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The once proud NFC East now faces the prospect of having all four teams below .500 with four games remaining in the season. It’s certainly possible that we could have a team with double-digit losses win the division, which could mean a team with double-digit wins may be kept out of the playoffs.
New York 5-7
Washington is the only team with a chance to reach the .500 mark. The Redskins host division foe Dallas on Monday night. Heading into that game all four teams have a realistic opportunity at the lone playoff spot to be earned in the division.
Here’s a quick look at each teams’ possibilities and a projection on how the race will end.
Washington still controls its own destiny with two games remaining against the Cowboys and one against the Eagles. The Redskins are currently 2-1 in the division with a victory over Philadelphia and a split with the Giants. Washington’s non-division games include Buffalo and Chicago, two physical opponents that are playing very well. What limits the Redskins is their inability to win on the road. Washington has lost all five of their road games this season, three of their remaining five games are on the road.
Philadelphia has been a model of inconsistency all season. The Eagles lost three games in a row, giving up 110 total points in the losses, before handing New England their second loss of the season in Foxboro. The Eagles close out the season with games at Washington and at home against the Giants, prior to that they host Buffalo and Arizona. With three home games remaining the Eagles have a chance to finish with a 4-2 division record.
New York is the division’s biggest disappointment. The Giants have given games away all season. They have had the lead in the last two minutes of five of their losses and they’ve led in the last minute of four of those losses. New York has lost seven games by a total of 38 points. Three consecutive losses have put them behind the eight ball in the race. With only one game remaining in the division, against Philadelphia, the Giants need help if they hope to earn a playoff position. A 2-3 mark against NFC East opponents makes the task more daunting.
Dallas was written off when Bryant and Romo went down early in the season. The Cowboys dropped seven straight contests before beating the Dolphins upon Romo’s return. Fortunately, the two wins came against New York and Philadelphia. With a pair of game against the Redskins, Dallas can get to .500 in the division. That may be the best they can do, with games against the Packers, Bills and Jets and no more Romo, Dallas’ future looks bleak.
A word on how it ends.
Dallas doesn’t have enough offense to compete with four opponents fighting for the playoffs. The Cowboys will beat the Redskins at home while dropping four of their last five to finish 4-12.
Washington can’t and won’t, win on the road. After taking the division lead at 6-6 the Redskins will drop their final four and end with a 6-10 season record.
Philadelphia has the talent but Sam Bradford doesn’t have the ability to lead them to the playoffs. The Eagles will split their last four games and end the season at 7-9.
New York is the most talented team in the division and they have the best quarterback in Manning. The Giants have been close all season and its time that games go their way. New York sweeps their way to the division title and the playoffs with a 9-7 record.