State of the NFC East: Week 5

Week five was one to forget for the NFC East, as all four teams lost. Currently not a single team in the division has a record above .500, and things don’t look to get any easier in Week 6 as the teams in the division face some tough opponents.

The good news is that the division will not go winless, as the Eagles kick off their division schedule with a date with the Giants on Thursday night, so at least one team in the division will get a win. In addition, with the entire division struggling, the race for the division title is wide open. Let’s see where we stand.

Redskins (2-2)

The Redskins remain atop the division on the strength of being the only division team to have had a bye so far. The ‘Skins returned from the bye week to a thumping at the hands of the Saints.

The Saints game was an all-around disaster for Washington. The Saints offense had its way with the Redskins’ defense, piling up 447 total yards and averaging 7.1 yards per play.

It wasn’t much better offensively, as Alex Smith tossed an interception and lost a fumble. The run game was nonexistent for the ‘Skins, as they averaged just 2.2 yards per carry.

The Redskins continue to be inconsistent. After a dominant Week 1 win over a bad Cardinals team, they suffered a baffling loss to the Colts in Week 2. They followed that up with another impressive win over the Packers, before having a bye and then getting whooped by the Saints. Despite holding down first place in the division for now, it’s hard to be overly optimistic about the ‘Skins.

The Redskins host the 3-1 Panthers on Sunday.

Cowboys (2-3)

The ‘Boys lost an overtime heartbreaker to in-state rival Houston. The gain a slight edge over the Eagles in the standings thanks to a 1-0 division record and a 2-2 conference record.

Offense continues to be a major concern in Dallas. Dak Prescott managed to eclipse 200 yards in the air on Sunday night (208), but he tossed two interceptions. Ezekiel Elliott was limited to just 54 yards and 2.7 YPC average. Dallas scored just one touchdown on Sunday.

The Cowboys don’t have a defense capable of carrying a team that is producing offensively the way Dallas is right now, and until the offense shows some life it’s hard to treat the Cowboys as a serious threat.

Dallas gets a date with Jacksonville on Sunday.

Eagles (2-3)

We’ve been over the Eagles’ issues ad nauseum, so we won’t repeat the details here. The team suffered an ugly home defeat to the Vikings on Sunday, keeping them trapped in the mire that is the NFC East.

The Birds kick off division play against the Giants on Thursday night, with a golden opportunity to get back on track and lay the foundation for a successful end to the season. A win puts the Eagles back at .500 and would start them 1-0 against the division and improve their conference record to 2-2.

Giants (1-4)

The Giants suffered a devastating loss on Sunday, falling victim to a 63-yard field goal as time expired against the Panthers after battling back from an early deficit. It’s the second time in the last 13 months that the Giants have lost on a 60+ yard field goal.

Eli Manning threw for 326 yards and two touchdowns, but also served up two interceptions. The Giants  did very little on the ground, managing just 50 yards despite having the electric Saquon Barkley in the backfield.

Defensively, the G-Men gave up 118 yards on the ground, and it would be nice to see the Eagles commit to the run on Thursday after being absurdly pass-heavy the past two weeks.

A loss would put the Giants at 0-2 in the division and 0-4 in the conference, all but ending their season.

Overview

We’re still left with a jumbled mess in the NFC East, as none of the teams have been very good and consequently no one has separated themselves from the pack. The Eagles have a huge opportunity with a division game and with some other division foes facing tough competition.

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