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NFC East Roundup: Washington Takes The Top Spot

nfceast-roundup

After winning four consecutive games for the first time since 2015, the Washington Football Team holds first place in the NFC East. While Nate Silver's FiveThirtyEight predicts that Washington has a 74% chance of winning the division and making it into the playoffs. the rest of the division has tightened up after some unexpected wins. Here's where each team stands after 14 weeks.

Washington Football Team (3-2 division, 6-7 overall)

The Washington Football Team has been heating up after improving it's record to 6-7 with four straight wins. With some help from a loss to the Arizona Cardinals by the New York Giants, Washington has slid into the No. 1 spot after defeating the San Francisco 49ers, 23-15, with a dominant defensive performance.

Although Alex Smith left the game early with a calf injury, Washington's defense was able to control the game from start to finish. Washington was trailing, 7-6, with about a minute left until halftime until Daron Payne sacked Nick Mullens and forced a fumble, which was then picked up by Chase Young who ran the ball 47 yards into the end zone to give Washington its first lead of the game. Then, on the final play of the third quarter, rookie safety Kamren Curl got his first career interception on a pass form Mullens and proceeded to run 76 yards end zone to give Washington a 23-7 lead.

Washington will try to keep the top spot in the division as it prepares to host the Seattle Seahawks (9-4) for its first home game in three weeks.

The New York Giants (3-2 division, 5-8 overall)

After ending a four-game winning streak by falling to the Arizona Cardinals, 26-7, the Giants have moved down in the division but still aren't out of the race yet.

It was hard for Daniel Jones to generate any offense on Sunday's matchup as Cardinals linebacker Haason Reddick set a franchise record with five sacks and three forced fumbles. While the defense was able to stop Kyler Murray and his offense from scoring on a 4th-and-goal, that momentum was not upheld as New York found itself trailing 13-0 at halftime. The Cardinal scored again on their opening drive of the third quarter, but Jones and the Giants responded with a seven-play, 75-yard drive that ended with a one-yard touchdown run by Dion Lewis. That was the Giants' lone touchdown of the day, though, as the Cardinals were able to keep the lead out of reach with a pair of field goals.

The Giants will try to bounce back with primetime game against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday Night Football.

Philadelphia Eagles (2-2 division, 4-8-1 overall)

Rookie Jalen Hurts had his first career start and led the Eagles to a 24-21 victory over the New Orleans Saints. Not only did this win snap a four game losing streak for the Eagles, but it kept them in contention for the division lead.

Hurts finished the game with 106 rushing yards, 167 yards through the air and a touchdown. That, combined with 115 yards and a pair of scores from running back Miles Sanders proved to be too much for the Saints as they trailed the entire game. The Eagles held a 17-0 lead, but back-to-back scores from the Saints made the score 17-14 entering the fourth quarter. But a fumble from Saints quarterback Taysom Hill set the Eagles up at their own 42-yard line, which allowed Philadelphia to put together a six-play touchdown drive. The Saints responded with a touchdown of their own, but their ensuing onside kick attempt was recovered by the Eagles with just over a minute left to play

The Eagles will be looking to continue climbing up the NFC East ladder on Sunday when it faces the Cardinals.

Dallas Cowboys (1-3 division, 4-9 overall)

After losing back-to-back games against Washington and the Baltimore Ravens, the Dallas Cowboys bounced back by taking down the Cincinnati Bengals, 30-7.

In Andy Dalton's return to Cincinnati, the quarterback led his team to victory by completing 16 of his 23 attempts for 185 yards and two touchdowns. The Bengals also fumbled the ball on each of their first three drives, which Dallas turned into a 17-0 lead after Aldon Smith returned one fumble 78 yards for a touchdown and Amari Cooper caught an 11-yard touchdown from Dalton. The Bengals' only touchdown of the game came right before halftime when A.J. Green made a five-yard touchdown grab from quarterback Brandon Allen.

Dallas will try to stay in the hunt when it hosts the 49ers on Sunday.

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