Cowboys 9-7: It’s been another one of those the years for the Cowboys, where they look great some weeks and then others blah, with of course a couple of fourth quarter gaffes.
Still, even with a 4-4 record the Cowboys sit on top of the NFC East. Don’t get me wrong, Dallas has some good things going on, like the offensive line (ranked ninth), that is giving Romo time (only been sacked 16 times) in the pocket to find the open man. One thing is for sure, Dez Bryant is the real deal, although the grade is still out on his character, which was pretty evident on how the media blew up his sideline rant.
The bad news is the defense has been burned for a total of 21 touchdowns and the running game has fallen flat (56.5 yards a game, zero touchdowns last two games) since DeMarco Murray has been sidelined. The best thing going for the Cowboys is while they have been an average team; the rest of the NFC East has played horrid. This should continue with a slight possibility one of their division foes start stepping up their game, however that is highly doubtful. I’m changing my earlier prediction of a Redskins vs. Giants showdown at the end, to the Cowboys who will keep the lead until they clinch the title; before the last week of the season. On a final note, Dallas is a hit or miss team so you never know how far their roller coaster ride will take them if they do end up in the playoffs, like I’m predicting.
Giants 7-9: The Giants came out the gate looking sloppy and didn’t get their first victory until after six stomach churning defeats. The backfield of David Wilson and Andre Brown that seemed so promising hasn’t even played a snap together; Brown got hurt in preseason and Wilson played very uninspired football (3.3 average per carry and only 29.2 rushing yards a game), until he got hurt himself. Injuries kept on coming at running back, as the Giants had old school Brandon Jacobs come back from the dead only for him to be hurt after one game.
A lot of people look at Manning’s 16 interceptions and want to point the finger at him for the disappointment. Yes, he deserves some of the blame but when players are slipping and getting out manned by defenders he can’t control that. Also let’s not forget about the defense that has given up an average of 27.9 points a game. Nevertheless, the Giants have been playing better lately and have won the last two games. We all know New York is known as a streaky team (ex. 2009 won five in row then lost four) and I believe they’re going to keep winning most of their remaining games and finish strong. Still, the hole they dug themselves into is too deep for a miracle comeback.
Eagles 5-11: The Eagles came out the gate fast putting up 33 points on the Redskins in week one, which had people in a frenzy over Chip Kelly’s innovative fast paced offense. With Michael Vick as expected nursing injuries, his backup Nick Foles getting banged up as well, and the offense only averaging only 16 points the last two games, things have come to a screeching halt. It also doesn’t help that the defense has never been a serious threat, as opposing offenses run up and down the field on them (allowing 401.8 total yards a game).
The one bright spot is the running game (averages 150.4 yards a game) led by LeSean McCoy, who seems to fit perfect in Kelly’s offense, especially with him leading the league in rushing yards. Also, Nick Foles is coming back this Sunday and gives fans some hope, as he played effectively (622 passing yards, six touchdowns, and zero interceptions) until his concussion knocked him out. Be that as it may, I don’t see the Eagles making any noise in the second half of the season besides maybe a couple more high scoring games. This is only year one of the Chip Kelly era, so Eagles fans don’t give up; if he finds a quarterback that can stay healthy and builds a defense that is at least decent things could turn around in the city of brotherly love.
Redskins 4-12: I expected a slow start from the Redskins with RG3 coming back from his knee injury, although I also thought they would turn things around and win the division. That is not the case as RG3 seems to have lost the mojo he had last season and hasn’t been able to mask his team’s flaws like he did in 2012. Now, not only is the defense a sight for sore eyes (ranked 29th and giving up 32.7 points a game) but the offense has more turnovers (19) than touchdowns (18). You simply can’t succeed with both sides of the ball getting beat down. This season might be in the dumps; even so, RG3 is still young and could bounce back next season. Despite that, the Redskins need to revamp their defense and might want to reevaluate their coaching staff, because Mike Shanahan doesn’t have the best record (23-32) in his time coaching the Redskins.