As the NFL season reaches its halfway point, the NFC East division has become a battleground for first place. Through Week 8, the Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles, and New York Giants all have 2-6 records, while the Washington Football Team is only slightly better at 2-5.
This is a far cry from the dominance of the NFC East in previous years. Since 2004, the division has produced 10 playoff teams, four Super Bowl champions, and countless memorable games. But in 2020, the NFC East has been widely criticized as the worst division in football.
Despite their mediocre records, all four teams are still in playoff contention due to the division being so weak. The Cowboys were the early favorites to win the division, but after losing starting quarterback Dak Prescott to a season-ending injury, they have struggled to find consistency. Their defense ranks last in the NFL in points allowed per game, and their offense has struggled with turnovers.
The Eagles have also dealt with injuries at quarterback, with starter Carson Wentz underperforming and backup Nick Foles injured. Their defense has been solid, but the offense has struggled to score points when needed.
The Giants have shown flashes of potential under first-year coach Joe Judge, but their offense has also struggled to find consistency. They have a promising young quarterback in Daniel Jones, but turnovers have plagued him throughout the season.
The Washington Football Team has undergone a midseason quarterback change, benching veteran Alex Smith in favor of Kyle Allen. Their defense has been the strongest in the division, but their offense ranks near the bottom of the league in points scored.
The race for first place in the NFC East will likely come down to which team can find consistency and limit mistakes. With no dominant team in the division, any of the four could emerge as the winner.
However, the team that ultimately emerges as the division champion will likely find themselves facing an uphill battle in the playoffs. The NFC East winner will likely face a tough opponent in the first round, making it potentially difficult for them to advance.
Regardless, the battle for first place in the NFC East will be one to watch in the second half of the NFL season. It may not be the most exciting division in 2020, but it could produce some surprising outcomes.