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NFC East Pros & Cons

John Manuel

Here is one positive and one negative for each NFC East Team going into Week 4:

 

Philadelphia Eagles:

Courtesy of ICON SMI

Courtesy of ICON SMI

Positive- 
The offense as a whole has not seemed to lose a beat from last regular season.  Nick Foles looks to be the same quarterback we saw in 2013.  LeSean McCoy didn’t have a big game against the Redskins but there is no concern about him losing a step.  Add in Darren Sproles who was the difference in beating Indy and the Eagles are better in the back field.  So far the loss of DeSean Jackson hasn’t been an issue on the offense.  Jordan Matthews came up big versus Washington as did Jeremy Maclin, as he became more of a big play wideout.  The offensive line health is a concern but so far they are holding up.

Negative-
I said it earlier in the week about the Eagles defense that they must get a stronger pass rush soon.  The back of their defense is not good enough to handle covering the league’s better receivers and when they face the better QB’s.  Cary Williams makes a lot more noise off the field than on and Bradley Fletcher was torn up by the Redskins.  Malcolm Jenkins has helped but the Eagles will need to get to the QB other than after a blown whistle like Fletcher Cox did.  So far not seeing much from, or anything at all from rookie Marcus Smith.

 

Dallas Cowboys:

Positive-
The defense has been far from being the worst in NFL history.  St. Louis got the early lead, but other than that they have been much better than last year.  They haven’t been tested by the league’s best so this could change quickly.  Claibourne has been the story this week and benching him could end up helping more than hurting.  The Cowboys cannot afford to lose anymore guys to injuries though also.

Negative-
The offense hasn’t been a machine but I wouldn’t call it a negative since Demarco Murray has been great so far.  So going to go with the earlier mentioned Morris Claibourne.  This is a huge miss by Jerry Jones by using a top ten pick after moving up to take the corner.  Jones didn’t help Claibourne’s fragile mental situation by ripping him on the radio also.  Can he turn it around?  I think it could be too late here.

 

New York Giants

Positive-
I always saw Rashad Jennings as a journeyman back who would quickly see himself as a backup in the New York offense.  I figured Andre Williams would be the starter by now.  Jennings has carried the workload and led the Giants to their first win.  Maybe Williams takes over by end of season and Jennings becomes a number two back once again but for now he is the workhorse for Tom Coughlin.

Negative-
My negative is I just don’t see a lot from this team.  Bad blowout loss against a decent Lions team, lost at home to the Cards with Drew Stanton but did come back to handle the Texans. I just see this Giants team losing all games they are not the favorite.  The defense can be worked by good quarterbacks and the offense still turns the ball over.  I think this will be a long season for the New York Giants.

 

Washington Redskins        NFL: SEP 14 Jaguars at Redskins

Positive- 
I could go with the big story which is of course Kirk Cousins and how he has stepped in the past two weeks.  But I think the offense looked to be good with Cousins or Griffin.  It was the defense that was the concern for Washington going into this season.  They slipped at Philly after two solid performances but the biggest take is how Jason Hatcher has shown to be dominant.  Many thought he was too old and the Skins paid way too much.  He isn’t and they didn’t.  He just has to stay healthy and the defense can end up in the teens which would be a win.

Negative-
Injuries are really hurting this team especially losing DeAngelo Hall for the season.  But the biggest negative has been the play of the special teams so far.  They are better than last season but that isn’t saying much.  Three weeks in and they already have given up a return TD and block kicks.  They upgraded the talent and changed the coach but it hasn’t been better.  Add to that the huge short missed field goal by Kai Forbath in Philly and the disaster has continued.  They have to get better or it won’t matter who is behind center.

 

 



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