The Eagles secured the seventh win of their still-undefeated season, and also managed to gain some valuable breathing room in the process.
That kind of separation is crucial when remembering how good the NFC East has been: it’s only one of two divisions (AFC East) to not have a team below .500. Still, are some of the teams for real, or are they merely squeaking by? Let’s check in with the rivals.
Cowboys hang up 49 on floundering Bears
There could very well be a changing of the guard at running back for Dallas in the coming weeks. With Ezekiel Elliott absent, Tony Pollard went berserk for 131 rushing yards and three touchdowns in a 49-29 win against the Chicago Bears.
Dallas’ big three receiving core of CeeDee Lamb, Dalton Schultz, and Michael Gallup combined for a touchdown and 200 yards. Dak Prescott went 21/27 for 250 passing yards and two touchdowns (one interception).
The takeaway: Absolutely nothing. We knew Dallas is a good team, and we also knew Chicago is a VERY bad team. If anything, this should be making fans drool at how the Eagles will dismantle da Bears come December.
But still, you can’t deny the team looked impressive. One notable stat: Dallas was able to score 49 points on just below 24 minutes of possession, while the Bears held it for over 36 minutes.
Then again, even as Pollard threw up such a monumental game, the Cowboys still seem adamant on not admitting Elliott’s extension was a mistake and making Pollard the featured back in their offense. So maybe it is the same Dallas we know and love?
Jerry Jones: “We go as Zeke goes.” pic.twitter.com/8CfiB4ZoD3
— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) October 30, 2022
Also – perhaps seeing how easily Chicago was able to produce through the run (240 yards and two touchdowns) against the Cowboys’ D, perhaps it will convince the Birds to add another capable RB before Thursday’s trade deadline.
Giants lose their second game to Seahawks
Daniel Jones and the Giants finally game back down to earth after their 6-1 start, losing 13-27 to the Seattle Seahawks. Jones went 17/31 today with 176 passing yards, five sacks, and a rating of 71.4.
Saquon Barkley also had a mediocre day, rushing for just 53 yards on 20 attempts (2.7 yards/attempt) and a touchdown. Darius Slayton caught five receptions for 66 yards, while Tanner Hudson had 58 yards on three receptions.
The takeaway: Make sure your punt returner can handle the football. Richie James had two fumbles today that ended up helping the Seahawks to 10 points. Game-swinging mistakes that absolutely cannot happen.
Richie James bro… are you serious right now? Literally just got hit, ball wasn't even touched. pic.twitter.com/WyYDKdMm8c
— Alex Wilson (@AlexWilsonESM) October 30, 2022
Of course, this loss might not be “Giants are bad” as it is “Seahawks are good.” Geno Smith threw for two touchdowns and had a 104.0 rating, continuing his unexpectedly stellar season as Seattle moves to 5-3. Who saw this coming following the Russell Wilson trade? They could definitely be a team to watch for in the postseason.
Still, you can’t help but feel confident in both of the upcoming Philadelphia v. New York showdowns. The Giants don’t exactly have the receiving corps needed to go against the Eagles’ solid secondary, while their defense has been middling in most categories.
I don’t think New York is set to go on some tailspin following this bummer, but they aren’t the behemoth their record makes them out to be.
Washington eeks out a Taylor Heinicke-led win
Rocking with QB Taylor Heinicke, the Washington Commanders managed nab a last-second, 17-16 victory against the Indianapolis Colts. Heinicke threw a beautiful pass to Terry McLaurin – who has had the worst luck with QBs throughout his career – to set up the game-winning score.
Terry McLaurin. Incredible. pic.twitter.com/qfSl3hKe6h
— Mark Bullock (@MarkBullockNFL) October 30, 2022
Heinicke was 23/31 on passing attempts with 279 yards and a single touchdown (one interception) while McLaurin brought in 113 receiving yards and a touchdown on six receptions. Curtis Samuel had 50 yards on three catches.
The Commanders’ rushing game wasn’t as noteworthy. Brian Robinson had just 20 rushing yards on eight carries, while Antonio Gibson didn’t do any better with 19 yards on seven carries (he did haul in 58 receiving yards and a touchdown, however).
The takeaway: Before we talk about Washington, you have to feel for old friend Frank Reich. Despite being a solid head coach, he’s yet to have a QB that can actually help truly elevate the team since joining Indy. As a result, he might very well get axed.
Back to Washington: this win doesn’t change anything. Heinicke’s a weird QB, and is something like a Gardner Minshew lite. He’ll come in, show some promise, nab you a big win, and get everyone talking.
But I can’t see him suddenly taking Washington on this out-of-the-blue win streak. Yes, I think he’ll definitely do a better job than Carson Wentz did when it comes to keeping them in games, but is he a viable QB of the future? Not a chance.
For right now, the Eagles show have no concern of Washington being anything more than a nuisance they have to play their backups against at the end of the season.