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Put up or shut up time for the NFC East

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The training wheels are off

NFL: Green Bay Packers at Dallas Cowboys Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Halfway through the 2017 NFL season and it’s put up or shut up time for the NFC East.

Well, for two of the teams. Two of them have already shut up. For the other two, expectations have completely changed, and the teams are going to have to show they can deal with it.

Philadelphia Eagles (7-1)

Last Week: Played like crap and put up 33 points on the woeful 49ers.

This Week: Host the Broncos, who have decided that starting Brock Osweiler is a good idea.

The Eagles have sprinted out to the best record in the league, and with it comes all the attention and pressure. They wouldn’t be the first or last team to peak in mid-season, and after Carson Wentz and the Eagles fell apart last season when they lost a starting offensive tackle, they get a chance to show that won’t be the case again this season. Adding another challenge, the Eagles players and staff have boasted about their well oiled locker room, the front office traded for a running back who complained about playing time following a win. Unfortunately DeMarco Murray’s jersey number was not available for Jay Ajayi.

The future is suddenly now for the Eagles, and with it come new stakes. Can they continue to soar?

Dallas Cowboys (4-3)

Last Week: Defeated the Redskins, who started three dudes they found in the parking lot on offensive line.

This Week: Host the Chiefs in a terrific matchup of great young running backs. Oh wait.

For a year and a half, Eagles and Cowboys fans have argued which of their QBs is better. The knock on Dak Prescott has been that his supporting cast has propped him up. There’s some truth that in that the more Prescott throws the worse he is, discounting his meaningless 2016 Week 17 appearance, his least efficient passing performances have been the games where he’s had to throw the most. Now, with Ezekiel Elliott finally suspended for six games, we’ll find out just how good Prescott is without a star running back behind him. (Although with Elliott sporting a mediocre 4.2 yards per carry this season, maybe the Cowboys will better off without him.) It’s put up or shut up time for just how good Dak Prescott is as he has to carry the Cowboys on his own if they’re to return to the playoffs. Or we’ll find some hilarious new excuses by fans and media. I’m going with the latter.

Washington Redskins (3-4)

Last Week: Fell to 0-3 in the division when they lost 33-19 to the Cowboys.

This Week: Visit the Seahawks, who are 37-6 at home with Russell Wilson.

Put up or shut up time has passed for WASTEAM, who lost back to back division games and are now totally out of the running for a playoff spot. This was to be expected as the team let 2,046 receiving yards walk in free agency and said “let’s sign someone from the Browns to replace that.”

You have to feel bad for Kurt Coupons though. He’s been paid $44M to not win a playoff game in Washington, and then the 49ers decided it would be a good idea to trade for Jimmy Garoppolo (who they might not even play this season, lol), pretty much eliminating San Francisco as a landing spot in free agency for good old Kent. Maybe he can host a one off episode of Flip This House as he tries to sell probably already bought in anticipation of being a 49er.

New York Giants (1-6)

Last Week: Bye week and more off-field adventures!

This Week: Host the Rams, who average 34 points a game on the road and are coming off a bye.

The Giants shut the fuck up long ago and have apparently decided to spend the rest of the season humiliating themselves. Ben McAdoo told reporters that Janoris Jenkins was excused from practice for personal reasons when the team returned from their bye week, then later it was revealed he went AWOL and has been indefinitely suspended. This being the second suspension McAdoo has handed out, and having been upset at Odell Beckham for scoring touchdowns, it seems pretty clear he’s lost the locker room. Maybe a new hairstyle will turn things around.

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