The NFC East has been jokingly called the “NFC Least” by pundits for years because of how weak a division it had become, but it is starting to gain some of its tenacity and strength back.
This is the only division in the NFL where each team is above .500 and each of the four teams has a realistic shot to capture the division crown. I will examine where they stand following Week 7.
(5-1 SU, 5-1 ATS)
The Cowboys have shown no ill effects of being without Tony Romo or Dez Bryant the last few games. They’ve been propelled by the play of two rookies: quarterback Dak Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliott. They are currently third in the NFL in yards per play (6.1) and total yards per game (401.5) thanks to not only Prescott and Elliot but arguably the league’s best offensive line.
The defense, which was thought to be a major area of concern for this team, has benefited from the offense sustaining drives and keeping them fresh later in games. The stop unit ranks in the middle of the pack in most defensive categories but have managed to outperform expectations.
Dallas comes out of their bye week with a divisional home game against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday night. They are currently a -4.5 home favorite and will look to avoid the bye week thwarting their momentum, something that has already happened to a couple teams this season including Minnesota this past weekend.
Since 2010, Dallas is 9-26 ATS as home favorites and project to be -4 or higher in remaining five contests.
(4-2 SU, 4-2 ATS)
The Eagles have been a streaky bunch. They opened the season with three straight victories against Cleveland, Chicago and Pittsburgh. They came out of their bye week with back-to-back losses against Detroit and Washington but rebounded in a big way with a trenches-controlling win over Minnesota.
Quarterback Sam Bradford was under pressure all day long (six sacks) as the Eagles’ aggressive defensive schemes under Jim Schwartz paid in spades. Philadelphia’s defense has been strong; a top five unit in total yards, passing yards and total points allowed per game.
It has given rookie quarterback Carson Wentz a chance to feel more comfortable by being in a position of not having to play from behind. The Eagles’ schedule picks up moving forward with Dallas and the New York Giants both on the road followed by games against Atlanta, Seattle and Green Bay.
(4-3 SU, 4-3 ATS)
The Redskins lost their opening two games of the season, both straight up and against the spread, to Pittsburgh and Dallas but bounced back to win and cover four straight against the Giants, Cleveland, Baltimore and Philadelphia.
That streak came to an end in Detroit on Sunday in a tough 20-17 loss as Matt Stafford engineered a last minute touchdown drive to lead them to victory. At 4-2 heading into that game, bettors were all of a sudden asking the question, “Is this team for real?” Even with a competitive showing against the Lions, I still feel this is the most flawed team in the division, particularly on defense.
(4-3 SU, 3-3-1 ATS)
The Giants pulled out a couple of hard fought close wins against Baltimore and Los Angeles. The oddity with the Giants is their offense (expected to be a good unit this season) has had trouble sustaining drives and consistently finding the end zone. They’ve been held to 17 points or less in three of their last four games.
That slate softens somewhat moving forward with five of their next seven at home and a very winnable road trip to Cleveland. Unlike Washington, I do think this team is for real and there’s real upside if the offense can find its stride.
Ian Cameron has been handicapping and betting sports year-round for over a decade. He has been with Sportsmemo.com since 2012, using his knowledge and handicapping techniques to make insightful winning selections.