As we head into week eight in the NFL, we continue to get more and more of a idea about each team in the division. The Eagles have been on fire since a week two road loss at the hands of the Chiefs. The Cowboys look to be finding themselves after a slow start to the season. The Redskins have talent, but a slew of injuries may prove to be costly. And the Giants, well, the draft can’t come soon enough.
How does the division stack up heading into the weekend? The Eagles obviously continue to sit atop the division, but there is a change of order in the middle. Let us know if you agree or disagree in the comments!
1.) Philadelphia Eagles (Last Week: 1)
Last Game: W 34-24 vs. Washington
Next Game: vs. San Francisco (0-7)
The Eagles continue to hold the top spot of the NFC East. Carson Wentz has been playing extremely well over the course of the season. Philly has knocked off the Carolina Panthers on the road, played the Kansas City Chiefs close at Arrowhead Stadium, and just completed a clean sweep of the Washington Redskins this past Monday night.
The Eagles are 3-0 against the division thus far this season (two wins over the Redskins, one nail-biter win against the Giants) and are widely considered the best team in the league after the Chiefs have dropped two consecutive games. They are getting good play from their quarterback, and the free agent acquisitions of Alshon Jeffery, Torrey Smith, and LeGarrette Blount have proven to be huge. That defensive line featuring Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham, and company is among the best, too.
One thing to keep an eye on, though, is injuries. The Eagles lost both starting offensive left tackle Jason Peters (torn ACL) and starting inside linebacker Jordan Hicks (torn Achilles) for the season after Monday’s victory over Washington.
The Eagles have suffered some real significant losses this year. Peters, Darren Sproles, Jordan Hicks, and Chris Maragos are some of the team’s biggest leaders and most important players.
How will Philly adjust without two key players?
2.) Dallas Cowboys (3)
Last Game: W 40-10 @ San Francisco
Next Game: @ Washington (3-3)
The Dallas Cowboys move up to number two in this week’s power rankings.
The offense finally looked like the dominant unit that it was during the 2016 season. Dak Prescott continues to play at MVP-level, Ezekiel Elliott finally broke lose en route to scoring three touchdowns, and the offensive line finally looks in sync after weeks of adjustments. Yes, it was just the 49ers — a team that has yet to come out of a game victorious this season; nonetheless, the Cowboys finally did what a good team is supposed to do — dominate a team that they are better than.
Dallas needs to prove that they have what it takes to beat a good team this season. While the Cowboys have beaten the Giants, Cardinals, and the Niners, those three teams have a combined record of 4-17 which is not good at all. For whatever the reason is — a nightmarish offensive performance versus the Broncos or defensive letdowns against the Rams and the Packers — Dallas has yet to knock off a playoff-caliber opponent this season.
Can the Cowboys get a huge divisional road victory this Sunday in D.C.?
3.) Washington Redskins (2)
Last Game: L 34-24 @ Philadelphia
Next Game: vs. Dallas Cowboys (3-3)
The Redskins were my number two team in the NFC East last week. What has changed?
Injuries. In addition to Sunday’s double-digit road loss to the Eagles, the ‘Skins suffered a great deal of injuries in the divisional battle. Starting guard Brandon Scherff was just one of several players banged up for the Skins on their injury report this week.
Redskins had 17 players on their injury report yesterday. Cowboys only had one player (Kyle Wilber) not at practice today— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) October 26, 2017
Four of the ‘Skins’ five starting offensive linemen are banged up, edge rusher Preston Smith is dealing with a groin injury, and linebacker Mason Foster was sent to IR earlier on Friday. Check out this quote from Jay Gruden earlier this week:
#Redskins have 9 OL on the active roster. In a short week vs. DAL, 6 are injured. 4 are starters.— Master Tesfatsion (@MasterTes) October 24, 2017
“I don’t have any linemen.” - Jay Gruden
The injury bug has not been kind to the ‘Skins this season:
The season of injuries continues for the Washington Redskins, and another starter is headed to injured reserve. Linebacker Mason Foster has been playing with an injured shoulder since Week 2, and will now get surgery for a torn labrum. Backups Will Compton and Matrell Spaight will need to step up to replace Foster next to Zach Brown.
The Redskins have 17 players listed on their injury report, including 4 of their starting 5 offensive linemen.
The good news for Washington is that cornerback Josh Norman is cleared to play this week. He has been limited with a rib injury, but the team hopes to get him out there for this week’s critical battle. It remains to be seen how healthy he will be, though.
4.) New York Giants (4)
Last Game: L 24-7 vs. Seattle Seahawks
Next Game: vs. Los Angeles Rams (11/5)
The Giants continue to be the worst team in the division. Once thought to be a Super Bowl contender thanks to that defense and the playmaking ability of Odell Beckham Jr., the Giants have struggled to get any kind of momentum going at all this season. Starting receivers OBJ and Brandon Marshall have been ruled out for the season for a few weeks now, the offense is among the worst in the entire league, and head coach Ben McAdoo is firmly on the hot seat.
The Giants did get their first win of the season over the Denver Broncos back in week six, but the team fell right back to the loss-column after losing to the Seattle Seahawks in week seven at home. At this point, the only thing that Giants fans have on their minds is mock drafts.
How would you currently rank the NFC BEast, BTB?