vikings' starting QB job right out of training camp. Daniels' biggest competition here is likely one of Indianapolis' Laiatu Latu, Seattle's Byron Murphy II or Minnesota's Dallas Turner, and while those players could prove to be talented defenders at the next level, I'm going with the No. 2 overall pick.

Week 15 vs. Baltimore is the toughest game on the schedule.

John Schmeelk: Fact – The Ravens were one of the four best teams in the regular season last year. I worry about them losing defensive coordinator Mike MacDonald, but they still have a playmaking quarterback that was the NFL MVP in Lamar Jackson and a talented roster around him.

Dan Salomone: Fiction – Week 8 at Pittsburgh on Monday Night Football will be no picnic. The Steelers have won 21 of their past 22 home Monday games in the regular season. The loss was to Washington in 2020 in a rescheduled game due to COVID-19. Now for the good news. Before that, the last team to beat Pittsburgh at home on a Monday was the Giants on Oct. 14, 1991.

Matt Citak: Fact – The Ravens were the best team in the NFL during the 2023 regular season. Their 13-4 record led the league, and that was after resting their starters in the regular-season finale loss against the Steelers. They finished with a top five offense, the league's No. 1 defense, and the league's Most Valuable Player in quarterback Lamar Jackson. After having the league's No. 1 rushing attack last season, Baltimore went out and signed Derrick Henry to replace Gus Edwards and J.K. Dobbins. Even after losing a couple of key contributors during free agency, the Ravens still are the toughest matchup on the Giants' 2024 schedule.

Get excited for the 2024 season with photos from Media Day at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center.