The Dallas Cowboys are in first place in the NFC East for the third week in a row. As we are five weeks into the season we now have a legitimate idea on who the Cowboys, and each of their division rivals, are in 2021. Ultimately the NFC East looks like it is Dallas’ for the taking and could even be (not to get too ahead of ourselves here) wrapped up just after Thanksgiving.
This is something that Bleeding Green Nation’s Brandon Gowton and I have been discussing a lot on The NFC East Mixtape recently. You can listen to this week’s episode right above this paragraph, but make sure to subscribe to the Blogging The Boys podcast network so you get access to all of our shows. Apple devices can subscribe here while Spotify users can subscribe here.
Dallas looks like a legitimate contender and each of the other three NFC East teams looks like bottom 10 teams. With the way the schedule looks this week it could be a chance for the Cowboys to separate themselves all the more.
Washington Football Team (2-3)
All offseason long people insisted that the Washington Football Team defense would be great in 2021. Many words were said and written over this subject. That hasn’t happened. It wasn’t anticipated that they would be one of the worst defenses in the NFL (WFT currently has the 28th ranked defense by DVOA) but regression to the mean felt natural given that defensive success is one of the harder things to maintain year to year in the NFL. You can hear a discussion on this idea during this week’s episode of Monday Football Monday on The SB Nation NFL Show.
ICYMI: from Monday Football Monday -— SB Nation NFL (@SBNationNFL) October 12, 2021
Which unit/team has been the most disappointing based on the off-season hype?@pgsween & @rjochoa make the case for the allegedly vaunted but incredibly shaky WFT defense. LISTEN: https://t.co/5PNWbWEn4P pic.twitter.com/KHzyfYCPmG
The New Orleans Saints don’t even have that great of an offense yet were able to put over 30 points on the board against them. Jameis Winston (Jameis Winston!) threw four touchdowns against Washington, one of which was a Hail Mary at the end of the first half.
Washington has a looking-to-bounce-back Kansas City team this week that just so happens to have the top-ranked offense in the NFL by DVOA’s standards. Now to be fair, the Chiefs also have the worst defense in the NFL by DVOA so maybe the Football Team will score a bit, but they look headed for 2-4 rather quickly.
Next Up: Kansas City Chiefs (2-3)
Philadelphia Eagles (2-3)
Some people were surprised to see the Eagles outlast the Carolina Panthers last week and they partly did so thanks to a big game from Darius Slay who did his best Trevon Diggs impersonation by picking off Sam Darnold twice.
Still. though, the Eagles offense is dreadful right now. While we can attest ourselves that the Panthers defense has some legitimate talent, the Eagles only had 88 yards of total offense in the first half.
But Philadelphia did win, and did so because they rallied late, but this team still seems like one that isn’t going to be good over the stretch of the rest of this season. Up next for them are the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (who are rolling right now) on the short week that Thursday Night Football can bring with it.
2-4 also seems probable here.
Next Up: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-1)
New York Giants (1-4)
Injuries are terrible no matter who they happen to and it was unfortunate to see the Giants - who were already down a number of players when play began at AT&T Stadium last Sunday - lose a few more.
It remains unknown what the exact status of Daniel Jones, Saquon Barkley, Kenny Golladay and others are going to be this week, but even a fully healthy Giants team isn’t one to inspire much intimidation.
Very few people believed in the Giants this year but those that did saw things going a certain way. Our friend Ed Valentine from Big Blue View noted recently that things have in no way gone according to that particularly optimistic plan on the offensive side of the ball.
Like I have said, nothing has gone according to plan. Was the plan flawed? Maybe. There is always a certain amount of risk no matter what decisions are made. Sadly, to this point just about everything that could have gone wrong has gone wrong. I’m not sure there is any way to predict, prepare for, or overcome that.
Injuries have taken things from bad to worse for the Giants. It is hard to see them stopping their skid against the Los Angeles Rams this week.
Next Up: Los Angeles Rams (4-1)