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State of the NFC East: The Washington Football Team is flirting with a playoff spot

Signs of life at the bottom of the NFC East.

NFL: Seattle Seahawks at Washington Football Team Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

The state of the NFC East sure has taken quite the twist and turn over the course of the last week as the Dallas Cowboys left the door open for a challenger to approach them with their Thanksgiving Day loss to the Las Vegas Raiders.

Cowboys fans everywhere spent the days post-Thanksgiving dreading the Philadelphia Eagles defeating the New York Giants and entering themselves in that aforementioned conversation; however, the G-Men had other plans and (despite generating zero points off of four turnovers) took down the dirty birds.

As fate would have it, the Washington Football Team was also victorious this past week and would join the Cowboys in the playoffs if they started today (which they don’t). Naturally Bleeding Green Nation’s Brandon Gowton and I had a lot to discuss on this week’s edition of the NFC East Mixtape, a podcast accessible on both the BGN and BTB podcast feeds where we discuss the state of the division every week.

You can listen to this week’s episode above, but make sure to subscribe to the Blogging The Boys podcast network wherever you get your podcast so you get access to all of our shows. Apple devices can subscribe here and Spotify users can subscribe here.

After this coming week there will be at least one NFC East common game happening every week until the regular season ends. Needless to say, things are about to get spicy.


Washington Football Team (5-6)

About Washington’s win on Monday night, don’t get me wrong it was impressive, but context is extremely necessary. Washington took down an incredibly not-who-we-have-known-them-to-be Seattle Seahawks team, but a win is a win and they deserve credit. Let’s just hold off on crowning them in any sort of capacity.

Thanks to the NFL’s third Wildcard spot that was added last year this team would currently be in the playoffs if they started today. It is hard to see them holding off the likes of San Francisco or even Minnesota, but anything is possible.

From our friends at Hogs Haven:

If they can pick up 4 or 5 wins in their final 6 games, however, they should be positioned to earn a wildcard spot, and, depending on how Dallas plays down the stretch, Washington still has hope of repeating as division champions.

Washington has been hot lately, beating the defending Super Bowl champs, knocking Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers out of their mid-season playoff seeding, and, now, crushing whatever hope Russell Wilson and the Seahawks had of saving their season. The final six games will determine what that winning steak amounts to. While a handful of losses will consign this winning streak and the 2021 season to the dustbin, if they can continue to win, this could be a watershed season for Ron Rivera, Taylor Heinicke and the Washington Football Team.

Next year, the burgundy & gold will take the field under a new name and logo. Let’s hope that the Football Team’s final season under its current identify is the best one ever.

The Football Team visits the Las Vegas Raiders this week, but that is their last game of the season that is not against an NFC East foe. Conservatism suggests that they will split with the Cowboys but they also have to play the Eagles twice as well as the Giants once more (remember that they barely beat New York earlier this season).

Buckle up.

Next Up: at Las Vegas Raiders (6-5)


Philadelphia Eagles (5-7)

We discussed this at length during this week’s NFC East Mixtape and it is also mentioned up above, but the New York Giants had four takeaways against the Philadelphia Eagles and generated zero points off of them and still won the game! That is incredible.

Philly almost won against the Giants, but Jalen Reagor dropped a would-be game-winning touchdown. A reminder here that the Eagles intentionally drafted Reagor over Justin Jefferson in 2020.

During their winners and losers column in the aftermath of their latest defeat (the first game in which the Eagles were supposed to begin their winning-out streak according to their fanbase) Howie Roseman was cited as a big loser for the Reagor decision.

From our friends at Bleeding Green Nation:

Taking Reagor over Justin Jefferson continues to look like an unmitigated disaster. An absolutely catastrophic, franchise-altering miss.

And it’s hardly a mistake that only looks bad with the benefit of hindsight. Everyone knew at the time that Jefferson should’ve been the pick.

Everyone except the Eagles’ general manager.

“But, actually, the scouts wanted Jefferson! It was the coaching staff that wanted Reagor!”

This notion has been put out there and it’s just so weak. Roseman has final say on personnel. It’s his mistake to bear. I don’t get how Doug Pederson wasn’t even allowed to pick his own assistants — and ultimately got fired for drawing a line in the sand about that much — but somehow had the power to take Reagor.

It’s bad enough that the Eagles missed out on Jefferson. The lack of accountability for that mistake makes it even worse.

Things are shaping up to be all-around bad for the Eagles lately as not only have their own hopes for success taken a hit lately, but so has their future draft stock. You will recall that the Eagles already own the 2022 first-round pick belonging to the Miami Dolphins and will very likely own the one belonging to the Indianapolis Colts. Well after a rough start the Dolphins have won four in a row (and play the Giants this week) and are challenging for an AFC Wildcard spot along with Indianapolis.

You really do hate to see it.

Next Up: at New York Jets (3-8)


New York Giants (4-7)

Being frank here, we recorded this week’s NFC East Mixtape prior to the news that surfaced on Tuesday evening regarding Giants quarterback Daniel Jones. It appears that he will miss Sunday’s game against the Dolphins.

From our friends at Big Blue View:

New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones is dealing with a strained neck and is unlikely to play Sunday against the Miami Dolphins, per a report from NFL insider Tom Pelissero.

That likely explains Pelissero’s previous report that the Giants have signed former Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm off the Buffalo Bills’ practice squad.

Per Pelissero, Jones suffered the injury early in Sunday’s victory over the Philadelphia Eagles. Pelissero indicated that Jones suffered the injury on the game’s second play when he got hit while sliding on a zone-read keeper. He played the entire game, completing 19 of 30 passes for 202 yards and rushing nine times for 30 yards. Per Pelissero’s Twitter account, Jones is considered “week-to-week” and is unlikely to play

It is impressive that Daniel Jones suffered this injury during the second play of last week’s game against the Eagles and still finished (doing his part to help his team win), but obviously this injury appears serious enough for the team to rule him out early in the week.

You will recall from when the Cowboys faced the Giants earlier this year and Jones was knocked out with a concussion that New York’s backup is Mike Glennon. It seems that he will be charged with trying to build a winning streak for the Giants.

It was actually while we were recording last week’s Mixtape that news of the Giants dismissing Jason Garrett broke. While their offense had been stagnant under the former Cowboys head coach, it isn’t as if things dramatically improved for them last week, although they did still win.

Next Up: at Miami Dolphins (5-7)