If you were to look at the NFC East standings, you would find the Giants in the cellar.
But based solely on what we’ve seen from these teams on the field and in their wins and losses, the standings do not accurately reflect where I expect these teams to be … come say, Thanksgiving.
- 1. Philadelphia Eagles (3-1): This is essentially a formality. The Birds have the best record in the NFC East and recently beat New York. Wins over Baltimore and New York are hard to argue against, despite how close they were. October has just hit, and Michael Vick can still work out the wrinkles of the offense. LeSean McCoy, DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin are still three of the best playmakers in the league. And the defense has made tremendous strides under Juan Castillo from year No. 1 to 2.
- 2. New York Giants (2-2): The Giants could be 3-1 right now if not for a controversial play call and two missed field goals. The big question mark hovering over Big Blue, however, is that their two wins have come against Carolina and Tampa Bay, two teams that have struggled tremendously on the defensive side of the ball. Eli Manning will keep the Giants in most games, but Hakeem Nicks is a vital part of the offense and his presence will be missed. The banged up D will also hurt, especially by Week 6 when the Giants face a stretch of San Francisco, Washington, Dallas, Pittsburgh and Cincinnati.
- 3. Dallas Cowboys (2-2): Let’s not drop the Boys to the worst team in this division because Tony Romo threw five interceptions on Monday night. Romo is still a top-10 quarterback, and this year the defense has been the best in the league defending the pass. In the bye week, I expect Jason Garrett to work out the kinks between Romo, Dez Bryant and the rest of the Cowboys offense. But their next five opponents – Baltimore, Carolina, New York Giants, Atlanta and Philadelphia – is a make or break stretch in their schedule.
- 4. Washington Redskins (2-2): The Skins are second in the standings after a month, and they’ve taken the D.C. area by storm. Robert Griffin III is exactly what fans and scouts expected – a true pass-first quarterback who can make plays with his legs. And he’s doing it right away. Alfred Morris has been a pleasant surprise, too. But their defense is horrid. Opposing quarterbacks have averaged 326 yards v. the Skins, and that simply won’t cut it in this league. The Skins are definitely more competitive than they have been, but until their defense can amount to their offense it’ll be hard to keep pace in this division.