What’s Happening In the NFC East?

The year’s NFL season is finally under way, and what kind of an NFL season would it be without it’s usual surprises and story lines. Things have already gotten off to a crazy start, but what might be most surprising of all is the way the NFC East has performed as a division to this point after all the hype that surrounded its teams during this past offseason.

I want to preface the rest of this post with one disclosure before we continue on, I am a diehard Eagles fan. So much so that I would seriously consider naming my first-born child after Donavan McNabb. That being said, I had high hopes for my “Birds” this year. And with the likes of Dallas’ strong offensive line and battled tested veterans like Tony Romo and Dez Bryant, the flashiness of the New York’s young superstar wide receiver in the making Odell Beckham, and the comedy that is the Washington Redskins (c’mon I had to throw one in there) rounding out the division, I thought the NFC East was primed for a newsworthy and success-filled year this season.

Giants' second-year receiver Odell Beckham

Giants’ second-year receiver Odell Beckham

I was right about the newsworthy part, but boy was off about the success of the division. After three weeks the NFC East has five total wins in 12 games played, the second worst win total of any division other than the traditionally soft AFC South with only four. Looking at the way the teams have played and the unforeseen circumstances that have hit almost all of them, the casual football fan would not be surprised by the records of the division’s four teams. To the football fan who cares just a little bit more though, the results the NFC East has put out to this point are eye-catching for all the wrong reasons.

There was a lot of talk this past offseason about the success the division would have in the 2015 season, especially at its top with the Eagles and Cowboys. Gamblers thought they were both the safe bet, with the Giants being a long shot people were willing to bet on because of the promise of Beckham alone. But something went very wrong along the way. The Cowboys suffered injuries to key players and it caught up to them in Week 3, the Eagles’ new players did not mesh together the way people envisioned, and even the Giants’ most loyal fan has to admit that one young wide receiver cannot carry a team by himself in the NFL.

All these factors have lead to expectations not being met for the division and its teams’ respective records to this point, and things are not looking bright for the rest of the season. Despite all the experts’ predictions, analytics and intuition, no one seemingly saw this coming for the NFC East. It serves as a reminder that sports will always be unpredictable, but at the end of the day that’s what makes them so enjoyable.

There is still a lot of the season left, and just as many opportunities for the team’s of the the East to turn things around and salvage a respectable year for one or two of them. Only time will tell, but one thing is for certain: my Eagles will NOT be one of the teams grabbing anyone’s attention at the end of the year if they continue to average 64.3 rushing yards per game. Not in the NFC East at least.

The Eagles' running back corps, from left to right Darren Sproles (49), DeMarco Murray (29) and Ryan Mathews (24)

The Eagles’ running back corps, from left to right Darren Sproles (49), DeMarco Murray (29) and Ryan Mathews (24)

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