As most of us know, the NFC East is the worst division in football. The division includes the Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Football Team, and New York Giants. In this article, I'm going to dive into each team as to what makes them bad, and then at the end, explain why the entire division is bad. Let's get it started.
Let's get it started with the current division leader, Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles are 2-4-1, and lead the NFC East. That is why many people hate on this division, because a team can be 2 games below .500 and have a home playoff game. The Eagles are the best team in this division, roster wise and performance wise. The Eagles have a couple bad loses, including blowing a 17-0 lead in week 1 to the Football Team... Then followed up by a blowout loss against the Rams. Besides the Rams game, the Eagles have had a chance to win the game, and just can't find a way to get it done. They beat a very depleted Niners team for their first win, and their second on a last minute TD against the Giants. They have played some close games against the Steelers and the Ravens, losing by a combined 11 points to them. A lot of the blame is on Carson Wentz. Wentz is tied for the league lead 10 interceptions with Kirk Cousins, and ranks T-18 with just 10 passing TDS. His QBR and his completion % are also among the league bottom, with his QBR being a terrible 52.8, which is 26th in the NFL, and his completion % at a lackluster 58.6%, just in front of Sam Darnold and Drew Lock. Part of that has to do with Wentz having no weapons, and having to force throws. The team's leading receiver is Travis Fulgham, with 357 yards and 3 TDS. I had never heard of this guy before week 4 when he came in and had 57 yards and a TD. The defense for the Eagles also hasn't been the best, giving up 30+ 3 times. The Eagles D ranks 7th against the pass, but 23rd against the run, and is 22nd in points given up. Unless some huge implosion happens, this will be the NFC East winner. For them to actually be any sort of threat to a team, Wentz will have to show why the Eagles signed him to his massive extension, and lead them to the promise land of a playoff victory.
Next up, the Dallas Cowboys. Coming into the season, I had the Cowboys going 9-7 and making the playoffs. Instead, they are 2-5, and 3rd in the division behind the Eagles and the Football Team. The Cowboys would've had a shot at winning the division, had Dak Prescott not fractured his ankle and been ruled out for the rest of the season. Before Dak got hurt, he was putting up MVP type numbers. In 5 games he threw for 1,856 yards, 9 TDS and 4 INT, averaging 371 yards per game. With Dak out, Andy Dalton was given the reigns to the offense, and in just his 2 games it's obvious he is no Dak Prescott. 471 yards, 1 TD and 3 INT from Dalton in his 4 games he's played in, (2 starts). The Cowboys had been in shoot outs with Prescott, and since he's been out the offense has mustered just 13 points in 2 games, against the Cardinals on MNF, and the Football Team. The Cowboys have played a particularly hard schedule, losing to 4 5 win teams. In their losses with Dak at QB, they had lost to the Rams by 3, the Seahawks by 7, and the Browns by 11, even though the score doesn't tell the whole story of that game. The Cowboys defense has been historically terrible, which is a big reason for their lack of success. The defense ranks 32nd in point given up at a whopping 243 points, and have given up 20+ in every game, and 24+ in 6, and 30+ in 5 games. They also rank 27th in total yards, 12th in passing, and 32nd in rush defense. The Cowboys don't have a shot at making the playoffs, especially without Dak or Andy Dalton, who both have gotten injured and have forced rookie Ben Dinucci into the starting role for at least a week or two.
