NFC East Snapshot: Smashmouth or Smash-Up?

The NFC East is year-in and year-out one of the league’s top divisions. This year is an exception. All four teams are either struggling, under fire from their fans – or both.

The Giants at 6-3, shouldn’t be getting any grief from anyone, but if you’ve been watching them the past few weeks, you can sense the direction in which this team is heading. A nine-win season is not out of the question. And, believe it or not, that might be enough to win the division.

The Dallas Cowboys travel to Philadelphia this Sunday to play the Eagles. This is a do-or-die game for two teams that will probably both have new coaches next season. Neither is on a playoff path right now and the loser of this game will enter Week 11 with only three wins. Washington, at 3-6, will need to win six of their last seven games to make the playoffs.

The Giants are the only team in the division with a positive points total (+69). Washington is -22. Dallas is -31 and Philadelphia is -50.

Philadelphia

The Eagles have been a turnover machine and QB Michael Vick and head coach Andy Reid have worn out their welcome. Their offensive line is in shambles and their secondary is not playing the way they expected.  After going 3-3 in their first six games (five of which were decided by three points or less), they suffered double-digit losses vs Atlanta and New Orleans.

A telling stat for this team: they have only scored 12 TDs (2 rushing, 10 passing) through the first nine games. Only Jacksonville, St. Louis and Kansas City have fewer. The real killer stat, however is this: a minus 9 turnover ratio with many of those turnovers coming in crucial spots.

If the Eagles can beat Dallas this week, they have a chance to make a run. That’s a big “if” though. Their schedule then rest of the way reads as follows: @Washington, Carolina, @Dallas, @Tampa Bay, Cincinnati, Washington and @NY Giants.

Dallas

Pretty much in the same boat as the Eagles. They only have one more TD than the Eagles do, and actually have a worse turnover ratio (-11). Just like Philly, they also have fanned on some golden opportunities. They are feeling the effects of the loss of LB Sean Lee, their leading tackler and DeMarco Murray, their top RB.

After getting rocked by the Bears in Week 4, they have played four games decided by six or less points, losing three of them. In each of those losses, they had a chance to win late in the 4th quarter. They are still a dangerous team and will be looking to dump the Eagles into the NFC East trash bin this Sunday.

Washington

RGIII has made them exciting and fun to watch – even in losses, of which they have six already. They are team heading in the right direction, but they aren’t going anywhere this season. They are destined for at least nine losses. Mike Shanahan’s group comes to play every week and will have a lot to say about who wins this division. When they come back from their bye next week, five of the the Skins’ last seven games are within the division.