Breaking down the putrid, yet possibly exciting, NFC East race

Ralph Vacchiano
·6 min read
Jones running vs. Washington
Jones running vs. Washington

Go ahead and laugh. It’s as funny as it is pathetic. It’s a tire fire inside a burning dumpster. It’s a clown slipping on a banana peel as he throws a pie into his own face.

It’s the NFC East – or more obviously, the NFC Least – which isn’t just the worst division in football this season, it might be the worst the NFL has seen in years. The Dallas Cowboys are imploding and lost their quarterback for the season. The Philadelphia Eagles have lost half their roster to injuries. The Washington Football Team is a nameless mess. The Giants... well, they’re the Giants.

Together, they have a combined record of 5-18-1. Three of those wins have come against each other, leaving them 2-15-1 against everyone else. The NFC West alone has already beaten them eight out of nine times.

They’re like a bad joke with no punch line. Four teams walk into a bar and... I’ve got nothing, but at least their fans can have a stiff drink.

Still, if the Giants beat the Eagles on Thursday night, there’s a chance that by Sunday night they will share a piece of the division lead – and like it or not, the winner of this division is still going to make the playoffs. Of course, if the Giants lose there’s also a chance they will become the favorites for the No. 1 overall pick in the draft. That’s the state of a division that is threatening to crown the worst division winner in history. No NFL team has won a division with a record worse than 7-9.

Does anyone doubt that this year’s NFC East champ is going to finish 6-10?

With that in mind, here’s a dumpster dive into the state of the division race. Laugh, so you don’t cry. And don’t forget to tip your waiter. These teams will be here all year...

DALLAS COWBOYS (2-4)

What should Cowboys fans do after their team wins a playoff game? Remember to turn off the XBox.

The loss of QB Dak Prescott was an insurmountable blow to a team with an explosive offense and an indefensible defense. In the first game without him, the ‘Boys lost 38-10 at home to Arizona. Worse, NFL Network reported that players were popping off, calling coach Mike McCarthy and his staff “totally unprepared” and saying “they just aren’t good at their jobs.”

Ouch. That doesn’t bode well for a team with an impulsive owner, an impatient fan base and a ton of pressure on it since it clearly has more talent than any team in this division. Granted, that’s like being the largest insect at an ant farm, but it’s still something.

OUTLOOK: There’s a winner in every pig race at the state fair, and if six wins will do it, they’re already one-third of the way there. They also have the easiest remaining schedule. Half of their remaining games are against this hideous division, with a couple of other top pick contenders mixed in, too.

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (1-4-1)

How can you keep Eagles out of your back yard? Put up goal posts.

If you can name a current Eagles player outside of Carson Wentz, chances are he’s on injured reserve or the injury report. That includes every decent receiver, plus now tight end Zach Ertz and running back Miles Sanders. And yes, Wentz has been awful, but he’s also been hit so often he’d fit right into the Mets bullpen.

If they get Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson back that could help, especially with three straight games coming up against the NFC East – including two against the Giants. But will the entire cavalry arrive in time to salvage this season?

OUTLOOK: They better start winning now, because their four games after Thanksgiving are against the Seahawks, Packers, Saints and Cardinals. After that, they won’t have to worry about letting fans into their stadium anymore.

GIANTS (1-5)

What’s the difference between the Giants and a dollar bill? You get four quarters outof a dollar bill.

It says something that a team that lost Saquon Barkley, has a rookie head coach, and one of the lowest-rated quarterbacks in football and has lost 41 of its last 54 games could turn out to be the most dangerous team in this division. No, really. Think about it. They’re playing good defense, they’re competitive in every game, their offense is starting to show signs of life...

OK, it’s a stretch, but there are people around the league that think Joe Judge is on the verge of finally turning the Giants into an almost-mediocre football team. Yes, the bar is low. But that makes it easier to reach it.

OUTLOOK: It’s now or never. They’re in the midst of a stretch where they play division opponents five times in six games, followed by a game against the 1-4-1 Bengals. They’re 1-1 so far in this seven-week spin inside the cotton candy machine. If they could enter December even with four just wins total they might be in the pole position for the stretch.

WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM (1-5)

What does the Washington Football Team have in common with a possum? They both play dead at home and get killed on the road.

The dysfunction runs deep here, which is how they ended up with a new management structure and no name (although “Football Team” is kind of catchy). Ron Rivera will probably turn this sinking ship around eventually, but first he has to sort through his quarterback issues. Dwayne Haskins, their top pick from a year ago, has been replaced by the flawed Kyle Allen and even supplanted by Alex Smith, fresh off a horrific leg injury. None of them figure to be the future. But are any of them even the now?

They do play defense, though, and have good pass rushers which should be good for a few wins. But with quarterback issues, not much of a running game and only one mildly dangerous weapon (receiver Terry McLaurin) the WFT offense is more WTF most of the time.

OUTLOOK: This “Football Team” winning the division would be like Krusty the Clown winning an Emmy... And it turns out the actor who plays Krusty won an Emmy for his work, so I guess anything is possible in this Bizarro World division.