Dallas Cowboys, NFC East in General Crushing the AFC North in 2016

The Dallas Cowboys completed their sweep of the AFC North teams with a win against the Baltimore Ravens, joining their previous victories against the Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers. Overall, the NFC East, without any team under .500, has been very successful against a group that should have been doing much better.

Overall, the NFC East teams have won 10 of 12 games, losing just once (Redskins to the Steelers in week 1) and tied once (Redskins vs Bengals). The Redskins have already played all four AFC North teams as well. The Giants have road games against both the Browns and the Steelers, and the Eagles have two road games against AFC North teams too: In Cincinnati and in Baltimore. The Eagles also have one of the more impressive wins early this season: 34-3 against the Steelers, which made us think they’re major contenders for the Super Bowl while Carson Wentz is the next big thing. 

Cowboys Touchdown Celebration

Things change. The Cowboys haven’t stopped winning since their opening week loss against the Giants (and it was just a one-point loss), the Giants bounced back from their early season funk, winning five games in a row. The Redskins look likely for at least a wild card spot at this pace thanks to an explosive offense (almost 420 yards per game), losing just once since their 0-2 start. The Eagles? After an 0-3 start, they’ve fallen to 5-5, and look like the “favorites” to end up being the only NFC East team without a playoff ticket.

Meanwhile, no one in the AFC North has a winning record. The Browns are historically bad this season, with or without their quarterback injury crisis. The Bengals seem to have peaked with their current squad, and injuries to A.J. Green and Giovani Bernard might mean their playoff bid this season is hopeless. The Steelers and Ravens are both 5-5; two good teams, but very flawed and limited. It looks like just one of them will get a team into the postseason.

We’ll close with the Cowboys, who finished an AFC North marathon, three games in a row against teams from that division. They easily handled the Browns, won dramatically against the Steelers, and didn’t let a weak start against a strong Ravens defense shake them. The offensive line exhausts opposing defenses as the game goes on, making it easier and easier for Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott to find open space for throwing and running late in the game, so far a formula that’s working to almost perfection.