Onto the 2nd place Washington Football Team who're sitting with a 2-5 record. I expected the Football Team to not be half a game back in the division 7 games into the season, but here they are. Mostly because they are in the worst division in the NFL. They started the season off with a massive come from behind victory over the Eagles, scoring 27 unanswered straight to start the season off 1-0. Then they lost 5 straight games to the Cardinals, Browns, Ravens, Rams, and Giants, before earning their next win. Last Sunday, the Football Team beat the Cowboys 25-3, holding the Cowboys to under 150 total yards of offense. The Football Team started Dwayne Haskins for the first 4 games of the season, and I didn't think he was awful, just that he could turn down the interceptions and it was looking like the year he'd pan out into being a starting caliber QB. Instead he was benched in favor of Kyle Allen, who was the QB for the Panthers last season after Cam Newton went down. Haskins, in my opinion had played better, but just needed to cut down the turnovers, throwing 3 picks in 4 games. Haskins also needed to be more accurate, Allen is 8% points higher in completion% compared to Haskins. Antonio Gibson has been a pleasant surprise for the Football Team, leading the team in rushing with 371 yards and 4 TDS, and being the 2nd best player on the offense after Terry McLaurin. McLaurin himself has been having a very good season, despite less than average QB play. McLaurin ranks 8th in receiving yards with 577, 10th in receptions with 43, while bringing in just 2 TDS. Now the defense for the Football Team has been very surprising when you look at the numbers. For a team that's 2-5 you'd expect them to be near the bottom on every offensive and defensive category, which is partly true because they find themselves in the bottom 3rd of the majority of the offensive categories. However, defensively is a different story. The Football Team ranks 4th in total yards given up and first downs given up, but have the #1 ranked passing defense by yards given up. The defense has been the bright spot of this team, and would be the reason if the Football Team ends up in the playoffs, which I do doubt.
Last, and least, the last place New York Giants, at 1-6. The Giants well, had very low expectations anyways, but they could have a much better record that 1-6 if they could win the close ones. The Giants this season have lost 4 games but 1 score, a combined score of 16 points through those 4 losses. If they had won just 2 of those games, the Giants would be first place in the NFC East. Crazy to be saying those words. The team did lose superstar RB Saquon Barkley in week 2 to a torn ACL. Being without their best player on the team, the Giants needed Daniel Jones to step up, and he's done the opposite. Daniel Jones has thrown 7 interceptions, and fumbled 5 times, losing the ball once. That's 8 turnovers, to just 5 passing TDS, and 0 rushing TDS. Jones, to his credit has had to be the guy, and try to make plays and play hero ball to give his team a chance to win, but just isn't good enough to be doing that yet. Daniel Jones does not only lead the Giants in passing yards, but also rushing yards with 1410 threw the air, and 296 using his legs. After Saquon went down, the Giants signed Devonta Freeman, who has done absolutely nothing but disappoint with just 172 yards and 1 TD, along with a horrible 3.2 YPC. The Giants as an offensive unit have been abysmal, ranking 31st in total offense, 30th in passing yards, and 27th in rushing yards. Time to dive into the defensive side of the Giants. The Giants brought in Blake Martinez from the Packers, and James Bradberry from the Panthers in free agency to help solidify the defense. Those 2 have been the best 2 players on the Giants defense this season. As a unit, the Giants rank around the middle of the pack for most defensive stats, being 14th in total offense and 21st in passing and 8th in rushing. The Giants had no expectations this season, and without Barkley they get even lower. I don't expect the Giants to win more than 3 games this season, which still wouldn't be enough for the division title.
Now I know what you're thinking ; that this was just a glorified team stat post, but if you look at what they all have in common you'll figure out a common theme. All of them have below average defenses, except the Football Team, who's offense is just so bad that their defense can't help them. All of these teams had have turnover problems aswell, with Wentz leading the league, and Jones tied for 2nd in interceptions, as well as all Cowboys QBS having 7, also tied for 2nd. All of these teams have relatively hard schedule's as well, as they all have to play all 4 teams in the AFC North, which may be the best division in football. The Cowboys, Giants, and Eagles, have all been dealing with significant injuries as well; Dak, Barkley, all Eagles WRS. 3 of the teams in the division, are under the role of a new coach, the Giants with Joe Judge, the Cowboys with Mike McCarthy, and the Football Team with Ron Rivera. A combination of all of what I said, is what makes this division so poor, not a lack of talent, which this division does have.