The NFC East[ern] Turbulence
It's been a wild ride in the NFL already, and we're only in Week 3.
Expectations were high in the off-season for the NFC East, and each and every team in that division has to date been a major disappointment.
I'd joked around earlier with a friend, declaring that the NFC East winner would be 6-10. Now, that doesn't seem as far-fetched as I originally thought. Each and every team has underperformed in a way that no one imagined possible. Even the Cowboys -- who have a winning record, mind you -- aren't that good of a football team. They managed to outplay a weak St Louis Ram squad and almost gave away the first game of the season against the Giants.
Futility is the first word that comes to mind.
The Giants are simply terrible. David Wilson looks like a shaky rookie who seems to have oil on his hands each and every time he touches the football. Eli Manning is not managing the game at all the way he is capable of doing. He has been indecisive with his progressions and is making some absolutely horrid throws. The defense was completely blasted last Sunday to the tune of 38 points, and against whom? The Carolina Panthers, of all teams! This was a club that was supposed to contend for the NFC East title. Now, the entire team, including Tom Coughlin, looks like it's running around with its collective heads cut off.
I shouldn't even waste my time talking about the Redskins. With all the preseason hype, this team was supposed to be a Super Bowl contender. Now, the entire organization is floundering, searching for answers that are easily fixable.
Quick Fix 1: Run the football. You have an absolute beast in the backfield with Alfred Morris, and he has yet to hit the 20-rush per game threshold he needs to be effective.
Quick Fix 2: Learn to tackle. It's not that hard, and if the Redskins did it, they wouldn't be in this predicament. 0-3 is a tough hole to climb out of. They have the ability to do it -- think about last year's 3-6 start -- but it starts with the basics, and the Redskins don't even seem to be playing football right now.
The Eagles are talented on offense with Chip Kelly's up-tempo playbook but have the wrong quarterback running the system. Micheal Vick is doing the best he can, but he's prone to mistakes and isn't as fast as he once was. It's inevitable that a quarterback will regress, and with Vick's small frame, his body is slowly wearing down year after year with all of those shots he's taking. Additionally, the defense is an absolute disaster. Their corners can't cover any opposing receiver and their defensive linemen can't stop the run. Basically a récipe for an absolutely appalling and unproductive defense.
Now for the division eaders, ladies and gentlemen: the Dallas Cowboys.
I'm a Dallas fan, and I try to be as objective as possible. I'm a realist, and I firmly believe that, yes, we are 2-1, but we haven't played well at all except for patches against St Louis, which is nothing to brag about. Dallas forced six turnovers against the Giants in the season opener and still almost lost the game. That's how poorly they've played thus far.
Dallas isn't capitalizing in the red zone, and its running attack has pulled a Hoodini act. Yes, I know DeMarco Murray had a phenomenal game against St Louis, but let me remind you again, it was against the Rams.
To simplify matters, Dallas is 'way too inconsistent right now. It's a repeated annual offense that hasn't been rectified for years. One week, the 'Boys look terrfic, and then the following week, they look like the Rams.
The NFC East had four teams with Super Bowl aspirations coming into the season. Through Week 3, none of those teams even deserve to be in the playoffs.
Hopefully, once interdivisional play resumes, one team will stand out from the rest, gain some confidence, and make a run. But until then, these last three weeks have been miserable.
The silver lining? 13 more games to play. Wake up NFC East. It's time to play actual football.