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NFC East Panic Index

It’s never to early to worry

New York Jets v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

It is too early in the season to panic, unless your team is 0-3 or resides in the NFC East, where panic is a default setting. With September in the books for the NFC East, let’s check on how teams should be feeling.


Philadelphia Eagles (3-0)

What is working: The offense has played from behind for just 16 snaps, fewer than the vaunted Dolphins (50). 1620 pounds of offensive line can not be stopped. D’Andre Swift is the pickup of the year and Jalen Carter is the front runner for Defensive Rookie of the Year. The Georgia Bulldogs on the Eagles defensive line are making opposing offensive lines look like TCU. A linebacker made a play.

What is not working: After a season of relative health, the injury report is starting to pile up. Despite being top 10 in both points for and points against the offense and the defense have had trouble getting into high gear. The offense has just two TDs that gained more than 5 yards, they are 21st in yards per completion; the defense is 25th on 3rd downs and in sack rate.

October schedule: vs Commanders, at Rams, at Jets, vs Dolphins (SNF), at Commanders.

Panic level: Relaxed, until they lose. The team is 3-0, has been the better team in each of those games and have had the lead for every second of the second half. It is reasonable to point out that they haven’t actually beat a good team yet, but then no one else in the division has either, nor have the 3-0 Dolphins (Chargers, Patriots, Broncos) or 3-0 49ers (Steelers, Rams, Giants).

Dallas Cowboys (2-1)

What is working: Through three games Cowboys have given up a total of 13 points when tied or leading. Micah Parsons might set the sack record and the team may threaten the Eagles 70 sacks last season. Dak Prescott has only one interception. Sure it was back breaking and hilarious, but it was only one. Mike McCarthy has followed through on his commitment to run, only the Eagles have more rushing attempts.

What is not working: They scored one (1) TD against the Cardinals. Dak Prescott is 24th in yards per attempt, and has fewer TDs and a worse TD% than Mac Jones. Tony Pollard is on pace for 419 touches, which would be 22nd all time and the most since DeMarco Murray in 2014. Brandin Cooks has 39 yards. Teams are simply not giving KaVontae Turpin the ball, he has just three punt returns, and save for one end of half squib, every kickoff to the Cowboys this season has been a touchback.

October schedule: vs Patriots, at 49ers (SNF), at Chargers (MNF), bye, vs Rams.

Panic level: Operators are standing by. It was just one game but they played the entire game against the Cardinals playing from behind. Dak Prescott went 3 for 9 in the red zone. Trevon Diggs is out for the year and the offensive line has already had eight different starters. They have yet to beat a team that isn’t from New Jersey.

Washington Football Team Commanders (2-1)

What is working: They have two wins. You can not take that away from them. Their first win was by 4 against the Cardinals, their second win was by 2 against the Broncos, but those wins were things that happened. Sure, they trailed at the start of the 4th quarter in both of those games, but that’s a totally sustainable way to have a successful season, right?

What is not working: Their beat down by the Bills was so bad that they have the 5th worst point differential. They’re averaging 8 points in the first half. Eight. Only the Jets have a worse 3rd down conversion rate. Sam Howell has been sacked more and more often than anyone, even Justin Fields, and has a worse interception rate than Zach Wilson. Terry McLaurin has 9.7 yards per reception, Johan Dotson 8.3.

October schedule: At Eagles, vs Bears (TNF), at Falcons, at Giants, vs Eagles.

Panic level: Panic? Panic? This team might actually have a winning record midway through the season! The Bears are a total disaster, the Falcons can’t score, and Giants can’t help themselves…. 5-3 with a negative point differential is a real possibility. Magic Johnson will make several post game tweets that were seemingly written by ChatGPT. Water carrying members of the national media will speak positively of the start of the Josh Harris era. At least one talking head will wonder if Eric Bienemy will get a head coaching job. They will finish the season 7-10 and draft Bo Nix. WASTEAM will forever WASTEAM.

New York Giants (1-2)

What is working: LMAO, nothing. This team can’t pass the ball, can’t run the ball, can’t stop the pass, can’t stop the run, and can’t win the turnovers. Other than that things are going great.

What is not working: $81 million man Danny Dimes has 4 INTs in 3 games, one shy of his total from last year, and a pathetic 5.8 yards per attempt. Saquon Barkley is already injured, which might be a blessing in disguise because he hasn’t been good since last October. Assuming he actually plays all year, prized addition Darren Waller is on track to have by far his least productive and efficient full season. The defense can’t tackle anyone, has yet to intercept anyone after totaling a league worst 6 last year, and are 31st in sack rate. The offense is 31st in scoring, ahead of the Jets by a single point.

Things were so ugly after their Week 1 demolition by the Cowboys that someone in the Giants organization exaggerated a child’s birthday party to Michael Kay to make Coach of the Year™ Brian Daboll look bad. They were down 20 to the Cardinals at halftime. 8 months ago offensive coordinator Mike Kafka got multiple head coach interviews, after the Cardinals game Coach of the Year™ Brian Daboll had to refute questions about taking play calling duties away from Kafka.

October schedule: vs Seahawks (MNF), at Dolphins, at Bills, vs Commanders, vs Jets.

Panic level: Get a paper bag ready to hyperventilate into. The Seahawks and Commanders are beatable, but this team could be looking at 1-7 headed to their intracity-that-is-played-in-a-different-state matchup with the Jets. Here is the part where I remind readers that after going 11-5 in his first year the Giants fired Ben McAdoo after he started 2-10. It cost him his job but at least McAdoo had the guts to bench his QB for poor play. Will Coach of the Year™ Brian Daboll need to cross that bridge?

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