Week three of the 2017 NFL season has come and gone! Exciting finishes, amazing plays, and close games were the theme of the third week of the season. The Dallas Cowboys got back in the win column with a big victory over the Arizona Cardinals on Monday Night Football. The Washington Redskins thrashed the Oakland Raiders on Sunday Night Football. And, of course, the Philadelphia Eagles outlasted the Giants’ comeback bid on Sunday afternoon.
There is no shortage of news and storylines surrounding the ever-so interesting NFC East. After a 2-2 outing a week ago, the division went 3-1 in week three. The Cowboys, Eagles, and Redskins all sit at 2-1 on the season and are all tied atop the BEast. The Giants, well, have still yet to come out on top this season. Can they avoid falling to 0-4?
Let’s take a look around the division.
New York Giants (0-3)
Last Game: L 24-27 @ Philadelphia Eagles
Next Game: @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-1)
Once seen as darkhorse Super Bowl contenders because of their defense and Odell Beckham Jr., the New York Giants are in serious jeopardy of missing the playoffs. What happened? Well, first off, OBJ suffered an ankle injury in the preseason that looked worse than it turned out to be. Nonetheless, the star wideout missed the season opener against Dallas. While he played against the Lions in week two, he didn’t seem like himself.
In week three, however, Beckham Jr. finally broke out in the fourth quarter against Philly. The Pro Bowler had two highlight reel touchdowns to get the Giants back into the game with the Eagles.
What a TD grab by Odell Beckham Jr! pic.twitter.com/MlI6n50Y0j— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) September 24, 2017
The Giants, who were trailing 14-0 in the fourth quarter, eventually took a 21-14 lead on a 77-yard Sterling Shepard catch-and-run with just over seven minutes remaining. Unfortunately for the Giants, the Eagles came back with a touchdown of their own to tie the game up with under six to play.
The game looked to be headed for overtime. However, questionable decision making by Ben McAdoo allowed the Eagles to take over with less than fifteen seconds remaining — just enough time for the Giants to be on the wrong side of the scoreboard again.
Where do the Giants go from here? Sitting at 0-3 and at the bottom of the division, the Giants’ postseason hopes look very bleak in year-two of the McAdoo era. Things don’t appear to get any easier this week, as New York heads to Tampa for a battle with Jameis Winston, Mike Evans, and the Buccaneers. Will NYG fall to 0-4?
- Undisciplined Giants won't dig out of this 0-3 hole, and that's on Ben McAdoo - Steve Politi, NJ.com
- Where do the 0-3 Giants go from here? Moving Ereck Flowers is a start - Jordan Raanan, ESPN
Philadelphia Eagles (2-1)
Last Week: W vs. New York Giants 27-24
Next Week: @ Los Angeles Chargers (0-3)
The Eagles, meanwhile, are sitting comfortably at 2-1 through the first three weeks of the season. Without Fletcher Cox, Philly’s defense was able to keep OBJ and the Giants’ offense in check for the first three quarters of play. NYG finally hit an offensive explosion in the final quarter of the game thanks to the big play ability that Beckham provides.
Instead of letting the Giants come back and steal a win on their home turf, though, Philly rebounded and got things together in time to prevent New York from leading in the final minutes. The Eagles looked content on letting things go into the extra period of play, but a bad punt from Brad Wing changed that. Instead, Doug Pederson wanted Carson Wentz to get the Eagles in field goal range for a chance for the walkoff win.
Wentz hit wide receiver Alshon Jeffery for a big 19-yard gain to move the ball to New York’s 43. However, it looked like it was just outside of rookie Jake Elliott’s — or 99% of kickers, really — range. Despite the odds of making a 61-yard field goal and Odell Beckham back to return it if it were to fall short, Philadelphia opted to go for the win.
He nailed it. In front of his parents.
Jake Elliott's parents hitting us in all the feels while they watch their son kick a 61-yard game-winner. pic.twitter.com/BUQ85SXKCf— SNF on NBC (@SNFonNBC) September 24, 2017
Looks like Wentz has some paying up to do.
Carson Wentz said he'd give Jake Elliott his game check if he hit FG. Carson's game check is $97,798. pic.twitter.com/hB6KXGjUeD— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) September 26, 2017
Unfortunately, the win didn’t come without a big loss. The Eagles lost veteran weapon Darren Sproles for the season, as Sproles tore his ACL and broke his arm on the same play on Sunday. Prayers up for him and here’s hoping he has a speedy and healthy recovery.
Where do the Eagles go from here? Philly travels to San Diego — excuse me, Los Angeles — for a match up with Philip Rivers and the 0-3 Chargers. Can LA get the upset home win, or will Philly get an important road victory?
- Injuries testing depth of Eagles defense - Zach Berman, The Inquirer
- RB Kenjon Barner, Eagles Agree to 1-Year Contract After Darren Sproles Injury - Alec Nathan, Bleacher Report
Washington Redskins (2-1)
Last Week: W vs. Oakland Raiders 27-10
Next Week: @ Kansas City Chiefs (3-0) on Monday Night Football
The Washington Redskins were thought to be the team in the division to take a big step back in 2017 due to the uncertainty surrounding Kirk Cousins and the dysfunctional front office. However, the ‘Skins are at the top of the East along with the ‘Boys and the Eagles. Washington has bounced back after opening the season with a home loss to Philly with back-to-back wins over the Rams and the Raiders.
Washington manhandled Oakland in front of a national audience on Sunday Night Football. The defense made life hard on the Raiders’ offense, while Kirk Cousins played an impressively efficient game. Cousins threw for 365 and three scores while completing 83% of his passes. Derek Carr, meanwhile, was held to just 118 yards and one touchdown while throwing two interceptions.
The Su’a Cravens situation put the defense into a difficult position, but the emergence of Preston Smith has been huge. The third-year edge rusher has recorded a sack in each game so far this season and once again impressed on Sunday Night Football.
Not many people can solo tackle Marshawn Lynch. Hell of a play to save the first down, Preston Smith pic.twitter.com/hUYq0uA5Vc— Mark Bullock (@MarkBullockNFL) September 25, 2017
Speaking of the emergence of big time players, Chris Thompson has emerged as an explosive weapon for Jay Gruden’s offense. The talented running back has been used both in the backfield and out wide. Thompson touched the ball 13 times for 183 yards and a score on Sunday evening. He turned a third-and-19 screen into a 74-yard gain.
After winning two straight, the Redskins now have the challenge of heading to Arrowhead Stadium to take on the Kansas City Chiefs on Monday Night Football. The Chiefs knocked off the Eagles in week two and are currently 1-0 against the division. Can the Redskins pull off the upset?
- Chris Thompson replaces DeSean Jackson as Redskins' game-changer - John Keim, ESPN
- Redskins' steady RB Rob Kelley will resume lead duties once healthy - John Keim, ESPN
Who is the best in the NFC BEast?