The State of the NFC East: Week 10

Every team in the NFC East won this week, with the Cowboys taking down the Steelers in Pittsburgh 35-30 in perhaps the best game of the week, the Eagles stifling the previously-unstoppable Falcons offense 24-15, the Redskins outlasting the swooning Vikings 26-20 and the Giants mounting a comeback on Monday night to do what Washington could not do in London — defeat the Bengals, by the score of 21-20.

For all the preseason talk about how terrible the NFC East would be, the division is now an impressive 24-11-1. Only the 25-13 AFC West, with three 7-win teams, is in the class of the NFC East. Or should I say NFC Beast — the beast is back!

Dallas Cowboys 8-1 88 2-1 5-1
NY Giants 6-3 -2 2-1 4-3
Washington Redskins 5-3-1 3 2-1 3-2
Philadelphia Eagles 5-4 66 0-3 3-4

Clearly, the Cowboys are the class of this division, featuring the best record in the NFL and a league-best eight-game winning streak. Dallas has the two top rookies in the NFL, the best offensive line, a surprisingly effective defense and now that Tony Romo is healthy, a backup quarterback good enough to start for at least 25 other NFL teams.

The Giants often seem the least impressive team in the division, but there they are in second place and looking even better than you might think. After their one-point win over the Bengals on Monday night, the Giants now face the Cleveland Browns and Chicago Bears, so New York will likely be 8-3 heading into December and obviously in a great spot for a wild card berth in Ben McAdoo’s first year as head coach.

The Eagles often play like the second-best team in the division, but their awful division record will likely haunt them in December. The other problem for Philly is they have no easy games left on the schedule. After playing in Seattle this weekend, the Eagles host the Packers before going back on the road to face the Bengals. The finish the season with three division games and a road game in Baltimore, so the Eagles probably have the toughest road to the postseason.

The Skins are currently in a decent position for a wild card, but must be kicking themselves over missed opportunities in the Dallas game, the Lions game and the Bengals game. Washington’s season will probably be determined by the next month, when they host the Green Bay Packers and then spend the next three weeks on the road against the Cowboys (on Thanksgiving), the Arizona Cardinals and the Philadelphia Eagles. That promises to be a very difficult stretch and if the Skins can come out of it with two wins, they’ll be in great shape. If not, they’ll be telling their fans “wait ’til next year” for yet another offseason.