While the Eagles have started 4-0 for the second consecutive season. There’s still a lot to take in around the NFL. From the Giants embarrassing start, to Justin Fields still not being that guy.
Let’s take a look at the other 15 NFC teams and how they’ve fared during the first 25% of the NFL season (23.6%, but who’s counting.)
What was expected to be a juggernaut division – with the hype behind Justin Fields and Jordan Love as well as the continued expectations of the Lions and Vikings.
Instead, we’re looking at a division as follows
Not quite what you expect to see after 4 weeks. But with a Vikings 0-3 start, and a Bears 28 point collapse. Here we are.
Week 5: Vs Panthers
The Detroit Lions have lived up to their expectations so far this season.
With an impressive win against the Chiefs to open the NFL season, followed by a shootout overtime loss to the Seahawks. It’s hard to be disappointed in a 3-1 start while the other expected “playoff teams” in the division continue to fall short.
Detroit is averaging 26.5 points per game in an offense that’s holding Jahmyr Gibbs back while it relies on David Montgomery, and is about receive Jameson Williams back 2 Weeks earlier than expected from his gambling suspension.
Week 5: @ Raiders
The Packers have fallen short of some expectations to begin this year. With Aaron Rodgers’ departure, the 3-year backup in Jordan Love was finally given the keys to the starting position.
But they’ve found themselves in a comfortable 2nd place to start the year.
Week 5: Vs Chiefs
Who knew the Vikings would find themselves at a 1-3 start? 11 Turnovers definitely didn’t help. After a season of going 11-0 in 1-score games it was only a matter of time until the Vikings started losing those same 1-score games.
Justin Jefferson continues to be a nuisance to everybody in the league. With 543 receiving yards and 3 touchdowns. The Vikings have stumbled their victories away with 7 turnovers, including Jefferson’s that may have cost them a victory against the Eagles.
With a putrid 1-3 start, the Vikings are lucky to not be at the bottom of the conference, let alone their own division.
Week 5: @ Commanders
The Bears once again find themselves being a laughing stock of the NFC North. It was bad enough they were 0-3 following a blowout loss to the Chiefs. (and Taylor Swift) But blowing a 21 point lead to the Denver Broncos who were coming off a 70 point slaughter from the Dolphins? Tough.
If there’s a game the Bears could finally get their first win since October 24th 2022, it might be against the Commanders. A team with inconsistent play that could fall below .500 with a 3rd straight loss.
Justin Fields looked like a good Quarterback with 335 yards against the Broncos. Is he able to do that against the Commanders strong defensive unit? We’ll find that out later today.
If you asked me to predict the NFC West standings in August, I’d have told you the following:
While I’m no record predictor, this division seems like the most obvious correct one.
Week 5: Vs Cowboys
Brock Purdy continues his 13-0 regular season career record against Dallas this weekend. What is most likely the strongest team the 49ers will see until Week 13’s NFC Championship rematch against the Eagles, it’s only a matter of time until opposing fans can start to negate San Francisco’s record with a ‘cupcake schedule’ (sound familiar?)
With QB wins being regarded as Brock Purdy’s finest achievement, one has to look at the main cause of all these points the 49ers put up. Christian McCaffrey leads the league with 459 rushing yards through 4 games, as well as a total of 7 touchdowns and an additional 141 receiving yards.
If a team is able to find a solution to beating the 49ers. It starts with finding a way to shut down McCaffrey. A task the Steelers, Rams, Giants and Cardinals were incapable of doing.
Being the only other undefeated team in the league besides the Eagles, it’s hard to pick a side for this weeks games. Win/Win Lose/Lose scenario regardless when teams play the Cowboys.
Week 5: Bye Week
The Seahawks are picking up right where they left off. Getting Kenneth Walker involved and hoping their WR trio of Lockett, Metcalf and Smith-Njigba can outscore their opponents.
It stalled the Seahawks during the season opener against the Rams. If Geno Smith’s panicked cry didn’t concern you week 1. It doesn’t matter, cause the Seahawks have looked more poised since.
With a Bye Week upcoming, hopefully Geno Smith is able to return to their week 6 game against the struggling Bengals.
Week 5: Vs Eagles
The Rams have found themselves in a half decent position to start the year. With concerns of Matthew Stafford’s long term health last year. The Rams had more worry about Cooper Kupp to begin this season. Putting the former triple crown WR on IR prior to week 1, he should be making his season debut against a damaged Eagles secondary.
With 2 wins under their belt, the Rams could pose a problem for the Eagles undefeated season. There’s a long season ahead, but the Rams could find themselves competing after a horrendous Super Bowl hangover.
Week 5: Vs Bengals
Nobody expected the Cardinals to beat the Cowboys in week 3, right?
The Arizona Cardinals are the only reason the Eagles aren’t tied for 1st place in the NFC East. While they may be 1-3, the Cardinals lost their first 2 games by a total of 7 points against 2 other NFC East teams. Had Josh Dobbs been on the roster throughout pre-season, perhaps the Cardinals could be looking at a 3-1 start compared to their current situation.
