It is time to stop hating on the NFC East. Every year NFL fans outside of New York, Philadelphia, Washington and Dallas pick on the NFC East and mock it calling it the NFC Least because no team has repeated as division winner since the Eagles in 2004. The NFC East this season is one of the most complete divisions in the NFL as it has everything to offer.
To start, the NFC East is the only division in the NFL where every team has at least two victories, as the Eagles are one of three undefeated teams while the Dallas Cowboys are 3-1 and the New York Giants and Washington Redskins are 2-2. Rookie quarterbacks who are yet to throw an interception lead two teams, the Cowboys and Eagles, and are 3-0 combined on the road. The NFC East is also the only division where every team has at least one road win and one home win.
The best part about the NFC East is the unpredictability as each year the division is competitive and the division is up for grabs. This division also has produced two Super Bowl victories, from the 2007 and 2011 Giants, in the last ten years as their division is tied for second in Super Bowl wins, only trailing the AFC North (2006 and 2009 Steelers and the 2013 Ravens).
From an economic standpoint, each team in the NFC East ranks in the top seven for most valuable NFL franchises, as the NFC North is a distant second. Each team plays in a major city and is close to huge media markets and this allows them to expand their fan bases and reap in the revenue.
In the 2016 season, each of these teams have been very impressive as their combined list of victories include a 34-3 beat down against the Steelers and a 7-4 record against the NFC. The NFC East is currently the only division with two teams on a three-game winning streak (Eagles and Cowboys), the only division with three teams on winning streaks of two or more games (Eagles, Cowboys, Redskins) and the only division with wins over every other NFC division.
If the playoffs started right now, the Eagles would be the two seed and the Cowboys the fifth, with the Redskins currently in eighth followed by the Giants in ninth. The NFC East has every team within in the top nine for current playoff positioning as the AFC East is the second closest with four teams in the top 11. This division is on track to produce two playoff teams, and with the Cardinals and Panthers both sitting at 1-3 and their starting quarterbacks under concussion protocol, this is a real possibility.
In the NFC North, the Packers and Vikings both seem like locks for the playoffs as the Bears and Lions are at this point only fighting for draft positioning. With the Cardinals faltering in the NFC West, the Seahawks sit tied on top with the LA Rams as the 49ers are 1-3. While the Seahawks look like a championship contender, the Rams have no offense and a very tough schedule ahead of them.
The AFC South is currently one of the worst divisions in football as they have three teams at 1-3. The Falcons behind the number one offense in all of football look to be flying towards the playoffs as the Saints and Buccaneers both are finding new ways to throw games away. The two teams that can stop the NFC East from multiple playoff bids seem to be the Cardinals and Panthers, who are both at 1-3 and 0-1 in the division and winless on the road.
Only 25 percent of the season is over but the NFC East is on the rise and this is without the New York Giants even playing their best football. The Giants have the league right where the want them as the Patriots are dominating and the Giants will sneak into the sixth wild card game and win the Super Bowl. The NFC East will be tight, well fought, and make the winner ready to run through the playoffs, and Eli is ready to do it again because you cannot spell elite without Eli.
Matt Kren is a staff writer for The Daily Campus, covering UConn volleyball. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.