Through the first eleven weeks of the 2016 season, the NFC East has proven to be one of the strongest and most competitive divisions in football. You could argue that the AFC West is just as strong, or that the NFC South – separated by just two games – is just as competitive, but the NFC East is the only division that doesn’t currently have a team with a losing record.
After a month-long hiatus, the staff here at CowboysNation got together to discuss the upcoming games in the NFC East and we provided OUR predictions, scores and analysis of the games in a segment I like to call Feed The Beast. Joining me this week on the Roundtable is analyst Roger Haywood. Here are the NFC East games, times and locations for Week 12:
- Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys 3:30 pm FOX AT&T Stadium
- New York Giants at Cleveland Browns 12:00 pm FOX First Energy Stadium
- Green Bay Packers at Philadelphia Eagles 7:30 pm ESPN Lincoln Financial Field
|NFC East Team||W||L||T||Pct||Div||Conf||Streak|
|New York Giants||7||3||0||.700||2-1||5-3||W5|
Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys
Roger Haywood: Before we get ahead of ourselves, this is a divisional game like no other. The Redskins are playing great offensively and, unless the bottom falls out, Kirk Cousins should finally earn that long-term contract extension that he’s been craving. (YOU LIKE THAT!!) Jordan Reed and a resurgent Pierre Garcon will be a handful for the Cowboys secondary. The Redskins running game has recently come alive with Robert Kelley toting the rock and the Cowboys will have to be disciplined in their gap responsibilities to slow down the young runner. The Cowboys defense will keep the Redskins running game in check, allowing just 90 yards on 18 carries, but will struggle defending the pass. Cousins will throw for 280 yards and three touchdowns, with Brandon Carr allowing two of the three. However, Ezekiel Elliott will go over 100 yards on 24 carries and Alfred Morris will have a couple big plays against his former team with a 20 yard run and a key blitz pickup. Cowboys win 21-20.
Jeremy Bielenberg: Remember how flat the Cowboys were when they played the Eagles on Thanksgiving back in 2014? Well, the Redskins were similarly screwed by the NFL scheduling this season. Except probably worse. I’m not saying that the Redskins won’t come prepared to play, or that they won’t leave everything they have out on the field, but the odds are definitely stacked against them. That being said, I still believe this game comes down to the wire. Ezekiel Elliott runs for 140 yards and two touchdowns, including the game winning score. Cowboys win 24-17.
Steven Van Over: Washington has the tools to beat the Cowboys. Their “on fire” WR corps combined with their awakened running game could very well give the Cowboys defense, sans Morris Claiborne, fits. All true, yet Washington must also figure out how to contend with the Dallas offense and so far, the rest of the NFL has had their issues in this regard. Look for the trend to continue today. Dallas 31 Washington 24.
New York Giants at Cleveland Browns
Roger Haywood: The Browns will have to decide on who Joe Haden will cover, but truthfully it’s a “no-win” situation. Odell Beckham Jr has caught fire and Sterling Shepard isn’t too far behind him in talent. Although he lacks the top-end speed of Beckham, Shepard has the full route tree at his disposal. Beckham will have over 150 yards receiving and two touchdowns, with one of them being longer than 60 yards. The Giants defense was built to rush the passer and for the most part it has accomplished that with 18 sacks on the season. Jason Pierre-Paul and Olivier Vernon lead the Giants with four sacks and starting safety Landon Collins has three sacks which is surprising and shows the versatility of the Giants defense. I can see Olivier Vernon getting two sacks in this game with JPP having four quarterback hurries. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie will draw the assignment of keeping Pryor Sr. in check and I believe that he will bait McCown into one interception. Rodgers-Cromartie is in his ninth season in the league and he’s had an up and down career but has seemed to get his footing back in New York. Landon Collins will have eight tackles and two PBU’s and one splash play. Giants win 38-17.
Jeremy Bielenberg: I fully believe the Cleveland Browns will become just the second team in NFL history to go 0-16 in the regular season. As much as it pains me to say it, Giants win 34-10.
Steven Van Over: Normally we don’t cover Division II matchups here but sometimes exceptions have to be made. Other than the obligatory “on any given Sunday” warning look for the GMen to continue their winning streak. Again, “on any given Sunday.” Just not this Sunday.
Green Bay Packers at Philadelphia Eagles
Roger Haywood: The Packers defense is hurting and that is the key to their problems. As much as Julius Peppers, Nick Perry and Clay Matthews would love to be difference makers, they haven’t been. It’s hard to get sacks, when quarterbacks are blindfolded throwing 50 yard strikes against your secondary. Carson Wentz has come back down to earth, throwing a couple of passes that he wishes he could have back, and when he’s been on point with his throws the wide receivers have let him down. It’ll be cold in Philly, but at least the WR’s don’t have to worry about catching a cold, because they can barely catch the damn ball. With that being said, expect Jordan Matthews to have a decent game with 5 catches for 95 yards and one touchdown. Zach Ertz will come out of his cocoon and make a big play or two in the third and fourth quarters. Could a special teams play be the difference? Eagles win 28-21.
Jeremy Bielenberg: The Packers are coming off of four straight losses and three of them were really UGLY!! Aaron Rodgers led the team in rushing in two of those four games, while the team’s leading rusher never had more than 60 yards in any of them. Did I mention that the Packers are also depleted at both linebacker and cornerback? All things considered, I don’t see the Packers dropping five straight games. Aaron Rodgers wills his team to victory and the Pack can finally R-E-L-A-X. Packers win 28-24.
Steven Van Over: The Packers are a mess. Eagles have big time issues along the offensive line and a bad WR corps. The birds also have one nasty defense. Eagles get back on track with a win over the Acme Packing Company 31-21.
Disagree with our predictions? Have a certain player you think is poised for a breakout performance? Let us know about it! As usual CowboysNation, your comments and opinions are welcomed below.
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