Most divisions have a dead duck that has no shot of competing for a playoff spot, such as the AFC South’s Jacksonville Jaguars. Other divisions have a guaranteed division winner, like the New England Patriots.
Then there’s the NFC East, where every single team is on a level playing field. The Giants excel at come from behind wins. The Philadelphia Eagles excel at running a high-paced offense. The Cowboys and the Washington Redskins are perhaps the most conventional of the four-team division.
Either way, no one can say for sure which team has the biggest advantage. The two matchups thus far have been exactly as unexpected as they were expected to be, if that makes sense.
Despite the Giants playing absolutely horrendous, beginning with a first-play interception, the Cowboys seemed to mimic their ineptitude and could never pull away.
Likewise, the Eagles got off to a flying start, with Robert Griffin III clearly a little woozy from not having any preseason experience. Yet, it ended a one-score game.
This is the type of play that can be expected all year from the division, just as it has been.
Don’t be surprised if the team to win the division goes 9-7 with all the other teams within a game. That’s just the way the NFC East rolls, and who would change it? It makes for quality entertainment.
It depends on which team can solve the most ‘ifs.’
If the Eagles can keep Michael Vick healthy, and if they can keep that high-powered attack going all game, which they were unable to do in the opener, they have the advantage.
If the Cowboys can finally put everything together, if Tony Romo can finally discovering his inner clutch and if Dez Bryant can become the No. 1 receiver everyone expects him to be, they have the advantage.
If RGIII can regain his footing, stay healthy and if the Redskins defense can overcome its youth and play experienced behind the leadership of London Fletcher, they have the advantage.
If the Giants can overcome their yearly defensive injuries, if they can find a consistent running back and get Eli Manning to show some inkling of consistency outside of comeback situations, they have the advantage.
Long story short, there are too many ‘ifs’ and no clear-cut advantages just yet.