NFC East starts off weak

Joe Bittner, ‘Doah Staff Writer
September 18, 2013

After two weeks, the NFC East is not looking good. The Cowboys and Eagles are tied for first place with a record of 1-1, while the Giants and the Redskins share a record of 0-2. This may not seem out of the ordinary, but these numbers don’t tell the real story; they do not tell the debacle this league has started out to be.

In week one, the Cowboys were able to barely beat the Giants. After building a 27-17 lead going into the fourth quarter, the defense gave up 14 points in the fourth quarter. Victor Cruz, wide receiver for the Giants, almost single-handedly beat the Cowboys. However, the Cowboys offense was able to squeak out nine more points and win by a score of 36-31.

This trend continued in week two where the Cowboys were unable to hold a lead against the Chiefs. Going into the third quarter, the Cowboys had a 10-7 lead but by the end of the quarter it was 14-13 favoring the Chiefs. In the fourth quarter, the teams exchanged field goals and the Cowboys lost by a score of 17-16.

The common theme between these two games is that Tony Romo continues to turn the ball over. He threw an interception in week one and fumbled as well, although the Giants did not recover his fumble. But in week two, he did lose a fumble to the Chiefs. He has three touchdowns compared to two turnovers, not a good ratio for the quarterback of “America’s” team.

Next are the Eagles. In week one, the highflying octane offense of Chip Kelly completely stumped the Redskins. Going into halftime, the Eagles build a 26-7 lead and it was only getting better. By the end of the third quarter, the score was 33-14 and the offense was unstoppable.

However, the offense seemed to take a seat and settle with this lead while the defense was unable to completely shut down the Redskins offense. After allowing 13 points in the fourth, the Redskins made it a game coming down to the final seconds. But the time ran out on the Skins and the Eagles came out victorious: 33-27.

The offense continued to fly in week two against the Chargers by scoring 30 points. But once again, the defense was unable to hold a lead or keep the opposition out of the end zone. By calling timeout in the last seconds of the game, they gave the Chargers an opportunity to kick a game winning field goal and beat the Eagles 33-30.

The standout player for the Eagles would have to be Michael Vick. So far, he has four touchdowns and 631 passing yards. You can’t ask for much more from you quarterback. But if they cannot fix their defense, this team will struggle throughout the season.

The Giants are a team with some serious problems. As mentioned before, they lost to the Cowboys in week one by a score of 36-31. The defense was unable to stop the Cowboys offense by any means. The only positive thing for them in week one was Victor Cruz scoring three touchdowns and having 118 yards received.

As for week two, well not much changed. Peyton Manning and the Broncos picked the defense while the offense severely struggled to score. The biggest problem here is Eli Manning. With five touchdowns and seven interceptions, this offense will not be productive. He needs to turn his game around for the rest of the season if the Giants want to have any hope of making the playoffs.

Finally the Redskins are  a team with high expectations not only within the organization but also from all specialists and analysts of the sport. After a disappointing ending to last years season, the Redskins were predicted to win the division and be a contender in the playoffs. Well folks, this season hasn’t started out too well for them. The Eagles beat them badly, 33-27, in week one. A bounce back was expected of course, but never happened.

From the beginning of the game in week two against the Packers, it was extremely clear that Green Bay was in charge. The offense turned the ball over and the defense could not stop Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. He threw for 480 yards- tying a Green Bay franchise record- and four touchdowns, while RG3 threw three touchdowns and one interception.

So what is the problem for the Redskins? Defense of course. They’ve given up 511.5 yards in two games, ranking them last in the NFL. If this continues, how can the offense keep up?

The main problem in the NFC East is defense. Each team has been unable to keep the opponent out of the end zone. There’s a saying that should be focused on here: “Defense wins championships.” These teams need to focus on this, or the division will quickly go downhill.

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