State of the NFC East: Week 1

Week 1 is in the books and the NFL season is fully underway. While it’s a long season, we now have seen each team perform in a meaningful game, and the standings have begun to take shape, starting the long process of forming the playoff picture.

Here at Eagles Frenzy, we’ll track the NFC East each step of the way, watching how things develop. Let’s jump right into the situation after Week 1.

Eagles (1-0)

The Super Bowl champion Eagles kicked off the NFL season and their title defense last Thursday with a sloppy but satisfying win over the Falcons. Any win the Birds get without key players like Carson Wentz and Alshon Jeffery is a good one, and the defense looked dominant.

In addition to getting off on the right foot and taking another step towards surviving the injuries, this win could prove huge down the stretch. The Falcons have playoff aspirations, and now the Eagles hold a head-to-head victory over them in addition to a very important conference win.

Redskins (1-0)

The Redskins kicked off the season with a solid win on the road against the Cardinals. While beating the Cardinals isn’t a monumental feat, travelling across the country can be difficult on teams, and the dominant fashion of the victory adds to its impressiveness.

Alex Smith looked competent, throwing for 255 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. Adrian Peterson looked like his old self, grinding out 96 yards and a touchdown while adding two receptions for 70 yards. Chris Thompson proved to be a threat, compiling 128 all-purpose yards and a touchdown. Meanwhile the Redskins defense completely shut down the Cardinals offense.

A solid start for Washington.

Giants (0-1)

The Giants fell to the Jaguars, and there’s no shame in losing to a team that played in last year’s AFC title game.

The Giants offense struggled against an elite Jacksonville defense. Eli Manning passed for 224 yards and tossed an interception while failing to reach the end zone. Saquon Barkley looked every bit the player he is expected to be, breaking a big run of 68 yards and finishing with 106 yards and a touchdown while adding 22 receiving yards. Odell Beckham Jr. had an impressive 11 catches for 111 yards, but ultimately wasn’t able to reach the end zone.

The Giants defense held its own against a mediocre Jaguars offense, but ultimately it wasn’t enough, and the Giants start the season in a hole.

Cowboys (0-1)

L.O.L. The Cowboys offense again looked anemic in a 16-8 loss to the Panthers. Only the Bills and Cardinals scored fewer points in Week 1. Dak Prescott threw for just 170 yards and was sacked six times. The Cowboys mustered just 232 yards of total offense. And this is becoming a trend.

Sunday marked the seventh time in nine games that Prescott failed to pass for 200 yards.

It was the fifth time in the last nine games in which the Cowboys failed to score 10 points.

The Cowboys offense has been going the wrong direction for some time, and Sunday offered no light at the end of the tunnel.

Carolina could very well be involved in the wild card picture come December, and now hold a head-to-head win over the Cowboys. Dallas plays the Giants on Sunday in what amounts to about as big an early-season game as you can get. The loser goes to 0-2 and 0-1 in the division, and if the Cowboys lose they would also be 0-2 against the conference. The loser of Sunday’s game is going to be in an incredibly difficult position.

Overview

Nothing is particularly surprising about the Week 1 results other than the “America’s Team” obsessed media for some reason expected better things from the Cowboys. It was easy to see a Giants loss to the Jags coming, and the result of the Cardinals-Redskins game wouldn’t have been a huge surprise either way, although the Redskins’ performance may have turned a few heads.

Meanwhile the Eagles gutted out a big win and sit in fine position heading into a Week 2 matchup with the Bucs, who produced perhaps the surprise of the weekend when they upset the Saints in New Orleans.

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