We are five weeks through the 2017 NFL season. All but one team has suffered at least one loss so far this season in the National Football League. The two teams expected to be the NFC East leaders, the Dallas Cowboys and the New York Giants, have fallen three or more times in the first five games. Meanwhile, both the Eagles and the Redskins — who were off this week — have been playing well in recent weeks.
Over in the AFC, a third-round pick at running is leading the MVP race, the New England Patriots are tied with the New York Jets and the Buffalo Bills, and Ben Roethlisberger looks anything but himself. Needless to say, this season has gone anything but expected.
There is still ways to go in the 2017 NFL season. As the Cowboys (2-3) look to regroup during the bye, let’s take a look at the other three teams in one of the more interesting divisions in football.
New York Giants (0-5)
Last Week: L 22-27 vs. Los Angeles Chargers
Next Week: @ Denver Broncos (3-1)
The Giants’ season has gone the exact opposite as expected. After going 11-5 and recording two wins over Dallas in year one of the Ben McAdoo era, the Giants have completely fallen off a cliff. It began with Odell Beckham Jr.’s preseason ankle injury and it’s been a domino effect of disaster ever since. Eli Manning hasn’t been playing well, the offensive line is still atrocious, and even the defense has taken a step back — largely due to the inept offense.
The Giants are currently sitting at 0-5. That’s bad, but this is worse:
Giants lost WRs Odell Beckham JR, Brandon Marshall and Sterling Shepard to injury today.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 8, 2017
New York lost all three of their top receivers: OBJ, Brandon Marshall, and Sterling Shepard to injury on Sunday. Kick returner and former Dallas Cowboy Dwayne Harris is also done for the year. It was reported on Sunday that Odell Beckham Jr.’s season is over, and McAdoo confirmed it on Monday. That’s a huge blow that cannot be understated, as OBJ is practically the team’s entire offense. His game-breaking ability is second-to-none.
More bad news for the Giants came on Monday evening, as Brandon Marshall made an announcement of his own:
Giants WR Brandon Marshall announced he is undergoing season-ending ankle surgery on Tuesday. Could be TV time. pic.twitter.com/6QbmGNWqr8— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 10, 2017
Marshall was expected to help take the Giants to the next level while playing alongside Manning and Beckham; unfortunately, things never worked out for the Giants or the veteran receiver. Schefter alluded to Marshall perhaps hanging it up in favor of pursuing a career in TV.
Giants fans are stacking up on mock drafts in early October. What a difference from a season ago.
Philadelphia Eagles (4-1)
Last Week: W 34-7 vs. Arizona Cardinals
Next Week: @ Carolina Panthers (4-1)
The Eagles are soaring high after blowing out the Cardinals and expanding their lead in the division to two games. Carson Wentz threw for four scores, and the defense appears to have taken a jump this season. Philly is playing lights out, which is a scary sign as the Cowboys head into the break.
Philly is currently on a three-game winning streak, they have beaten a divisional opponent on the road, and they played the Chiefs pretty competitively inside Arrowhead Stadium. Wentz and his receivers are playing well, Nelson Agholor is having the best season of his career, and their front seven on defense is still impressive.
Philadelphia has an interesting five-game stretch coming up, starting on Thursday on the road against Cam Newton and the surprising Panthers. Following that game, the Eagles are set to take on an improved Redskins team at home, the 49ers in Philly, the Broncos’ stingy defense at home, and then a road battle inside AT&T Stadium featuring two of the game’s young star quarterbacks.
Washington Redskins (2-2)
Last Week: BYE
Next Week: vs. San Francisco 49ers (0-5)
The Redskins were off this week.
In the last time we saw them, the Skins gave the Chiefs everything that they could handle on Monday Night Football. Kirk Cousins and Terrelle Pryor burned Marcus Peters for a huge opening-drive touchdown, Preston Smith continued his impressive season, and the team as a whole looked much improved from their opening season loss to the Eagles.
Since the loss to Philadelphia, the Redskins have played like arguably the best team in the division. The ‘Skins have wins over the Rams on the road, and they gave Derek Carr all kinds of fits in a win at home on Sunday Night Football before falling in a tight contest to Kansas City.
The Redskins next four look anything but easy: versus the Niners, on the road against the Eagles, back at home to host the Cowboys, and then a road battle in Seattle.
Post-Week Five NFC East Power Rankings
1.) Philadelphia Eagles (4-1); LW: 1
The Eagles have a two game lead on the division after the first five weeks.
2.) Washington Redskins (2-2); LW: 2
Before the bye week, the Redskins had a strong argument as the division's best.
3.) Dallas Cowboys (2-3); LW: 3
Dak and Zeke are hitting their stride, but the team’s inability to close out games and slow down opposing offenses has proven costly.
4.) New York Giants (0-5); LW: 4
April is only six months away!