By Julie Glass
The NFC East is a beast again!
After the Eagles and the New York Giants won yesterday, all four teams in the division have winning records.
“It’s a lot better than it was last year,” Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins said of the NFC East after his team beat the NFL’s last undefeated team, the Minnesota Vikings, at Lincoln Financial Field.
“Night and day. Everybody is playing really well. The good thing is the next two games we get to see some division rivals. It’ll be fun. We’re kind of in the thick of the woods right now, especially in our division. You can’t ask for a better run.”
It’s not exactly back to the days when the Giants, Washington Redskins and Dallas Cowboys combined to win eight Super Bowl titles in a 14-year span between the 1982 and ’95 seasons.
But at least it’s different from the norm of recent seasons, when everyone too often has had to wonder if a single team in the division could make it to nine or 10 victories.
The Giants won Super Bowls in the 2007 and ’11 seasons with Eli Manning as their quarterback and Tom Coughlin as their coach, twice upsetting the New England Patriots. Other than that, the NFC East last sent a team to the Super Bowl when the Eagles got there and lost to the Patriots in the 2004 season. The Cowboys’ last Super Bowl appearance came in the 1995 season. For the Redskins, it was at the end of the 1991 season.
This is not to say with any certainty that the NFC East will have a Super Bowl representative this season. But there is a chance that a team or two from the division could emerge to at least be in the conversation. The Cowboys, who had a bye, lead the way with a record of 5-1.The Eagles improved to 4-2 Sunday. The Giants, who beat the Los Angeles Rams in London, upped their record to 4-3, while the Redskins suffered a stomach-churning defeat at Detroit to drop to 4-3. Only that last-gasp touchdown drive by the Lions kept the NFC East from having an unblemished day.
Rookie quarterbacks Dak Prescott in Dallas and Carson Wentz in Philly, have energized the division. The Cowboys also have a dynamic rookie runner in Ezekiel Elliott. The Eagles ended a two-game losing streak Sunday. Both of those defeats had come on the road. They’re 3-0 at home this season. In their last two home games, they’ve outscored the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Vikings by a combined margin of 55-13.
The Eagles beat the Vikings, 21-10, despite committing four turnovers, three of them by Wentz. They forced the Vikings into four turnovers, three of them by quarterback Sam Bradford in his return. Bradford threw an interception. He fumbled four times, losing two of them, and was sacked six times.
“You win three straight,” Jenkins said. “You go on a bye. Everybody’s telling you how good you are. And then all of a sudden, you come back and you want to make plays. You want to keep it going. But you forget what got you there. And that wasn’t anybody doing anything spectacular. It was just guys making plays when their number’s called, being in your spot when you’re supposed to be there and if the ball comes, make a play. If not, it’s for somebody else to make a play. And that’s all we did today.”