The NFC East has no true leader after Week 2. Which teams have the best chance to win the division?
The NFC East has been one of the most unpredictable divisions over the past five seasons. Each year, there is close competition between the teams in the division and this year will be no different. Early in the 2016 season, there is no true hierarchy in the division and any team could really emerge victorious. In the last week, we have not really learned much more to help figure out who the best team is.
The Washington Redskins and the Dallas Cowboys definitely played the most important game of the week. The two squared off in an early divisional matchup that was actually the second of the season for the Cowboys. The Cowboys, who had previously lost to the Giants by a narrow margin, needed a victory to avoid a 0-2 start in the division. They were able to get just that.
The Cowboys played efficiently against the Redskins and while their defense was nothing great, their offense got the job done. Dak Prescott should be able to win the Cowboys some games this season and Ezekiel Elliott will improve as the year goes along. The Cowboys could end up being a surprise team once their defensive starters return from suspension.
As for the Redskins, they appear to have a long way to go before they can be considered a contender. They have some major issues in the front seven, particularly on the defensive line, and their coaching has been suspect at best. Kirk Cousins also needs to make some major improvements to help the offense play better. Right now, they look destined for the cellar, but they have the talent to improve.
This week, the New York Giants had yet another close game. Against the New Orleans Saints, many thought that they would be able to torch the poor defensive unit. Instead, they had trouble moving the ball during the contest. They had to settle on a game winning field goal to capture the victory as time expires. The Giants currently look like the strongest team in the division, but if they cannot get on track on offense they may not be as threatening as many initially thought.
Finally, the Philadelphia Eagles are actually surprisingly tied for first place. However, their 2-0 record is a bit of a mirage. The team beat up on the hapless Cleveland Browns in Week 1 before winning a road game against the Chicago Bears in Week 2. Beating the Bears on the road was impressive, but the Bears suffered many injuries to their defense throughout the second half. The Eagles had a 9-7 lead in the third quarter, but were able to extend it after some key men went down for the Bears. Still, their defense played very well during the game and could be a real threat for the team.
The Eagles are already getting some solid play out of rookie quarterback Carson Wentz. As Wentz improves, so will the Eagles’ chances of making the playoffs. Until then, their ceiling is likely as an 8-8 whose defense may become a very strong unit under excellent coordinator Jim Schwartz.
Overall, the NFC East is a very winnable division. It is very early in the season, but no team really looks like a threat to clinch it at the moment. The Giants are the strongest contender, but do not be surprised to see another team make a push for the divisional crown.