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State of the NFC East: Week 2

Two weeks into the 2020 NFL season the NFC East has established itself as an early frontrunner for the worst division in the league. The division has posted back-to-back 1-3 weeks, and that lone win in Week 2 was courtesy of an almost unfathomable mistake on the part of the Atlanta Falcons (more on that shortly). The division's combined 2-6 record is tied for worst in the league with the NFC South and just one game better than the AFC North, but it's hard to look at the talent in the former and the strength of the teams at the top of the latter and argue in good faith that each isn't clearly better than the NFC East despite the current records. The fact that the NFC East was dangerously close to going 1-7 through two weeks only serves to strengthen the skepticism around this NFC East group. Anyway, here's the state of things through Week 2.

Washington Football Team (1-1)

Washington remains on top of the division courtesy of its Week 1 upset of the Eagles and its subsequent 1-0 division record, but the team looked much more like the one we expected it to be (the one that fell behind 17-0 to the Eagles, not the one that scored 27 unanswered points to win) in an ugly Week 2 loss to the Arizona Cardinals.

Washington was down 20-0 and 27-3 before adding a couple late scores to make the game look closer than it was. The Cardinals piled up 438 yards of offense and Washington committed two turnovers, and the performance only served to pour salt in the wound for Eagles fans still wondering how their team lost to this club.

Next: at Browns

Dallas Cowboys (1-1)

As if a beatdown at the hands of the Rams and watching the Washington Football Team get demolished a week after beating the Eagles wasn't bad enough for Birds fans, the hated Cowboys were absolutely gifted a win after appearing destined to join the Eagles at 0-2 as the Atlanta Falcons continue to find ways to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

Atlanta jumped out to a 20-0 lead on Dallas and carried a 29-10 advantage into halftime. 14 straight points from the Cowboys in the third quarter tightened things, but the Falcons responded with 10-straight to push the advantage back to 15 with 7:57 to go. Dallas responded with a touchdown three minutes later, but remained down 9 after a failed two-point try. Another Dallas score cut the deficit to two at the 1:49 mark, and then the Falcons made one of the most boneheaded plays you'll ever see.

With time running out, the Cowboys attempted an onside kick after their score with 1:49 on the clock. The kick was a slow roller which was quickly surrounded by three Falcons players by the time it had traveled six yards. Several Dallas players were in the vicinity as well. Inexplicably, none of the Falcons players recovered the ball, instead basically escorting it to the ten-yard mark, where Dallas recovered it as soon as they were allowed. It was as if the Falcons didn't know they were allowed to touch the ball before 10 yards, and regardless of the reasoning, it was one of the biggest blunders I've ever seen on a football field. Anyway, of course Dallas went in for the game-winning field goal. The Falcons suffered yet another epic collapse, the Cowboys stole a win that could prove to be crucial later in the season, and Eagles fans were left with yet another thing to stew over on what was a disastrous Sunday for the Eagles faithful.

Next: at Seahawks

New York Giants (0-2)

The Giants acquitted themselves well in a 17-13 loss to the Bears, nearly erasing a 17-3 fourth-quarter deficit. After scoring 10-straight points in the fourth, the Giants were within striking distance at the end of the game but couldn't manage the game-winning score. The biggest story of the day for the Giants, however, was star running back Saquon Barkley going down with a torn ACL. Already facing a dreary 2020 outlook, things got much gloomier for the Giants in Week 2.

Next: 49ers

Philadelphia Eagles (0-2)

Sunday did not provide the bounce-back game Eagles fans had hoped for. Miles Sanders fumbled on the opening possession, the defense was atrocious, and another Carson Wentz turnover dramatically impacted the game, putting an end to the short period in which the team was actually showing some life.

The offensive line provided a bright spot after allowing eight sacks in Week 1. Expected to be dominated by all-world defensive lineman Aaron Donald, the Eagles front limited Donald to just one tackle and didn't surrender a single sack of Wentz. Unfortunately, Wentz was unable to turn the improved protection into any kind of offensive rhythm, and combined with the no-show of the defense, the improved line play was wasted in what was a thorough beating at the hands of the Rams.

Adding to the disappointment and frustration is the fact that the Eagles have a brutal stretch of schedule looming in Weeks 4-6. After Week 1's inexcusable loss and Sunday's showing against the Rams, the Eagles are in serious danger of having the season slip away before ever getting their footing.

Next: Bengals


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