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The BEast Report: Cowboys, Giants, Eagles fall as NFC East goes 1-3 in week two

The Washington Redskins were the only NFC East team to come out of week two victorious

Detroit Lions v New York Giant Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

Week two has come and gone. In week one, all four division teams played an in-division game: the Dallas Cowboys versus the New York Giants and the Washington Redskins hosted the Philadelphia Eagles. The Cowboys and the Eagles both came out on top in week one, but met stiffer challenges in week two as the ‘Boys struggled against the Broncos and the Eagles fell to the Chiefs. The Redskins and Giants, meanwhile, looked to bounce back after season opening losses. The ‘Skins traveled out to L.A. for a battle against the Los Angeles Rams, and the New York Giants hosted Matt Stafford and the Detroit Lions in East Rutherford.

New York Giants

Last Game: L 10-24 vs Detroit Lions
Next Game: @ Philadelphia Eagles (1-1)

The Giants opened the 2017 season on the road without their best player available. Odell Beckham Jr., suffering from an ankle injury, was a game-time decision but ultimately did not suit up for week one. As a result, the Giants’ offense sputtered. The Cowboys dominated Eli Manning and company, as New York left Arlington with only three points on the scoreboard and a 0 in the win column.

OBJ returned to lineup on Monday night; however, his return was met with a pair of losses.

Starting middle linebacker B.J. Goodson, the Giant’s leading tackler in week one, and number one corner Janoris Jenkins did not dress out for week two. Matt Stafford and the Lions took advantage, scoring 17 points before halftime; albeit, one score came on a drive that started in Giants’ territory thanks to an Eli interception.

The offensive struggles continued for the Big Blue. The Lions’ defensive line, specifically Ziggy Ansah, caused havoc all night long. Ereck Flowers continues to look like the worst offensive tackle in football, and Eli didn’t do much to the help the offense, either. Beckham was back in the lineup, but Darius Slay and company did a nice job in keeping him quiet (4 catches, 36 yards). The Giants simply look lost on offense. Monday marked the eighth consecutive time that the Giants failed to score 20 or more points dating back to last season. Eli appears to be regressing, the running game is nowhere to be found, and the offensive line is hopeless.

The defense is still strong — 14 of the Lions’ 24 points were scored on a short field following an interception or on a kickoff return — but the lack of offense forces the defense to play more snaps, tiring the unit out. If the Giants continue to fail to move the football, things can get even uglier pretty quick. It doesn’t get any easier in week three, as the Giants’ offensive line is matched up with the Eagles’ front four.

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Philadelphia Eagles (1-1)

Last Game: L 20-27 @ Kansas City Chiefs
Next Game: vs. New York Giants (1-1)

The Eagles defeated the Washington Redskins in D.C. to open the 2017 campaign, but Philly met a different challenge in the Chiefs. Doug Pedersen, the student, led his Eagles into Kansas City for a big game against Andy Reid, the teacher, and the Chiefs. KC was coming off of a blowout victory over the defending Super Bowl champions on the Patriots’ home turf. Kareem Hunt emerged as a star back in the win, but the Chiefs lost safety Eric Berry for the season.

Carson Wentz had a solid game against the Redskins, but the Chiefs defense is a much more challenging test than Washington. The Chiefs’ front seven got after the second-year quarterback all afternoon long, bringing Wentz down six different times. Chiefs defensive lineman Chris Jones, a former college teammate of Dak Prescott, got to Wentz on three occasions and caught an interception that was deflected. The game was a defensive affair for much of the contest. Kansas City led 6-3 going into halftime, thanks to two field goals, and were in front 13-10 entering the fourth quarter.

Kansas City appeared to have ended the game on a Kareem Hunt two-yard score — his second of the day — with just over two minutes remaining to go up 27-13. However, the Eagles fought back and were determined to make it a game — or at least make the box score a little prettier. Wentz found Nelson Agholor in the back of the end zone to cut the deficit to seven. The Eagles then recovered the onside kick on a beautiful bounce by Jake Elliott. The Eagles would then attempt a Hail Marry to send things into overtime, but the pass fell incomplete.

The Eagles host the New York Giants in week three.

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Washington Redskins (1-1)

Last Game: W @ Los Angeles Rams 27-20
Next Game: vs. Oakland Raiders (2-0)

The Redskins traveled to the opposite side of the country to take on Jared Goff and the Los Angeles Rams. Kirk Cousins and the ‘Skins were under heavy scrutiny after failing to beat the Eagles at home to kick off the 2017 season. The Rams, meanwhile, started the Sean McVay era in a big way. Goff threw for 306 and a score as the Rams destroyed the Andrew Luck-less Colts in week one.

On Sunday, the Redskins looked to turn around their season and avoid falling to 0-2. Kirk Cousins played okay and led a game-winning drive to improve to 1-1 on the year, but it was the rushing attack that brought home the win for Washington. The running back duo of Rob Kelley and Chris Thompson combined to rush for 155 yards and two scores against the Rams’ front seven that consists of Aaron Donald, Robert Quinn, and Michael Brockers. Thompson himself accounted for 77 yards on just three carries and two touchdowns.

Expecting that kind of performance from Thompson every week is not reasonable; however, if the Redskins can find a reliable and consistent running game to go along with Kirk Cousins’ arm, they will become a bigger threat in the division. The defense still needs some work, especially with the news that defensive back Su’a Cravens will NOT play this season, but there is no denying the talent that the Redskins have on the offensive side of the ball.

Speaking of offense, the Redskins host Derek Carr, Marshawn Lynch, Amari Cooper, and the Oakland Raiders in week three. The AFC West went 2-0 against the NFC East in week two.

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