Where’s The Beast?

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants
Photo Credit Jim O’Connor-USA TODAY Sports


From the early 1980s through 2000, the NFC East was one of the toughest and most feared divisions in the NFL. The division created some of the best rivalries in the game with some of the most competitive and hardest hitting teams in the league.  The 2013 version has become the opposite.  The division has a combined record of 7-16 with four of those wins against each other.  Because no team has separated itself from the others, the NFC East is wide open and each team has a chance to win it.




NFL: Dallas Cowboys at San Diego Chargers
Photo Credit Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports



Why they will win the division:  The Cowboys have the most talent.  Head coach Jason Garrett gave up play calling duties early in the year and it has paid off.  Although he was hurt on Sunday, Demarco Murray has looked like a better running back and is currently ranked 8th in the league in rushing.  Monte Kiffin, the Dallas defensive coordinator, has made creating turnovers a priority, which has Dallas currently ranked 9th in takeaways.


NFL: Denver Broncos at Dallas Cowboys
Photo Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports



Why they will not win the division:  Tony Romo.  Although Romo has played well in the early season, only throwing two interceptions, December seems to be the time when he makes the most mistakes.  Romo has the tendency to have his worst games when they begin to have a bigger importance.








NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Photo Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports



Why they will win the division:  The up-tempo attack of the Eagles is currently ranked third in total offense.  Teams in the league are still trying to figure out the scheme.  Couple the offense with the easiest schedule in the division and the Eagles look to win the NFC East for the first time since 2010.



NFL: San Diego Chargers at Philadelphia Eagles
Photo Credit: Jeffrey G. Pittenger-USA TODAY Sports




Why they will lose:  The secondary.  The Eagles rank 31st in the league against the pass.  Safeties Patrick Chung and Nate Allen have been mediocre at best and the Eagles will be seeing some top tier wide receivers in the upcoming weeks.









NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Redskins
Photo Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports



Why they will win the division:  Robert Griffin III.  Griffin has had time to get readjusted to the speed of the game.  His legs will cause defenses to spy on him again, freeing up his receivers.  The Washington defense have Jarvis Jenkins and Rob Jackson back from suspensions, adding to a team that does a good job rushing the passer.



NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Redskins
Photo Credit: Geoff Burke-USA Today Sports




Why they will not win the division:  Alfred Morris is going through his sophomore slump.  RG3 may be starting to round into form, but if he does not get to where he was at the beginning of the 2012 season, the Redskins will be in deep trouble, especially with teams such as San Francisco and Denver looming on their schedule.









NFL: Super Bowl XLVI-New York Giants Media Day
Photo Credit Tim Farrell/THE STAR-LEDGER via USA TODAY Sports



Why they will win the division:  The Giants have an uncanny ability to come out of nowhere when it is thought the season is done. Eli Manning is heavily under performing and can do nothing but improve. The Giants defensive line still has a potent pass rush threat in Justin Tuck that can give any offense a problem.



NFL: New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles
Photo Credit Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports




Why they will not win the division: Turnovers.  Eli Manning has made poor decisions.  The Giants defense has not forced many turnovers themselves.  One of the most important statistics is the plus/minus differential on turnovers.  The Giants currently are a league worst -16 (seven takeaways versus 23 giveaways).  The Giants offensive line has also been shaky due to injuries.











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