NFC East teams are struggling with inconsistency

BY foxsports • November 6, 2009

A month ago, the Giants were 5-0, the Beast of the NFC East and the class of the NFL.

They had looked so dominant in going undefeated that they had reduced the oft-sputtering Cowboys and Eagles to thinking wild card by mid-October.

Turns out a lot can change in a month.

The Cowboys and Eagles, both 5-2, square off Sunday night with sole possession of first place on the line.

The Giants (5-3), meanwhile, have allowed 112 points in their three straight losses. Hosting the Chargers Sunday, the G-Men continue a murderous stretch in which 10 of 11 games are against either 2008 playoff teams or teams currently in first place (or both).

All three teams have taken turns looking alternately unstoppable and fairly dreadful as they all deal with identity crises.

In an uninspired four-game stretch, the Cowboys lost twice — at home to the Giants and at Denver — and were taken to OT by the lowly Chiefs. During this period, the consensus became Tony Romo was the problem and the offense needed to become a ground-and-pound unit that asked less of its QB.

So much for that theory. All Romo has done in his past three games is throw 99 times with eight touchdowns, zero picks, a 120-plus passer rating and 101 points produced in three victories. Now, no one is saying Romo should be slinging it less.

But the Cowboys have been a model of consistency compared with their Week 9 opponent. The Eagles have five double-digit victories and two of the more embarrassing stink-bomb losses in the NFL this season: a 26-point home loss to the Saints in Week 2 and a 13-9 groaner at Oakland in Week 6.

Not surprisingly, the pass-happy Eagles do not have a 100-yard rusher this season as Brian Westbrook battles his annual injury bugaboo and splits carries with LeSean McCoy. Philly does have a QB with two 300-yard passing games, only his name is Kevin Kolb. Donovan McNabb is averaging only 201.6 yards passing but with a hyper-efficient 103.2 rating.

Defensively, even with the passing of blitz guru Jim Johnson, the Eagles are still their sack-happy selves, standing second in the league with 23 as an astounding 13 different players have had a hand in a sack.