We hope everybody enjoyed the weekend, one without Eagles football, which always leaves a void. The Eagles got to rest up after their 22-21 win over the visiting New York Giants on Thursday and now await the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday night at Lincoln Financial Field.
The Eagles are in first place with a 2-4-1 record.
— Marc Narducci (firstname.lastname@example.org)
There are many jokes about the competency of the NFC East and rightly so, since this season it is by far the weakest division in the NFL. Here is how the teams stack up through seven games.
- Despite his struggles, Carson Wentz is the division’s best quarterback (especially with Dak Prescott out for the season). Wentz’s two best games in passer rating were the last two, 84.7 against Baltimore and 91.1 against the Giants. He has excelled in keeping the Eagles competitive despite the rash of offensive injuries.
- Receiver Travis Fulgham (23 receptions, 357 yards, 3 TDs in four games) has been the team’s most pleasant surprise.
- The defensive line has arguably been the best unit on the team. Defensive end Brandon Graham has recorded six of the Eagles' 24 sacks.
- The offensive line has been decimated by injury, making a once-strong unit struggle. Wentz has been sacked 28 times.
- Linebacker and secondary play has been inconsistent.
- The team is minus-5 in turnover differential.
Games against sub .500 teams: (4) At N.Y. Giants and Dallas; home vs. Dallas and Washington.
Games against .500 or better teams: (5) at Cleveland, Green Bay, and Arizona; home vs. Seattle and New Orleans.
Outlook: The Eagles are clearly the team to beat in the NFC East.
NEW YORK GIANTS (1-6)
- Like Wentz, Daniel Jones has had really strong moments while overall being inconsistent.
- The defense has been better than advertised, led by corner James Bradberry and linebacker Blake Martinez, a tackling machine.
- The offensive line, which had left tackle Nate Solder opt out before the season, is below average.
- Their best offensive threat Saquon Barkley, is out for the year with an ACL injury and there is little running game.
- The Giants have a minus-4 turnover differential.
Games against sub .500 teams: (4) at Washington and Cincinnati and home against the Eagles and Dallas
Games against .500 or better teams: (5) Home against Tampa Bay, Arizona, and Cleveland, at Seattle and Baltimore.
Outlook: The Giants have been competitive in all but one game, but even in this division it’s difficult to see them staying in the race unless they can get better offensive line play.
WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM (2-5)
- The defensive line, which helped record eight sacks in the season-opening win against the Eagles, is the strength of the team.
- While offensive weapons are few, receiver Terry McLaurin and tight end Logan Thomas have been effective.
- The secondary, which includes former Eagle Ronald Darby, has been inconsistent.
- Like the rest of the NFC East teams, the offensive line has struggled.
Games against sub .500 teams: (5) home vs. the N.Y. Giants, Bengals, and Carolina Panthers; at the Cowboys and Eagles.
Games against .500 or better teams: (4) at Detroit, Pittsburgh, and San Francisco; home vs. Seattle
Outlook: This might be the Eagles' top challenger. Getting another receiving weapon before the Nov. 3 trade deadline would give the offense a needed boost.
DALLAS COWBOYS (2-5)
- A strong receiving corps.
- An injury-depleted offensive line is way below average.
- The worst defense in the league.
- When Andy Dalton got hurt Sunday, the backup was rookie Ben DiNucci of James Madison.
Games against sub .500 teams: (6) at Eagles, Minnesota, Cincinnati, and N.Y. Giants; home vs. Washington and the Eagles.
Games against .500 or better teams: (3): home vs. Pittsburgh and San Francisco; at Baltimore.
Outlook: This looks like the worst team in the division and it would be a surprise if the Cowboys stay in the race.
Question: “Are the fourth down plays getting more predictable? They don’t seem like gambles anymore to me.” — David W. Wannop from Facebook.