The NFC Least

The NFC Least
December 02
14:09 2020

For the last couple of seasons, the NFC East has looked like a junior varsity division in the National Football League. Most, if not all of the teams, have finished near the bottom of the League in most statistical categories and this year is no different. 

I was hesitant to write about this topic, because it hits a little too close to home as I am a fan of the Washington Football Team. My disgust reached another level as I was watching the lineup for the Thanksgiving Day football games and I started to wonder how many people actually want to watch the Washington vs. Dallas game with both teams sitting at 3-7. That got me to thinking how bad the division has been recently.

The funny thing is both teams are only a half game out of first place in the division, which is held by the Philadelphia Eagles at 3-6-1. Yes, I know that is sad, but it makes me wonder how this entire division got to this level of shameful play. 

The NFC East used to be one of the toughest divisions in football. Combined, the four teams have 13 Super Bowl titles, far and away more than any other division in football. The number of Hall of Famers that have played for the four teams is also too long to list.

As of this season, the four teams in the division are nowhere close to competing for a Super Bowl title any time soon and that is a shame. The division has become the laughingstock of professional sports.

The Eagles just won the Super Bowl in 2018 and that seems like a lifetime ago. This year they have dealt with injuries along the offensive line and to several skill position players. Starting quarterback Carson Wentz has not played very well all year and is one of the league leaders in turnovers, which is a recipe for disaster.

It is hard to fathom how far the Eagles have fallen and how quickly they have done so. In my lifetime the Eagles have always been a team to be reckoned with. Wentz does not look like he is trending in the right direction, but everyone can see he possesses elite arm talent and above average athleticism. That great talent he has makes you scratch your head at some of the bonehead plays he has made this season.

We all know that Wentz was not the starter for the Super Bowl in 2018, so maybe he is attempting to justify his contract by playing hero ball too frequently. I am not sure what the remedy is to fix his issues, but with all of the money they have invested in him, he will have to figure it out sooner or later.

Philly must figure out how to surround Wentz with some skill position players that can stay healthy. It would be a shame to waste the tremendous talent Wentz possesses by not providing him with adequate weapons. The Eagles have a stout defense, so if they figure out the right pieces on offense, they can compete sooner than later.

The New York Giants won the Super Bowl in 2007 and 2011. Since then, they have only made the playoffs on one occasion. Their last playoff appearance was in 2016 and they have not had a winning record since. In fact, they have not won more than five games in the last four years.

Their best player, Saquon Barkley, tore his ACL against the Bears in Week 2 of this season. The loss of Barkley was a hard pill to swallow for a team that was not expected to do much. Second year signal caller, Daniel Jones, was looking to rebound from a tough rookie campaign.  

Surprisingly enough, the Giants’ defense has played fairly well, considering the circumstances. Daniel Jones looks like he might be the guy on certain drives and then sometimes he seems lost. If he can become more consistent at the quarterback position, the Giants will be OK at the position.  

New York is in rebuild mode, trying to figure out how to get back to the glory days of old. It will be a few more years until the G-men are ready to compete for a playoff spot. 

What can I say about the Dallas Cowboys? They have been the epitome of mediocrity for the last decade. Coming into this season, they were expected to contend for a Super Bowl title. They started the season by losing three of their first four games. Then to add insult to injury, quarterback Dak Prescott was lost for the season with a broken leg in a Week 5 game against the Giants.

The Cowboys were able to pull out a victory against the Giants despite the injury to Prescott. They proceeded to lose four straight following that game and have only won one game since. They were just embarrassed on Thanksgiving Day by the Redskins 41-16.  

They are loaded with talent on offense, but their defense is one of the worst in the history of the league. They consistently give up chunk plays and can’t stop the run, regardless of who is in the backfield of the opposing team. Owner/General Manager Jerry Jones must find some solutions on defense to remedy the issues they have. Honestly, until Prescott returns, there is no reason to think the Cowboys will be a factor in the division.

The Washington Football Team (WFT) has gone through their ups and downs for as long as I can remember, and it’s mostly been down. They have only made the playoffs four times in 20 years. There wasn’t much expected from this team coming into the 2020 season either. To the surprise of many, the WFT is in first place after their victory over the Cowboys on Thanksgiving.

It’s hard to believe that a first-place team has a record of 4-7. Washington fans have not had much to root for, so any small glimmer of hope is enough. To their credit, the team has played better than expected, especially if you factor in the team has used three different quarterbacks this year.

The defense has played well, and the offense has some young talent that is blossoming. Terry McLaurin and Antonio Gibson have star potential on offense and Chase Young and Montez Sweat are scary athletic defensive ends that wreak havoc on opposing offenses.

Head coach Ron Rivera has the team headed in the right direction and maybe next season they can start to win some of these close games they have lost in recent years.  

I hope all four teams can get back to the level of respectability, because I think football is more entertaining when the NFC East is competitive. I think we are all tired of watching this division get run over by the rest of the NFL.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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