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NFC East: Division Once Again Filled with Several Contenders

The NFC East Division completed a sweep of its opponents in Week 2. While Dallas may have beaten the New York Jets if they still had Aaron Rodgers at quarterback, having to face Zach Wilson had to feel like a gift for the Cowboys. Minnesota may have made a strong run in the second half, but Philadelphia’s win over the Vikings still felt comfortable.

The other two teams in the division had wild Week 2 experiences. When it comes to the New York Giants, their performance was nearly an embarrassment. The Giants fell behind big in the first half to the Cardinals, who have veteran journeyman Josh Dobbs under center. New York needed a ferocious rally late in the game to steal a win on the road.

Washington losing to Denver wouldn’t have been a disaster in the macro picture, but as the game played out, that possibility came up. The Commanders nearly let an 11-point lead slip away in the final two minutes. Washington allowed the Broncos to complete a 50-yard Hail Mary to cut the lead to two points as time expired. The Commanders were able to get a stop on the two-point conversion to win.

 

Place Team W L T Week 2 Result
1. Dallas Cowboys 2 0 0 W, 30-10 vs. New York Jets
2. Philadelphia Eagles 2 0 0 W, 34-28 vs. Minnesota Vikings
3. Washington Commanders 2 0 0 W, 35-33 at Denver Broncos
4. New York Giants 1 1 0 W, 31-28 at Arizona Cardinals

Giants Fortunate to Escape Desert

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New York Giants

The New York Giants were in real trouble against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday. The Cardinals built a 20-0 halftime lead. Giants running back Saquon Barkley also got banged up, but the team hopes the injury isn’t serious. After being shutout in the opener by Dallas, the Giants went six quarters without a touchdown to open the season. 

New York quarterback Daniel Jones finally woke up after halftime to get the ball moving. Jones ran the ball nine times for 59 yards and scored a touchdown. He also completed 26 of 37 passes for 321 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. The win was the Giants’ largest come-from-behind victory since 1949 and puts them on the board in the NFC East.

 

Eagles Will Need to Find Replacement for Avonte Maddox

 

Philadelphia did have a few players banged up in the Eagles’ win over Minnesota. Losing nickel cornerback Avonte Maddox was a tough blow. Maddox has been with the team since 2019 and has intercepted four passes during his career. Maddox will be out for the season with a torn pectoral muscle

One of the problems for the Eagles is that their planned backup, Zech McPhearson, tore his ACL during the preseason and is also out for the year. Philadelphia has announced several in-house options but is still evaluating the best plan moving forward. They will need to think of one quick if they are to retain their NFC East crown.

 

Bieniemy Proving His Worth in Nation’s Capital

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Washington Commanders

Washington Commanders offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy has been after a head coaching job in the NFL for years. He has been a lightning rod for the criticism of the league for not hiring minority assistants for top jobs. To get away from the thought he was only the product of working for Andy Reid, Bieniemy shocked many observers by making a later move.

Thus far, Bieniemy’s risk is paying dividends with second-year Washington quarterback Sam Howell. Howell completed 27 of his 39 pass attempts and piled up 299 passing yards and two touchdowns against Denver. The Commanders’ running attack also showed some promise.

Washington running back Brian Robinson Jr. led the team with 87 yards on 18 carries and scored two touchdowns. Bieniemy may not be in Washington long if the success continues, which will raise a lot of questions from around the league about why he’s been stuck as an assistant for so long.

 

Cowboys’ Defense Tortures Wilson

 

Dallas had to be eager to try and get after Wilson, who has never appeared comfortable under center during his time in the NFL. The Cowboys’ secondary, in particular, was effective against the Jets. Jayron Kearse, Malik Hooker, and Trevon Diggs all intercepted passes against Dallas.

The Cowboys only allowed New York to gain 215 total yards. The Jets only gained 64 on the ground. Dallas also was able to record three sacks and force a fumble.

 

Giants Offense Set to Be More Explosive

 

Setting aside a disastrous shutout loss to Dallas to start the season, New York hopes to demonstrate how much more big-play ability it has this season. Jalin Hyatt may have turned the tide for the Giants’ offense.

Hyatt, who was picked in the third round of the NFL Draft out of Tennessee, caught a 54-yard pass from Jones that seemed to get New York moving in the right direction. The Giants ended up having four passes go 20 or more yards on Sunday. That is a remarkable turnaround for New York, which had the fewest 20-yard passing plays last season with 28. New York had four of those plays in the second half against the Cardinals.

 

Dallas Didn’t Need a Second Option

 

The Cowboys had free agent wide receiver Brandin Cooks available after he missed Week 1 with an injury. But with quarterback Dak Prescott having top receiver Ceedee Lamb to throw to, the Cowboys didn’t need more options at receiver. Lamb ended up with a career-high 11 catches for 143 yards.

Cooks didn’t catch a pass at all. Tony Pollard was second on the receiving list with seven catches for 37 yards. Lamb opened the season by catching four passes for 77 yards in the season opener. Over the course of his four-year career, Lamb has been one of Prescott’s top targets.

Lamb caught a career-high 107 passes for 1,359 yards last season and hopes to keep the momentum going. He has been targeted more than 100 times during each of his first three seasons in the league.

 

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