Who Is Going To Win The NFC East?
It’s a dogfight in the NFC East after eight weeks and things are really beginning to get interesting.
The Eagles sound thumping of the Dallas Cowboys signals a couple of things. For one, the Eagles have got that monkey off of their back. After starting the season 1-4, the Eagles have posted back to back wins against the NFC East rivals the Redskins and the Cowboys and now find themselves back in the mix at 3-4. More importantly, the Eagles seem to finally be clicking on both sides of the ball. Beating down the Cowboys 34-7 was no small feat. LeSean McCoy went absolutely ape as he rushed for a career best 185 yards and two TDs. Michael Vick started off quick and set the tone as he ended up throwing for 279 yards and two TDs while rushing for 50 yards. The defense dragged down Tony Romo four times and limited the Cowboys to 267 yards total. With a date with the Chicago Bears next week, Philly would love to keep the momentum going and get to .500.
The Cowboys will need to lick their wounds but realize that the loss isn’t the end of the world. They’re also 3-4 but their losses have come against the Eagles, Jets, Patriots and Lions. That’s nothing to feel too terrible about. The remaining teams on their schedule have a combined record of 23-33 so they certainly aren’t out of the hunt yet. However, they need to figure out just what the heck is going on with their offense. They’ve been terribly inconsistent on both sides of the ball and have yet to put it all together for four quarters against stiff competition (the St. Louis drubbing doesn’t count). They have the talent, but can they put it all together?
The Redskins may be 3-4 but they are struggling mightily and are showing no signs of life. Losing Tim Hightower and Santana Moss is pretty painful. Rex Grossman’s play was awfully awful and resulted in John Beck getting some time under center. Unfortunately, he hasn’t been the answer either. Actually, there are no answers in Washington right now and Mike Shanahan hasn’t figured anything out. Losing 23-0 to the Buffalo Bills was pretty bad. But to put it in perspective, they have lost three in a row and have been outscored 76-33 since they entered the bye week with a 3-1 record. They play the rolling 49ers next week at home and if they lose that game, you might as well count them out. Maybe they should pick up Terrell Owens.
The New York Giants sit atop the division with a 5-2 record. They haven’t exactly pummeled their foes, but they have been effective enough on both sides of the ball. Sure, beating the lowly Miami Dolphins 20-17 doesn’t make them world beaters and losing to the Seahawks after a fourth quarter rally makes you questions if they are built to win the division. However, there are quite a few things that are going right in New York. For one, Victor Cruz has been excellent at wide receiver. With Hakeem Nicks and Mario Manningham out there for Eli Manning to throw to, things can get interesting in New York. Add that to the one-two punch of Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs and you have a squad that can put up points in a hurry. Yes, injuries have decimated their defense and made them susceptible to the run. But they have the tools to get the job done. Unfortunately, their next five games are against New England, San Francisco, Philly, New Orleans and Green Bay. They can be 5-7 as quickly as they were 5-2. Yikes.
So who will win the division?
At this point I’m going to have to put my money on the Eagles. They have the talent and the tools, their remaining schedule isn’t too daunting and the rest of the division has some problems to fix sooner than later. The Cowboys are too inconsistent, the Redskins are falling apart and the Giants have one helluva mountain to climb. If the Eagles can remain hot, they will win the division and be a force to be reckoned with in the playoffs.
Wouldn’t you agree?