Not that there was expectations for the Cardinals to contend during Jonathan Gannon’s 1st year at Head Coach. The only thing they will contend for is the 1st overall pick that the Bears currently possess.
What was expected to look like the NFC East from 2020, seems to be a division mostly putting its best foot forward. 3 teams sit at or above .500 in the NFC South to start the 1st quarter of the season
Week 5: Bye Week
The Buccaneers get a week off following their 1st division victory of the season.
A team that wasn’t expected to do heavy lifting this season currently leads their division with the others trailing behind. Many questioned Todd Bowles and what the Buccaneers plan may be with Baker Mayfield, but if we’ve seen anything so far. It’s that the Buccaneers might be an early victor in the NFC South.
They’ll return off their Bye with a game against the Detroit Lions who appear to be the NFC North team to beat. Will the Buccaneers find a way to go 4-1?
Week 5: Vs Texans
The Falcons keep finding impressive ways to lose games. After drafting Bijan Robinson, the Falcons have loved giving Desmond Ridder 30+ pass attempts in 3 of their 4 games.
They’ve found themselves at 2-2, but after barely escaping their last win against Green Bay, the Falcons have found 2 difficult losses against some good teams. Perhaps the bar for the Falcons is the middle of the pack, but there’s still a consideration if they should go after a QB to continue their rebuild around next draft.
With a week 5 game against the Texans, perhaps the Falcons identity might truly get revealed. Two teams in similar states of a rebuild.
Week 5: @ Patriots
The Saints looked like a pretty solid team in their opening 2 games. Without Alvin Kamara the Saints managed to get Jamaal Williams involved until a Hamstring injury sidelined Williams just before Kamara’s return.
To make matters worse, during the 2nd half of the Saints loss to the Packers. Derek Carr suffered a shoulder injury. Although he played the Saints week 4 game. his 23/37 for 127 yards didn’t look promising. Still questionable for Sunday’s game against the Patriots.
The Saints might be in a struggle if they aggravated Carr’s injury and now have a multiple week concern on their hands.
It’s a good thing the Eagles still own their 2nd round pick. Just in case things truly take a turn.
Week 5: @ Lions
After trading up for the 1st overall pick to draft Bryce Young. The Panthers have fallen flat to start their season.
Andy Dalton has scored the most points in a Panthers game so far this season with their 27 points against the Seahawks.
Miles Sanders has also seen some regression. With 158 rushing yards in 4 games, the former Eagle continues to miss gaps and jump outside when given opportunities with the ball.
The Panthers could look to finally hold a lead and beat the Lions this week, but I think we know how that game might end.
4 Weeks into the season and the NFC East looks like it normally does. A powerhouse on top, and a laughing stock at the bottom.
Week 5: @ Rams
The Eagles have managed to sneak their way to 4-0 to kick off the season. With close victories against the Patriots, Vikings and now the Commanders. It might be time to panic (just a bit).
With a strong opponent just a few days away, the Eagles undefeated streak might come to an end. The return of Cooper Kupp paired with breakout rookie Puka Nacua, things might not look good if the Eagles play another game without Sydney Brown and Justin Evans.
While the recent edition of Cornerback Bradley Roby, the Eagles are trying to patch together the injured secondary ahead of their games against the Rams, and soon to be the Dolphins.
Hopefully things go well for the defensive line without Fletcher Cox, as we’ll most likely see Jalen Carter take a majority of the snaps at DT on Sunday.
Week 5: @ 49ers
The Cowboys defense has been doing plenty of heavy lifting the first 4 weeks of the season. A total of 4 defensive or special teams touchdowns have been the Cowboys greatest benefit so far this season. But against a team like the Cardinals, somehow the Cowboys couldn’t get either side of the ball working.
Enter the 49ers. This matchup is truly 2 contending teams going head-to-head, where we’ll find out who is on top and who is the #1 team in the NFC to beat. (besides Philly)
Not that I’m telling you to cheer for the Cowboys, but would you rather cheer for a bigger lead on 1st in the division, or 1st in the conference? Tough decision to make.
Week 5: Vs Bears
The Commanders have something to prove against the Bears tonight. Can they get back on track this season and keep themselves above .500?
Sam Howell can occasionally look like the Quarterback a team would want to continue building around. They kept up with the Eagles just 4 days ago.
Although they’re not in as bad a position as the Giants. Another loss for the Commanders could put them in a struggle to climb back for a playoff spot come January.
Week 5: @ Dolphins
It was obvious the Giants were going to regress this season, but who could’ve guessed they’d regress this badly?
Following their playoff loss to Philly in the Divisional Round, the only game the Giants have won since was a 28 point comeback against the Arizona Cardinals.
Should the Giants be able to turn their season around. It won’t be against this Dolphins offense.
Photo Credit: NFL