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State of the NFC East: Every team but Philadelphia won in Week 4

The NFC East seems like it only has one likely winner.

Carolina Panthers v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

The majority of the NFC East was victorious in Week 4 with the lone team failing to secure the bag being the Philadelphia Eagles. What a tragedy and not at all something that we enjoy.

Ultimately, the Dallas Cowboys won which is what matters most and it is starting to seem like this could be happening more often than not. Nobody is trying to count their chickens before they hatch here but a huge reason for optimism right now is the state of the NFC East.

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In case you were unaware every week Brandon Gowton from Bleeding Green Nation and I talk about the division as a whole on the NFC East Mixtape. This is a unique podcast across SB Nation as it is accessible in both the Blogging The Boys and Bleeding Green Nation podcast networks. Some are calling it the most ambitious crossover ever attempted.

While 75% of the division did win in Week 4 it does seem apparent that ultimately Dallas will be the squad to earn some hats and t-shirts come December. The focus of this discussion today though isn’t necessarily America’s Team, but rather to check in on how each of the other three teams are doing.

Washington Football Team (2-2)

The Atlanta Falcons are one of the worst teams in the NFL and if you need any evidence just know that they lost to both the Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Football Team.

A win is a win though, and Washington deserves praise although their defense certainly does not. Being able to stop opposing offenses is what many people banked on with Washington this season when they (foolishly) picked them to repeat as NFC East champions, but with the league’s 28th-ranked defense by DVOA that certainly isn’t happening.

Things with Washington right now are a bit concerning because they have lost a number of players to injury. Guard Brandon Scherff is going to miss 2-3 weeks while Jon Bostic is out for the rest of the season.

Off of the field Washington’s former head trainer Ryan Vermillion is under criminal investigation.

Up Next: New Orleans Saints (2-2)

Philadelphia Eagles (1-3)

The win against the aforementioned Atlanta Falcons feels like oh so long ago, and having a lot of points put up on them has certainly made Eagles fans feel some sort of way.

Consider that in back-to-back weeks the Eagles have allowed over 40 points to be scored where (as Brandon Gowton mentioned on this week’s episode of the NFC East Mixtape) that only happened one time in 86 games under former defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz.

It is still early in the Nick Sirianni era and way too soon to make any sort of harsh judgment, but there are a lot of weird things happening with this team right now which has him under fire. Consider that some of their more veteran players are picking up a lot of penalties and hurting the team which shouldn’t be happening.

It was pointed out that over 60 percent of the penalties are coming from guys with three or more years experience, and Sirianni acknowledged that the flags are impacting games and it’s something they talk about a lot. He noted that it’s his job to get the team better in every aspect and penalties are an issue for them right now, but that the messaging has gotten harsher this week as they emphasize that they need to stop.

“I’m not sure there’s many teams spending as much time on this as we are. But here’s the thing, we know – when you have penalties called on you and when you’re committing penalties, because we’re committing them, it’s not like we’re – they’re happening and we’re doing them. When that’s happening, right, it kind of can snowball into a sense that – the referees next time or the coaching staff next time is going to come out and tell you, ‘Hey, these guys have an issue with this. They’re off-sides here, they do these things a lot.’ Now they’re looking for that thing.”

The head coach also pointed out that opponents can use their penchant for penalties as an advantage, and throw in more hard counts, and other things to trip them up.

Philadelphia hasn’t exactly inspired much confidence early on and with games against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Las Vegas Raiders, and Los Angeles Chargers on the horizon it is hard to see how things get any better.

Up Next: at Carolina Panthers (3-1)

New York Giants (1-3)

Who had the Giants going into New Orleans, during the first game back at the Superdome by the way, and coming out with a win? That’s right. Nobody.

It was certainly shocking to see the G-Men beat New Orleans, especially after failing to beat Atlanta last week, on Sunday, but sometimes that’s just how the NFL goes.

New York got a great performance from running back Saquon Barkley and also from third-year quarterback Daniel Jones. In fact, our friend Ed Valentine from Big Blue View (who we will hear from throughout the week both on site here at BTB and on our podcast network and YouTube Channel) came for all of the critics with his “things he thinks” write-up:

If you have been paying attention, though, and not stuck in the ‘Jones is terrible and Gettleman’s an idiot for selecting him’ narrative, Sunday’s career-best game has been brewing for a while.

Go back to last season, and there were signs of growth before his Week 12 hamstring injury against the Cincinnati Bengals. In Week 11 vs. the Philadelphia Eagles he played perhaps his best game of the year, going 21 of 28 for 244 yards and no turnovers.

This season, Jones has played well. He was so-so in the opener vs. the Denver Broncos, but in my view was really good against Washington and Atlanta. He just didn’t end up with the huge stats, or the victories, to show for it.

Sunday against New Orleans, he got both. He also delivered 17 points over the Giants’ final three possessions, engineering a comeback from 11 points down with seven minutes to play. He did what franchise quarterbacks are expected to do — deliver when it mattered most.

And, suddenly everyone is in love with him. Suddenly, it seems everyone wants to anoint him something most have spent more than two years telling us he could never be — A FRANCHISE QUARTERBACK.

Like I said, hilarious.

Daniel Jones certainly possesses some traits that belong to franchise quarterbacks, but he commits costly turnovers and doesn’t seem able to generate enough offense on a week-to-week basis. But perhaps this is the start of something new.

Obviously the Giants are the Cowboys’ opponent this week so we will get to see firsthand whether or not the Jones era has officially begun. Buckle up.

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