The New York Giants are riding a two game losing streak and are off this week. That means the other three teams in the East have a perfect opportunity to gain some ground. The Cowboys have a chance to climb to just one game back, while the winner of the Eagles-Redskins game can back into the race be putting themselves just two games back. All three of these teams have squandered opportunities earlier in the season, but Week 11 can be a make it or break it type of week.
There are just two NFC East games this week with the Giants on their bye week and the Eagles and Redskins facing off in a pivotal divisional matchup. The Cowboys host the Cleveland Browns in what looks like a easy home win against a 2-7 Browns team. Whoever loses in the NFC East this week, you can pretty much stick a fork in. A 3-7 mark for either the Eagles or Redskins would far too high of a hill to climb while a Cowboys team losing to a 2-7 Browns team at home will kill any momentum they had from their win in Philly last week.
Here is a quick preview of both games in the NFC East:
Cleveland Browns (2-7) at Dallas Cowboys (4-5)~
The Cleveland Browns are not your typical 2-7 team. They started out 0-5, but were in most of those first five losses. They have battled back to win two of their last four and are in position to be a nice spoiler team. They are coming off their bye week while the Cowboys are coming off an emotional road divisional win.
The Browns have a nice core on offense. I don’t think anyone has really been able to say that since the mid-90s. Brandon Weeden and Trent Richardson are getting better each week, but Josh Gordon is the player to watch out for on the Browns. He is a rookie wide receiver who is still a little raw, but keeps taking big steps each week. He has 4 touchdowns on 19 receptions this season and is averaging over 21 yards per catch. He has to have a big day if the Browns are going to pull up the upset. It’s a tall task for a rookie going up against one of the best cornerback duos in Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne. They will need his big plays to open things up for the rest of the Browns offense.
Dallas has enough talent on both sides of the football to win this game. Bad coaching, turnovers and poor special teams play has plagued this team more than anything else. If the Cowboys play smart football, they should win this win.
Cowboys 31 Browns 14
Philadelphia Eagles (3-6) at Washington Redskins (3-6)~
At around Four o’clock eastern time, you can declare one of these teams dead. I don’t know if 9-7 will be good enough to earn a playoff spot in the NFC, and even if it is, the team that loses isn’t going to rattle off six straight wins to finish the season. The Eagles have had a must win for the past three weeks, but this week will be the last “must win” game if they lose another one.
Nick Foles and Robert Griffin III will get all the attention in this game, but it should boil down to which team tackles well and which team remains sloppy on defense. Defense has been an issue for both teams all season. For either team to turn things around in the second half of the season, it will take a complete turnaround on the defensive side of the ball.
I honestly have no idea what to expect. Either team could look great or both could look like 3-7 teams.
Redskins 26 Eagles 17