Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Looking ahead at the NFC East race

The NFC East is not the best division in football.

Looking ahead at the NFC East race

Tony Romo and the Cowboys are currently in first place in the NFC East with a 6-3 record. (David Swanson/Staff Photographer)
Tony Romo and the Cowboys are currently in first place in the NFC East with a 6-3 record. (David Swanson/Staff Photographer)

The NFC East is not the best division in football.

But as we enter Week 11, it's clear that it's going to be one of the most competitive down the stretch.

The truth is the Cowboys, Giants and Eagles all have glaring holes. Each team has looked like it could be a contender at various times this season. And each team has looked like one of the league's worst at other times.

From here on out, we'll provide a quick snapshot of the race each week.

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The first installment:

Dallas Cowboys (6-3)

Division record: 1-1
Remaining schedule: Washington, Oakland, at Giants, San Diego, at New Orleans, at Washington, Philadelphia.
Record of remaining opponents: 33-30
Home games remaining: 4
Road games remaining: 3
Division games remaining: 4 (Washington twice, at New York, Philadelphia)

A couple weeks ago, the Cowboys looked like the clear favorites. They were coming off four straight wins, including a victory at the Linc against the Eagles. But after managing just 7 points against the Packers last week, they were unable to widen the gap in the division. They very well could get to 8-3, but then face a tough stretch at the Giants, home against the Chargers and at the Saints. And of course, that Week 17 date with the Birds could be huge for the second straight season.

New York Giants (5-4)

Division record: 2-1
Remaining schedule: Atlanta, at Denver, Dallas, Philadelphia, at Washington, Carolina, at Minnesota.
Record of remaining opponents: 37-27
Home games remaining: 4
Road games remaining: 3
Division games remaining: 3 (Dallas, Philadelphia, at Washington)

After starting the season 5-0 and looking like Super Bowl contenders, the Giants have dropped four straight. You know how they say the best teams show they can win in different ways? Well, the Giants have been the opposite. They got slammed against the Eagles in Week 8 and then dropped a heartbreaker against the Chargers in Week 9 before the bye. Based on opponents' record, the Giants have the toughest remaining schdule of the three teams.

Philadelphia Eagles (5-4)

Division record: 2-1
Remaining schedule: at Chicago, Washington, at Atlanta, at Giants, San Francisco, Denver, at Dallas.
Record of remaining opponents: 33-30
Home games remaining: 3
Road games remaining: 4
Division games remaining: (Washington, at Giants, at Dallas)

Unlike the other two, the Eagles have not won or lost three in a row all season. Their inconsistency has manifested itself on a weekly basis. The loss to the Raiders in Week 6. The win over the Giants in Week 8. Inconsistency at the quarterback position. An banged-up offensive line, linebacking corps and secondary. Plus an inexperienced backfield. This is the time of year Andy Reid's crew generally steps it up, but can they do it this year? The Eagles play three of four on the road, starting with Sunday night in Chicago.

Week 11 picks

Last week: 6-9
Overall: 70-71-1

LIONS (-3.5) vs. Browns - MC's Pick of the Week (An impressive 7-3 on the season)
JAGUARS (-8.5) vs. Bills
CHIEFS (+10) vs. Steelers
COLTS (-1.5) at Ravens
FALCONS (+6.5) at Giants
49ERS (+6.5) at Packers
VIKINGS (-10.5) vs. Seahawks
REDSKINS (+11) at Cowboys
SAINTS (-11) at Bucs
CARDINALS (-9) at Rams
JETS (+10.5) at Patriots
BENGALS (-9.5) at Raiders
EAGLES (-3) at Bears
TITANS (+4.5) at Texans

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About this blog
Sheil Kapadia is in his fifth season writing about the Eagles and the NFL for philly.com. His earliest memories as a sports fan include several trips to Veterans Stadium with his Dad. He's not a beat writer or an Insider, but is here to discuss the NFL 365 days a year. E-mail him at skapadia@philly.com or by clicking here

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