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Behind Enemy Lines – The Dumpster Fire of Week 3 Burns Bright

Week 3 was indisputable proof that the NFC East is the absolute hot mess that we all thought it was. The worst division in football…by far! The fact that the Eagles have gained ground in the standings by managing to tie the Bengals, says all you need to know about the East.

(Photo: John Froschauer, AP)

Dallas Cowboys

They almost pulled off another comeback victory but the Dallas Cowboys fell short in their second shootout of the season (31-38). Beating Russell Wilson right now is a tall order. He had another spectacular day throwing for 5 touchdowns, including three to Tyler Locket. Dak Prescott is looking very good early in the season. He finished this game on 37 of 57 for 472 yards, had 27 yards on the ground and threw for 3 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. The firepower in the Dallas offence is impressive. Michael Gallup and Cedric Wilson both had over 100 yards receiving and combined for the 3 TDs, with Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb having a “quiet” day with 86 and 65 yards respectively. The Cowboys are now tied in first place in the NFC East with the Washington Football Team at 1-2 but at this point it feels like they are the sure fire favorites to win the division..

The Cowboys emerged from Sunday’s game relatively unscathed in terms of injuries. CB Trevon Diggs is currently listed as questionable with a shoulder injury going into Week 4. In addition to Diggs, also listed as questionable are DE DeMarcus Lawrence who has yet to practice this week with a knee injury and LT Tyron Smith who has been limited practice with a neck injury.

Dallas plays the Cleveland Browns at home in Week 4; a team full of question marks coming off a 34-20 victory over Washington. The 2-1 Browns blew a 10 point lead and found themselves losing by 3 points in the 3rd quarter but rallied to finally win the game. Baker Mayfield was 16 for 23 for156 yards and 2 TDs including a pass to Kareem Hunt. It is clear that the strength of the Browns Offensively is the backfield as their other running back Nick Chubb also got on the scoreboard with two rushing TDs of his own, having rushed for 108 yards. There are a number of injuries to keep an eye on: G Joel Bitonio (back), C JC Tretter (knee), WR Odell Beckham (back), all were limited practicipants and are listed are questionable for Sunday. DE Adrian Clayborn (hip), RB Kareem Hunt (groin) did not practice and are also listed as questionable as is DE Ronnie Harrison (Illness).

Dallas is expected to win this matchup but never underestimate the depths to which an NFC East team could sink.

New York Giants

Could the Giants actually be worse than the Eagles right now? New York managed to lose to a 49ers team missing QB1, RB1, RB2, TE1, TE2, WR1, CB1, CB2, CB4, DE1, DE3, DE4, DE5, LB2, WR4, WR5, C1!!! San Fransisco didn’t just win but absolutely destroyed the Giants 36 – 9 scoring in 7 of their first 8 possessions. Saquon Barkley is irreplaceable. New signing Devonta Freeman and Wayne Gallman combined for 9 carries and 17 yards and were so ineffective that QB Daniel Jones ended up being the lead rusher on his team with 49 yards. Clearly the importance of Barkley is undeniable as evidenced by the combined offensive performance of the team and punctuated by Jone’s performance. But the issues do not end with the offense. The Defense cannot get off the field on 3rd downs and are ranked dead last in the league, allowing their opponents to convert 58.14% of the time through 3 games. The 49ers were able to convert on a massive 66.67% of 3rd downs.

Compared to other teams around the league, the Giants Injury Report is looking “fairly good”. CB Brandon Williams has been placed on short term IR and is expected to miss at least three weeks with a groin injury. CB Julian Love (knee) and S Adrian Colbert (quad) were limited participants in Thursday’s practice and are both listed as questionable for Week 4. Finally, S Jabrill Peppers is dealing with an ankle injury and did not practice yesterday. He is also listed as questionable.

The New York Giants' next opponents are the LA Rams in Los Angeles. The Rams found themselves losing last week by 25 points in the 3rd quarter but clawed their way back into the game and were leading 32-28 in the 4th quarter but the Bills were able to take back the lead (32-35) with 15 seconds left in the game and ultimately clinch the win. LA is currently “light” on injuries as well. Keep an eye on RB Cam Akers who is dealing with a rib injury and did not practice on Thursday. He is listed as questionable, as is S Jordan Fuller who was a limited participant with a shoulder injury.

The Rams are of course heavy favorites to win and it is hard to envision the Giants finding away to create an upset.

Washington Football Team

Washington failed to hold on to their brief 3 point lead against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday and went 1-2 in the NFC East but The Football Team is still in 1st place. QB Dwayne Haskins did not have a good game and turned the ball over four times, including 3 interceptions and a fumble. Haskins finished with a QB Rating of 58.8. Antonio Gibson had a good game logging 9 rushing attempts for 49 yards (5.4 yards per carry) and 3 catches for 11 yards. He also got into the end zone once. Both passing TDs were caught by Dontrelle Inman. Defensively, it was the first time this year that Washington had all four starters in the secondary play together. The D did not play badly but failed to generate any turnovers.

Other than losing the game, Washington also lost star rookie DE Chase Young to a groin injury. Although the injury is not as serious as it was originally feared, he is being listed as doubtful to play this coming Sunday. This is not the only bad news for the D Line: DT Matt Ioannides was placed on IR on Tuesday with an injury to the biceps. Listed as questionable for Week 4 are WRs Terry McLaurin (thigh) and Steven Sims (toe), LB Cole Holcomb (knee), as well as T Morgan Moses (hip).

The Football Team is going up against the Baltimore Ravens in Washington on Sunday. The Ravens are coming off a 34 -20 loss at home to the Kansas City Chiefs on MNF. The Ravens passing game stalled with Lamar Jackson completing 15 for 28 for only 97 yards and only 1 TD. The only other touchdown by the Ravens was scored by Devin Duvernay on an impressive 93 yard kickoff return.

In terms of injuries the following 3 players did not practice on Thursday and are listed as questionable: T Ronnie Stanley (shoulder), DE Derek Wolfe (elbow), DB Anthony Levine Sr. (abdomen). WR Chris Moore (thigh), LB LJ Fort (thigh), CB Jimmy Smith (knee) and DT Justin Madubuike (knee) were all limited participants in Thursday’s practice and are listed as questionable going into Sunday.

Baltimore Ravens injuries or not, it really feels like The Washington Football Team are walking into a buzzsaw.

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