As the New York Giants lay idle in Week 11, resting up in a bye week, their division rivals were trying to make ground on them. Once again the NFC East is a division waiting for a team to take hold and dominate. The Giants are going through their annual mid-season slump, the Dallas Cowboys are giving yo-yo’s a bad name with how up and down their progress has been. Over in Washington, the Redskins are reliant on a rookie to carry them through games, meanwhile the Philadelphia Eagles are in such a deep hole that we may not see them surface for a long time.
Last season New York won the division off the back of a end of season winner take all match against Dallas, ended up 9-7, and went on to the big show to produce a near carbon copy of their Superbowl victory over New England in 2008. Of course there is an argument that it was Dallas that lost the division, after only needing to win 1 of the 2 games played against the Giants, played in the final four weeks. Failure to do so meant heartbreak again. The Cowboys know how to sing the blues in the final month of the season.
Fast forward back to the present and it seems that neither team have learnt from last season’s exploits. The character of these 2 teams and indeed the rest of the division seems very much the same. New York hold an edge over Dallas, but look ready to implode, they are also the most likely team in the East to right their ship before anyone else does.
Washington visit the Cowboys this coming Thursday, in what is the pick of the traditional NFL Thanksgiving feast of games. The Redskins have a look of a team that will roll with the punches, only to get knocked out during the latter stages of most games. However they do have something that no other team has, and most envy. An RG3.
Rookie Quarterback Robert Griffin III has been nothing short of sensational, and is coming off the sort of game that most NFL QB’s can only dream of. 14 of 15 pass completions, 200 yards, 4 touchdowns, 84 yards rushing from 12 carries.
The Cowboys should be very wary of this as they are not starting quick and owe an awful lot to their defense for keeping them in games. Dallas defensive coordinator Rob Ryan has his group playing very near to Championship level football, but has been cursed with injuries, and this may eventually take its toll as the season draws to a close.
The fact that Washington completely dominated the Eagles this past Sunday in a 31-6 win shows that they are capable of building up a score, even if this was against a completely inept Philadelphia, who look to be going through the motions. Currently on a 6 game losing streak, Head Coach Andy Reid is most definitely on the brink, and if he doesn’t jump he will surely be pushed.
Should the Redskins leave Jerry World this Thursday evening with a win, they would still claim to be in the race for the division. At 5-6 they would be tied with the Cowboys and of course have the tie breaking edge at this point. The 2 meet again on the final day.
The Giants play host to the Green Bay Packers this coming Sunday night, knowing just how close their challengers are to them. This could be an advantage, but the Packers will be looking to extend their current win streak of 5. A loss would drop NY into a 6-5 record.
Following this week’s play the Cowboys host the Eagles on Sunday night, and Washington entertain the Giants in the Monday night offering. It’s quite feasible that these 3 could all be tied up at 6-6 in a fortnights time.
I’ve run out of fingers, where’s that abacus.........?