“Fair” or not, one of the NFC East teams is making the playoffs. Not just making the playoffs but getting a home playoff game at that. Do they deserve it? Based on what we’ve seen so far, probably not! As a division they’ve the most Superbowl titles collectively, but are a lowly 10-26-1 so far this year.
That bad? Really?
Out of the 16 NFC teams the East has the bottom 3 and 4 of the bottom 6 teams. As a division they’ve only 10 wins between them, half of both the South and North and miles behind the 22 wins the NFC West has. If you take away their games against each other they’re a combined 2-14-1.
Their only none interdivisional wins came from the Eagles victory over the injury ravaged 49ers and the Cowboys ridiculous comeback against the Falcons. And the Eagles got a tie against the Bengals. All of those teams have losing records.
The Eagles lead the pack at 3-5-1, followed by the Giants at 3-7 with both the Cowboys and Washington wallowing at the foot of the division with 2-7 records. For more on how they’ve performed so far look at our half season report.
The Playoffs, the Holy Grail
The NFL playoffs, the pinnacle of professional sports. That’s what awaits the winner of the NFC East. Make it to the playoffs you’re one of only 14, down from 32, with a shot at the Superbowl. You’ve got to be in it to win it.
The Eagles are the bookies favourite to win the NFC East, at 2/3. This is understandable as they’re in the lead and a few average Carson Wentz performances away from being bearable. But it won’t be easy for Philli’ as 5 out of their last 7 games are against winning teams.
Next the bookies have Joe Judge’s Giants at 7/2. They’re coming off a 3-2 streak but similar to the Eagles their remaining schedule is tough.
Washington are next according to the bookies at a 8/1 shot. Alex Smith leading them to the playoffs would surely secure him comeback player of the year.
Back of the pack is the Cowboys, who are 9/1. They’ve seriously struggled after losing franchise QB Dak Prescott and their two starting offensive tackles. Throw in the leagues worst defence and it’s understandable why the Cowboys are the long shot.
The Holy Grail, or a Poisoned Chalice?
The elephant in the room that is the NFC East is that whoever does win it, may well regret it. Hear me out: Yes it’s the playoffs are great. But as it stands today, the three teams not making the playoffs from the NFC East will have top 10 picks: no3. Washington no.5 Dallas no.8 New York.
A top 10 pick for a coach one year into a major rebuild (looking at you Ron Rivera in Washington and Joe Judge in New York) or one year into a 5 year contract (Mike McCarthy in Dallas) could be something to be very excited about.
The same probably can’t be said for the Eagles. Who could realistically be in line for a top 10 pick if they continue to struggle and don’t win the East. They’re pegged to be $63m over the cap next year, according to sportrac.com, so inevitably will have to make some big moves this off season. Failing to make the playoffs, out of this poor division, may force those moves to be rather drastic.
For more on the NFC East, running backs and teams in Superbowl Windows check out this weeks Ninety-Nine Yards Podcast www.spreaker.com/user/ninetynineyards/who-wants-to-win-the-east-and-paying-run