Obviously, as we discussed earlier, the post from Tuesday on my pick for the dominant team in the NFC East from 2014-16 drew a fair bit of interest. Our bloggers from the other seven divisions each weighed in as well, as this post was all part of the "Dream Team of Tomorrow" project. But they also asked us to vote on which team, league-wide, we expect to dominate over this future three-year span. And the NFC East didn't do well in that league-wide voting.
We had 25 people vote. The leading vote-getter was the Packers, with six votes. The Buccaneers got five, the Falcons four and the Steelers and Rams each got three. Four other teams got one vote each: The Bills, Lions, Patriots and Eagles.
So the Eagles were the only NFC East team to get even one vote in this poll. It came courtesy of fantasy sports guru Matthew Berry. And while, as I wrote Tuesday, I like the Eagles' young core, my vote went to the Lions, banking on the health of Matthew Stafford improving over the next few years. And it's right there that I believe we find the reason the NFC East didn't do better in this voting.
If you look ahead three to six years in the NFC East, you have to wonder about all four quarterback situations. Eli Manning will be 33 years old at the start of the 2014 season. Tony Romo and Michael Vick each will be 34. And who knows what the Redskins will be doing at quarterback at that point? With Manning, Romo and Vick, sure. Any or all still could be going strong from ages 33-36, but there's no way to know whether or how well any or all of them will hold up into their mid-30s. Plus, no way to know if any or all of them will still be on those teams. You could argue that the Redskins are going to draft somebody in next year's first round who'll be better during 2014-16 than any of the other three teams' quarterbacks.
And when you're trying to predict success in this NFL, you just have to look at quarterback. Look at the teams that did well in this voting. Their quarterbacks are Aaron Rodgers (who'll be 30 at the start of the 2014 season), Josh Freeman (26), Matt Ryan (29), Ben Roethlisberger (32) and Sam Bradford (26). All of them are in good, stable current situations with age on their side. Yes, of course there are other issues to consider. But it's very hard, if not impossible, to succeed in this league (let alone dominate) without having quarterback figured out. So the successes and/or failures of the teams in the NFC East over the next half-decade or so could depend on the staying power of the current quarterbacks or the ability of their teams to find their replacements.