Football Team

State of NFC East: Giants in driver's seat, Eagles in trouble

Football Team

Only two NFC East teams played on Sunday in Week 13, but the results had major implications on the course of the division title race. 

With a huge win over the Seattle Seahawks, the Giants helped themselves greatly. At the same time, the Eagles continued their downward spiral and the team may have reached the point of no return.

With Washington set to play on Monday and the Cowboys to follow on Tuesday, here's a look at the current state of the NFC East.

New York Giants (5-7): In the driver's seat

New York went into Seattle without quarterback Daniel Jones and took down the Seahawks and it could change everything. Now sitting at 5-7, the Giants are in sole possession of first place for the time being. Should Washington fall on Monday, they'd get a full one-game lead over the second place team.

Having two wins over Washington also helps. New York would still be in first by owning the tiebreaker even if both teams enter Week 14 with the same 5-7 record. Based on all that, the Giants find themselves in the driver's seat. They control their own destiny in the NFC East.

What's next: New York's final four games won't be easy. The Cardinals, Browns and Ravens await before a Week 17 battle with the Cowboys. Despite the tough slate, the Giants continue to improve as the season goes on. The defense is legit and Daniel Jones' potential return in Week 14 only helps the offense. After beating the Seahawks, New York has shown it can play with real playoff contenders. That gives them an inside track to the division crown.

 

Washington Football Team (4-7): All eyes on Monday

Washington seemed to have a chance to take first place without even playing on Sunday, but the Giants ruined that. Now, there is a little added pressure to the Monday contest with the Steelers, given that New York went and won a game not many expected it to.

Against the undefeated Steelers, Washington has a chance to do the same, though it won't be easy. A loss, however, doesn't end everything. Seven wins can still win the division. Washington needs to focus on winning three of its final five games. Anything more than that would only help the cause.

What's next: After the Steelers, Washington will take on the 49ers and Seahawks. Despite a down year for San Francisco due to injuries and a poor performance from Seattle on Sunday, neither are favorable for Washington. The 49ers could be in a three-way tie with the Vikings and Cardinals if they can beat Buffalo on Monday night after the Washington-Pittsburgh game. A scrappy Carolina team that coach Ron Rivera knows well awaits after that before the team closes out the season against the Eagles. 

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Philadelphia Eagles (3-8-1): The end is close

Philadelphia tried to mount a comeback with Jalen Hurts, but fell short and now sits at 3-8-1. With a challenging schedule remaining and the benching of Carson Wentz adding fuel to a quarterback controversy, things seem to be spiraling for the Eagles.

The team has thrived on late-season magic in recent season, but it may be out of it in 2020.

What's next: The Eagles schedule is tough for the next two weeks. The Saints (10-2) and Cardinals (6-6) could turn a four-game losing streak into six. Even the Cowboys and Washington won't do Philadelphia any favors as it tries to close out the season on a bright note.

Dallas Cowboys (3-8): Trying to stay alive

Dallas is closer to the Eagles than the Giants and Washington in terms of the NFC East picture. At 3-8, the team's only chance of staying alive is to beat a Baltimore Ravens team that will be as hungry as anybody.

Even with a win and a Washington loss, Dallas would still sit in third given its two losses to Washington this season. All the Cowboys can do is win and hope other scenarios fall in its favor. But at this point there's not much reason to think they'll win. 

What's next: Beginning in Week 14, the Cowboys have the Bengals, 49ers, Eagles and Giants remaining. They need to win in Week 13 first, but that schedule does give them opportunities to pick up games and close the gap. It's just probably too little, too late.