NFC East hits new low, remains wide-open

Published: December 11, 2015

RYAN DISDIER

Sports Editor

At The University, many students root for the Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants on Sundays during football season. Unfortunately for Eagles and Giants fans, the NFC East is mediocre this year.

Three teams, the Washington Redskins, Philadelphia and New York, are currently tied for first place with 5-7 records. The Dallas Cowboys, who have looked like a broken team for a majority of the year, are only one game out of first place. Although every team is marred with mediocrity and poor play, each team is struggling for different reasons.

Dallas lost its starting quarterback, Tony Romo, twice because of a broken collarbone, and the team has only been able to win two games in his absence. Although the offense is hurting, Dallas boasts the best defense in the division, and it is not even close.

Washington has struggled on the road this year, although the team has been dynamite at home. Kirk Cousins is in the midst of an up-and-down year as a starting quarterback, but Washington still fails to resemble a team ready to make a serious postseason push.

In the offseason, Chip Kelly, Philadelphia’s head coach, jettisoned stars like quarterback Nick Foles and running back LeSean McCoy in the hope of building his own team. He has his team now, and it is one that has many holes. However, the Eagles are coming off their biggest win of the year, upsetting the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots. The Eagles should scare a lot of teams, as their success in New England could be a harbinger of things to come.

For the Giants, the reoccurring nightmare has been finishing their games. New York has lost a fourth-quarter lead in five separate games. In fact, if all 12 of New York’s games ended with 75 seconds left in regulation, the team would be 10-2 and competing for the first seed in the NFC. For New York to make a run, the offense cannot just be the “Odell Beckham Jr. Show.”

Despite the jokes and being referred to by many as the “NFC Least,” the NFC East has to be won by someone in this dumpster fire of a division. It is hard to fathom, but the winner of this division could theoretically finish with a record of 5-11 and would still host a playoff game come January.

This is not unlike the NFC East, though. Although the records might be less than impressive, the division always tends to be competitive. Since 2011, the division champ has been decided in week 17 three times.

The team that wins this division will have to get hot and somehow stay hot. Realistically, it will probably take eight games to win this division. Coincidentally, the division will likely come down to week 17 once again, as the Cowboys end their season in Washington and the Eagles travel to play the Giants to finish the year.

Contact the writer: ryan.disdier@scranton.edu

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