Stop me if you heard this before: the NFC East is a mess. This was the first week the teams earned a winning record. Washington and Dallas both won, while Philadelphia lost in Cleveland.
Currently, only an ugly tie at Lincoln Financial Field to Cincinnati keeps the division from a four-way tie at 3-7. The Eagles hold a tenuous grip on the top spot by a half-game.
Philadelphia has maintained their status as favorite in the NFC East. The books have them priced at +137 to +175 entering Week 12. However, they have the hardest remaining strength of schedule of the quartet and right now look the most disheveled.
After the loss to the Browns, media in Philadelphia are calling for Carson Wentz to be benched. He has looked awful and inconsistent since going up 17-0 at FedEx Field in Week 1. Has his body suffered too many blows from a weak offensive line and/or a combination of concussions? Should the team try out Jalen Hurts on Monday night against Seattle? Despite these questions and a defense that will face at least two more Super Bowl winning QBs and another Heisman winner in the next four weeks, the books are keeping them as top choice – for now.
Dallas entered the season as favorites to wrest the crown away from the Eagles. Their season hasn’t looked much better than in Philly. Atrocious defensive performances and losing Dak Prescott has put the Cowboys in a hole that Andy Dalton is expected to dig out the team.
Dallas came off the bye and won in Minnesota. They’ll face the easiest remaining schedule among divisional teams for the remainder of the season, starting with their Thanksgiving tilt at home against Washington. Among the teams, they probably have the best lineup and skill players. Their stretch run will include primetime matchups at Baltimore and hosting San Francisco.
What about the Giants? Their win over the Eagles showed the continued growth under first-year coach Joe Judge. While things have been quiet at their facility since Judge dismissed offensive line coach Marc Colombo (where punches may or may not have been exchanged), the Giants have built off two wins and a close game against Tampa Bay.
NFC East Standings & Odds
While the Giants have the second-easiest remaining schedule among NFC East teams, it’s no cakewalk. Three games are against the AFC North (starting with a visit to Cincinnati on Sunday) and two against NFC West teams. Add Dallas and that’s five games against teams in the playoff hunt. For the team with no wins outside the division (the only one in the NFC East with that status), it’s a test of their growth. Their odds at +300 or higher seem a bit low.
Washington has the longest odds and the second-hardest schedule for the division. They’ve got three straight on the road, visiting Pittsburgh and San Francisco after Thanksgiving in Dallas. Despite beating Cincinnati Sunday, the team has struggled from inconsistency on both sides of the ball. While the pass rush has wreaked havoc, it may be tough against teams like the Steelers and Seahawks. Alex Smith under center can bring some stability to the offense.
We know so little about what to expect on January 3rd. What we do know is on the first Sunday of 2021, one of these flawed teams will earn the division title and host a playoff game the following weekend. While the Eagles remain a slight favorite with the least amount of losses now, we can also expect a lot to change in the following six weeks.