The race for the NFC East title continues to draw intrigue as one of the NFL’s most competitive divisions.
The top team separated themselves from the pack with a soul-crushing defeat of a division rival, while the No.2 team struggled against statistically one of the league’s worst teams. With just four games remaining in the season and division games ahead for each of the four teams in the division, the race for the playoffs will continue to add drama to this exciting season.
In the coming weeks, each of the four teams will face off against division foes to establish the final pecking order in the NFC East. The outcome of any one of the games could drastically change the order of power in the division and may alter the entire standings of the conference.
1. Philadelphia Eagles (12-1, 3-1 division)
NFL Rank per NFL.com: 1 (no change from Wk. 14)
Week 14 Result: 48-22 win vs. New York Giants
The Eagles looked like a Super Bowl-caliber team as they opened up a 21-point lead and shattered the Giants’ hopes of getting back on track. With games against the Commanders and the Cowboys just ahead and a playoff spot already nailed down, it will be up to quarterback Jalen Hurts and the Eagles’ defense to hold on in the final weeks of the regular season to secure the NFC East title. Hurts is rightfully in the MVP conversation and turned in another near-flawless performance against New York, tossing two touchdowns and hitting A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith for a combined 134 yards. Meanwhile, the Eagles’ defense swallowed Giants QB Daniel Jones with seven sacks.
The Eagles face the NFC North’s last-place Chicago Bears, who are on the opposite side of the spectrum from Philly, becoming the first team in the NFL this season to be eliminated from the playoffs.
2. Dallas Cowboys (10-3, 3-1 division)
NFL Rank per NFL.com: 6 (-4 from Wk. 14)
Week 14 Result: 27-23 win vs. Houston Texans
Cowboys fans are a die-hard breed used to disappointment and let-downs, and they very nearly got another opportunity to add to the list on Sunday as Dallas barely eeked out a victory against a team that has just one win this season. The Cowboys’ defense has been the team’s lead storyline this season. After quarterback Dak Prescott tossed an interception to give the Texans a chance to open a two-score lead late in the fourth, the defense stonewalled Houston. It took 98 yards for Prescott and the offense to pick up the game-winner in a contest that probably caused fans to lose some hair.
The Cowboys will need to keep things on track if the team hopes to catch Philly. After a contest with the Jacksonville Jaguars this week, Dallas will face the Eagles in what could be the most crucial game of the season for either team.
3. Washington Commanders (7-5-1, 1-2-1 division)
NFL Rank per NFL.com: 14 (-1 from Wk. 14)
Week 14 Results: Bye
The future lies in the hands of quarterback Taylor Heinicke and the rag-tag cast of characters that have made the Commanders one of the more unexpected competitive teams in the league in 2022. The bye week came at a great time for Washington after tying the Giants in Week 13. One of those two teams will likely earn a Wild Card spot, while the other will be sitting on the couch watching the game on television.
Washington will go up against New York yet again on Sunday in what might be the first time all season that the NFC East starts to separate itself. Unless, of course, these two teams draw again.
4. New York Giants (7-5-1, 0-3-1 division)
NFL Rank per NFL.com: 19 (-5 from Wk. 14)
Week 14 Results: 48-22 loss at Philadelphia Eagles
If the New York Giants are going to save their season, it has to start this week with a win against their division rival, the Commanders. Big Blue has not won a game in over a month and has seen the magic that gave the team such hope early in the season evaporate. Injuries are mounting, the offense is out of rhythm, and the defense is showing weaknesses. Jones was sacked seven times, and Tyrod Taylor was brought in when head coach Brian Daboll threw in the towel. Taylor went five-of-five and hit a touchdown in garbage time against the Eagles.
New York likely has its last chance of the season on Sunday against the Washington Commanders. A loss will put the team deep in the hole in the division without many opportunities to get back in contention.