By Joseph Santoliquito
East Rutherford,, NJ (CBS) — It is a little baffling and somewhat hard to fathom. But after losing three-straight games, after giving up 34.5 points a game, to rank 31st in the NFL, and not-so-proud owners of the NFL’s worst defense, after sitting near the bottom of the NFC East, and giving up the most points in a game in four decades, the Eagles now find themselves on top in the NFC East.
Or like a leading role in a bad B-movie.
In 2010, the Seattle Seahawks won the NFC West with a 7-9 record. This year, the way the NFC East is playing out, 7-9 could possibly win the division.
It’s that bad.
The Eagles, courtesy of a 36-21 victory over the putrid New York Giants on Sunday, almost stumbled into this position, winding up atop the NFC East by happenstance.
The division has a cumulative record of 5-14. The five teams the NFC East has beaten have a cumulative record of 4-19. Entering this week, three of the four NFC East teams, the Eagles, Giants and Redskins were at the bottom, or near the bottom in total defense.
No team in the NFC East has beaten a team with a winning record. The Cowboys two victories are over the winless, pathetic Giants and 2-3 St. Louis Rams. The Eagles’ two victories are over teams with one win apiece between them, the Redskins and Giants. The Redskins beat the 1-3 Oakland Raiders. And the Giants are looking at early dibs in the draft on Jadeveon Clowney. The Eagles cancelled the Giants season on Sunday.
What’s ahead for the Eagles now gives them a chance to make the playoffs. How twisted that sounds for a team giving up 31.8 points a game and six yards per play.
Against the Giants, it may not have been so much what the Eagles did, but what the Giants didn’t do. The Giants have given up an NFL-high 20 turnovers—including the four they yielded to the Eagles on Sunday, with three coming on Eli Manning interceptions in the fourth quarter.
The Eagles still gave up 383 yards and they still surrendered a 19-7 lead to one time trail, 21-19, before the real Giants re-emerged and collapsed under four turnovers, and 12 penalties for 136 yards.
The Lions, Bears and Cardinals are the only teams with winning records of the Eagles’ remaining 11 games, but it also includes a visit to 2-2 Green Bay, which will be a much better team by the time the Eagles go to Wisconsin on November.
The fact is the Eagles, nor any team in the NFC East, is very good. Dallas, based on staying with Denver, is probably the team to beat in the division. The Cowboys still have the Lions, Saints, Bears and Packers still on their schedule.
With the Eagles traveling to Tampa Bay, which is in absolute chaos, and Dallas scheduled to visit Washington, both teams could be heading for an October 20 showdown for NFC East supremacy at Lincoln Financial Field—with sparkling 3-3 records.