With the victory over the Eagles, the Cowboys sit atop the NFC East all to themselves. More importantly, the Cowboys are now 3-0 in the division, and you have to win your division to get into the playoffs, so the Cowboys are off to a good start in that regard. The defense outperformed expectations and they were clearly the driving force for this road win, but the offense held there own as well, it was a solid win. How about Terrance Williams? He’s looking better and better each week, props to the rookie!
The one thing I’m seeing around the blogosphere is a lot of joy and touting around our 1st place standing right now, and honestly, we shouldn’t be. Its nice, and I absolutely love it, but we’ve seen this movie before. The Cowboys win a game in a total team effort, and then the following week, we take the pedal off metal. I want more consecutive victories. I want to be able to know our team will win no matter who we are playing. Championship teams don’t leave fans wondering about winning or losing, they win games and go on a roll to prove it. Mediocre teams, leave fans wondering week-to-week if they are going to win or not. Make no mistake, I like the two game streak, but I want to see momentum take us on a long streak here. We don’t have that much of a cushion in the standings, so we need to make that separation each week.
Here’s a look at our current standings:
Cowboys: @Lions, Vikings, @Saints, Bye
Eagles: Giants, @Raiders, @Packers, Redskins
Redskins: @Broncos, Chargers, @Vikings, @Eagles
Giants: Vikings, @Eagles, Bye, Raiders
Looking at the upcoming coming games its going to be tough sledding all around in the NFC East, and this batch of games will bring the playoff picture just ever so slightly closer into focus in the next 4 weeks. It’s been said many times that 8-8 could take the East this year, so if that’s the case, then in a few weeks, we’ll see who’s in the driver seat heading into late November, early December.
Out of fun, let’s try to project the next few games for Dallas and the rest of the east:
Cowboys: I think the Cowboys go 2-1 over the next few games heading into the bye week. The Lions will be our 2nd consecutive road game, but the game itself is going to be a potential shootout, the game we thought we were going to have this past week will likely happen in Detroit. The Lions always play the Cowboys tough. The Vikings are a mess, and outside of AP, the don’t have much on offense, we should win that one. The Saints game brings the Cowboys the biggest road challenge of the year and it could go either way here, its going to take a mistake free game to pull this one out, but its doable. I gave the Cowboys a 2-1 here, because I think they will get tripped up by the Lions or Saints; however, its quite possible they could go 3-0. Projected record: 6-4 or 7-3
Eagles: I think the Eagles go 2-2 on their stretch here, with the potential of 3-1 They host the Giants who will be coming off a short week playing the Vikings tonight, so I give the edge to the Eagles; however, this all depends if Vick is the starting QB. If Foles or Barkley are in the game, they can kiss their season goodbye. The should be able to handle the Raiders on the road. I don’t seem them winning at Lambeau, and the Redskins will be the team to watch for me right now. It looks to me that RG3 is getting his swagger and rhythm back, and they can put up points to match Philly. Divisional games are the hardest to project, so it could go either way. Projected record: 5-6 or 6-5
Redskins: As I alluded too earlier, I have a feeling the Redskins are closer to returning to their 2012 selves; and, a victory over the Broncos would give them that huge boost in the arm that could take them through these next couple of weeks. I also see the Redskins going 2-2 or 3-1 (4-0 if they beat the Broncos). I don’t see them beating the Broncos. The Chargers game will be an interesting game; in which, I could see the Redskins winning this one. I’m not sold on the Chargers, they are still a very inconsistent team, but you never know with Phillips and their passing attack vs. The Skins D. They’ll beat the Vikings, and the divisional game at Philly should be another win, but again, could go either way. Projected record: 4-6, 5-5, (6-4 with potential momentum from beating the Broncos on the road) The Redskins are the team to watch for me right now, they pose the greatest threat to the East for me. Philly is a mess at QB, and the Giants look bad.
Giants: I think the Giants season is on the line tonight against the Vikings, if they lose this game, they are virtually knocked out of any playoff talk, and they could tailspin and have a huge mess on their hands. I see the Giants going 1-2 or 0-3 The Giants are in a tough spot this week because they play two games; tonight they host the Vikings and then Sunday @Eagles. A loss tonight against a poor Vikings team could be their deathblow. I do think the Giants will win tonight, but then an immediate game at the Eagles will be too much, they lose that game. Then they have a bye week, then they host the Raiders. The Raiders are a pretty solid team, and Pryor has them playing competitive in virtually every game this year. Projected record: 1-8 or 0-9
The NFC East is going to be another closely contested division, and if we’re going by these projections the top three teams will all be in the running to clinch the NFC East. We won’t be sending another team from this division, so it’ll take winning the division to punch that card to the playoffs. Let’s see how this turns out.