5. Wide Open NFC East
Was anyone impressed with the Football Team from Washington Sunday? Didn’t think so.
Washington’s now tied with the Giants at 1-5.
Was anyone impressed with the Cowboys last night? Me either.
Dallas’ blowout loss to the Cardinals dropped them to 2-4, but they still lead the division. I thought Andy Dalton would be able to play well enough to keep them in the mix in such a weak division, but his ability to handle pressure behind a questionable offensive line is not on Dak Prescott‘s level.
The Eagles spent three quarters flailing around with an injury-riddled offense before Carson Wentz nearly willed them to overtime. A failed two-point conversion dropped them to 1-4-1. So the division is wide open.
Other than the Football Team from Washington, you can make a case that any team should be the favorite. But, should anyone want to be the favorite? Winning the NFC East should feel kind of like going on Maury Povich or Jerry Springer expecting to be the good guy, and finding out that, congratulations, you ARE the father! Sign the child support check here, and enjoy your reputation as a deadbeat dad.
What really awaits the winner of the NFC East? A likely first round playoff loss and a significantly lower draft pick? No, thanks. I would need to see markedly better play from any team in the division to be convinced they should actually want a postseason berth.
6. Clarifying Divisional Picture
That said, the division should come into focus over the next month. There will be eight games involving NFC East teams, and five of them will be divisional confrontations. It should go a long way to separating the division out.
Next Week: Dallas at Washington, New York at Philadelphia.
Week Two: Dallas at Philadelphia, Tampa Bay at New York, Washington bye
Week Three: New York at Washington, Pittsburgh at Dallas, Philadelphia bye
Week Four: Philadelphia at New York, Washington at Detroit, Dallas bye
I expect Dallas to beat Washington and lose to Pittsburgh, but their game in Philadelphia is tough to predict. I expect New York to beat Washington and lose to Tampa Bay, but their two games with Philadelphia could go either way. All three of Philadelphia’s games are tough to call, and I don’t think Washington is in the race.
So the games that I think will determine the direction of the divisional race are:
Week 7: New York at Philadelphia
Week 8: Dallas at Philadelphia
Week 10: Philadelphia at New York