Eagles take first place as Fitzpatrick's injury looms large

Ryan Fitzpatrick

The NFC East was one of the worst divisions in NFL history last season, with all four teams finishing below .500 in 2020. Now, all four teams are back on the field chasing another division crown. 

After the league's opening week, only one team found its way into the win column while the other three stumbled in their first games. Keeping tabs on the rest of the division, here's a look at the major takeaways from each NFC East team's season openers. 

Washington Football Team (0-1, T-2nd)

There's a good chance you're well aware of what happened at FedEx Field on Sunday against the Chargers. 

Ryan Fitzpatrick went down in the first half with a potentially serious injury, giving Washington another dose of quarterback uncertainty moving forward. Meanwhile, what was supposed to be an elite defense struggled to get off the field against Justin Herbert. The Chargers went 14-for-19 on third down, which turned out to be the difference in a 20-16 loss for Washington. 

Depending on how long it takes Fitzpatrick to get back, Washington's path to a second consecutive division crown got a lot murkier after just one game. They won't have a ton of time to dwell on the loss either with a Thursday night matchup in Week 2. 

Next game: vs. Giants

Philadelphia Eagles (1-0, 1st)

The Eagles were a popular pick to be the worst team in the division this season but exit the first week of the season in first place at 1-0. 


Nick Sirianni's squad was surprisingly dominant against the Falcons on the road. The defensive line dominated the Falcons' offensive line, Jalen Hurts was incredibly efficient and two of his three touchdown passes were pretty, tight window strikes, while DeVonta Smith showed out in his first NFL game with six catches, 71 yards and a touchdown. 

Philly has a tough schedule through the early part of the season which should keep them from developing any sort of big lead in standings, but there's a chance this team is a lot better than anticipated. Either that or the Falcons are going to be a four-win team this season. 

Next game: vs. 49ers

Dallas Cowboys (0-1, T-2nd)

The Cowboys suffered a loss in the season opener against the Buccaneers Thursday night but have to be feeling good entering Week 2. Their offense still looks potent with Dak Prescott leading the way through the air, while the defense showed some improvement after being the worst unit in the league last year.

If Fitzpatrick misses extended time for Washington and the Eagles eventually come back down to earth, this could be Dallas' division to lose. 

Next game: @ Chargers

New York Giants (0-1, T-2nd)

This is a big year for Daniel Jones and the Giants in general, so it's not the best sign to put up an uninspiring performance against a Broncos team not widely expected to make the playoffs. 

Teddy Bridgewater delivered his typical efficient outing, the Giants were gashed a few times in the run game and Jones wasn't his best either, coughing up the 30th fumble of his career in just 28 games. 

The Giants were upset for not making the playoffs as a 6-10 team last season, but if Week 1 is any indication, it's hard to see them winning that many games in 2021. 

Next game: @ Washington