Does Anyone Want To Win The NFC East?

eli

(Eli Manning’s Giants are somehow still in the thick of the playoff race, along will all other NFC East teams, Courtesy Panicbutton.com)

It’s December 15th and the leader of the NFC East has six wins. The division is incredibly close, however the race for the final crown is about as appealing as watching Peyton Manning run a 40-yard dash.

Due to tiebreakers, the 6-7 Washington Redskins are currently first in the division. Philadelphia and New York are also at 6-7, while Dallas follows close behind at 4-9.

No matter who wins the NFC East, one thing is certain: The winner will be the fourth seed in the NFC playoffs, and will be backing into the playoffs on three wheels -check that- one wheel.

The division is filled with quarterbacks who either can’t stay healthy, or mishandle footballs more than the New England Patriot ball boys.

In the end, we will all wish we could add another wild card team and take out the NFC East winner.

If you can’t tell by my tone, the NFC East is abysmal.

All that in mind, I’ve decided to torment myself into research and predictions to find who will win the division by year’s end.

When it comes to which team has the easiest schedule remaining, Washington clearly has the advantage. The Redskins face teams with a combined record of just 16-23. The Eagles have the next toughest schedule, as they’ll face teams with a record of 23-16 in their final three games. Dallas’ record is just three games worse than Philly’s, at 20-19, while the Giants own a very difficult road at 27-12.

Washington’s schedule features zero teams with a winning record, paving way for a presumably easy schedule the rest of the way.

After beating New England and Buffalo in consecutive weeks, the Eagles’ schedule gets no easier in the next week. They’ll endure Arizona before finishing with two divisional opponents. They also will enjoy two home games in their final three games.

Unfortunately for New York, they have the misfortune of facing the undefeated Carolina Panthers in week 15. The Giants must also travel to Minnesota, who will be in a heated NFC North race for the remainder of the season. New York closes with the Redskins.

Dallas’ schedule may be as unwelcoming as any, as they’ll square off with the Jets and Buffalo before closing against Washington.

The Redskins should lose to the Bills, as Tyrod Taylor has gotten hot at just the right time. He’s accounted for eight total touchdowns and just two turnovers in the past two games.

Washington must travel to Philly and to Dallas in their final two games.

The Redskins-Eagles game is as close as it can get, but I think Chip Kelly will prepare his team and possibly save his job with a win over the Redskins.

Dallas and Washington meet in the season finale, and this one will be fun. Although I give Washington the edge at quarterback, Dallas has an obvious advantage at running back and offensive line. I can’t trust Dallas’ passing game, but I can trust that Darren McFadden will rush the ball well. That said, I still have the Redskins picking up the win due to a monster game from Kirk Cousins.

Philly will travel to face Arizona in week 15, which could be an ugly matchup. Arizona is in the top five in scoring, yards per game, third down percentage, and turnover margin this season. Expect the Cardinals to suffocate the Eagles.

The Eagles welcome Washington to town in week 16. Philadelphia has picked off 15 passes this season, which is fifth in the NFL. Washington has thrown 11, which could set up for a turnover-cursed game for the Skins. I’ll take the Eagles over Washington in week 16.

In week 17, Philly travels to the Meadowlands to take on the Giants. The showdown will feature two teams playing for a playoff bid, so this game shouldn’t disappoint. The Giants actually take care of the ball better than most teams in the NFL, and that will be the defacto stat which will determine the winner. New York will finally keep a fourth quarter lead to win.

After a huge national television win, expect the Giants to come crashing down to earth in the following week. They’ll take on the undefeated Carolina Panthers, and lose. In a close game, I expect New York to squander yet another fourth quarter lead.

New York draws Minnesota in week 16, which will be a huge undertaking for the G-Men. Teddy Bridgewater has shown he’s good enough to manage an offense, and he’ll do the same in this game. Minnesota will win to the tune of 28-20.

The Cowboys have now lost Tony Romo (again) due to a reaggravated collarbone. Romo is out for the year, which is quite similar to their playoff hopes. The Cowboys will lose to the Jets due to three interceptions by whoever plays quarterback for America’s team that week.

In the week thereafter, expect Dallas to upset Buffalo to make the NFC East more fun.

Dallas and Washington meet in the season finale, and this one will be fun. Although I give Washington the edge at quarterback, Dallas has an obvious advantage at running back and offensive line. I can’t trust Dallas’ passing game, but I can trust that Darren McFadden will rush the ball well. That said, I still have the Redskins picking up the win due to a monster game from Kirk Cousins.

With all those predictions in mind, the final standings should peg Washington at the top of the division, due to division tiebreakers. Looking at tiebreaking procedures is as fun as watching Dabo Swinney dancing in the Clemson locker room (it’s not appalling).

So there you have it. There’s no need to watch any football until the playoffs, the NFC East is solved.
Although the division race is ugly, expect the Washington Redskins to maintain their lead in the NFC East, and make it to the playoffs before being promptly swept under the rug by halftime of their first playoff game.

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