In NFL history, only two division winners have finished below .500, the 2014 Panthers (7-8-1) and the 2010 Seahawks (7-9). This year, the putrid NFC East could make history by producing a division winner with only six or maybe even five wins.
The four teams in this historically poor division are an ugly 2-18-1 against teams outside of the NFC East. Their combined .284 winning percentage is on pace for the worst in NFL history.
In Week 10, the Giants handled the Eagles, 27-17, to move into second place at 3-7. The Eagles still hold the lead with a 3-5-1 record, but have a difficult stretch of games coming up before closing their season against Dallas and Washington.
As bad as it’s been, these NFC East teams shouldn’t be entirely counted out as there is a precedent for a sub .500 teams actually winning a playoff game. Both the 2010 Seahawks and 2014 Panthers won their respective wild card games before bowing out in the divisional round.
In this article, we look at NFC East division odds, break down the odds of each team to make the playoffs and analyze their respective futures markets.
New York Giants
When Saquon Barkley suffered a torn ACL, the Giants were given little chance to stay competitive. But head coach Joe Judge has done a great job in his first year and has coached up an extremely underrated defense. The G-Men have allowed the third-fewest rushing YPG (91.3) over their last three contests and are holding opponents to a league-best 24.2% third-down conversion rate during that span.
While they sit at 3-7, the Giants dropped three games (against the Bucs, Eagles, and Cowboys) by a total of six points. They’ve remained competitive against some of the best teams in the league and have a better chance than the Eagles to grab a non-division win with a trip to Cincinnati coming up after their Week 11 bye.
In years past the Eagles could at least be counted on for a stout run defense and timely pass rush. They’ve been simply awful against the run lately, though, coughing up a league-high 156.5 rushing YPG over their last four contests. With their offensive line marred by injuries, Philly has also allowed a league-high 35 sacks.
The Eagles have the talent necessary to get on track, but their upcoming schedule is brutal. Their struggling run defense heads to Cleveland () this weekend to face the Browns’ two-headed monster of a backfield. Then it’s showdowns for their 21st-rated pass defense against Russell Wilson, Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees (if active), and Kyler Murray. The Eagles will be underdogs in each of those games and could lose all five. If that’s the case they could enter their final division games against Dallas and Washington at 3-10-1. Of note, the Eagles’ current win total projection at DraftKings Sportsbook is Over/Under 6 wins.
Washington Football Team
Washington is headed in the right direction with a strong all-around defense and a conservative, but effective offense. Alex Smith is starting with Kyle Allen (ankle) out for the year, and Smith has thrown for over 300 yards in his past two games.
With the fifth-rated pass defense in football and a dangerous pass rush led by rookie Chase Young, Washington might stay in the hunt for the NFC East title. The Football Team might have the easiest remaining schedule, with only two games (at Steelers, vs. Seahawks) that can be chalked up as expected losses. Don’t underestimate a steady pass defense in today’s pass-happy NFL, or a gambling coach like Ron Rivera.
The Cowboys’ Super Bowl hopes effectively evaporated when Dak Prescott (ankle) was carted off the field in Week 5. Dallas also lost Tyron Smith (neck) for the season. They recently welcomed CB Chidobe Awuzie (knee) back, but placed promising rookie CB Trevon Diggs (foot) on IR in the same week.
Andy Dalton (concussion) is expected to return in Week 11 at the Vikings (). With minimal protection, a dysfunctional running game, and a horrible defense to back him up, Dalton can’t be expected to work miracles at this point in his career. The Cowboys haven’t found any consistency under Mike McCarthy and shouldn’t be favored in any of their games the rest of the way.