For a while on Sunday, it seemed fairly easy. The New York Giants were rebounding after a tough less against the Dallas Cowboys, but they would right the ship. The Philadelphia Eagles were putrid, and even a close observer like me (as an Eagles fan, can there any more close observer?) who had said the team was overrated was quickly readjusting my expectations. “This team isn’t even good enough to go .500,” I said to myself.
But then it all fell apart.
For the second week in a row, the Giants blew a double digit lead, and set a record in the process. The Eagles went from putrid to… well, they’re still putrid. Dallas won a second straight divisional rivalry game to go 2-0, but Tony Romo was lost for 8-10 weeks due to an injury. That leaves a crippled Cowboys team without Tony Romo and Dez Bryant, an Eagles team that is far worse than it was supposed to be at 0-2, an inexplicably hapless Giants team that is arguably better than it was supposed to be also at 0-2, and a Washington team that unexpectedly won a game.
Whatever, Washington still stinks.
But who exactly is going to win this division? Dallas is the class of it, but they will spend the majority of this season with the JV team out there. Can you win with an average defense, a great offensive line, and not much more? If not, can the Giants possibly not blow any more double-digit leads? If so, they might be the team to beat.
Philadelphia? Don’t even talk to me. Every offseason move I criticized has failed more miserably than I ever could have predicted. Listen, guys, I don’t want to be any more right about this team. Could you show up next week?
In the meantime, is anyone going to win the NFC East this year? My money is still on Dallas, maybe even more so when I consider how much better their defense is than I thought. Right now in the NFL, anyone can throw for a lot of yards. Hell, Johnny Manziel looked good this Sunday. Why can’t Brandon Weeden?
The key is being able to play competent defense and to run the ball enough to set up the rest of your offense. Right now, the Arizona Cardinals are probably doing that better than anyone but don’t count out teams like Atlanta or Dallas in the NFC. All of them are doing it without “elite” quarterbacks, although you have to question exactly how Matt Ryan and Tony Romo fall short of being “elite” except, oh that’s right — postseason success.
Just remember: You have to get there and be there to win there. I’m betting the Cowboys will be.