NFC East Week 3 Power Rankings: Eagles Back on Top

Brad Gagnon NFL National ColumnistSeptember 18, 2012

PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 16: Jason Babin #93 and DeMeco Ryans #59 of the Philadelphia Eagles react to Ryans sack of quarterback Joe Flacco #5 of the Baltimore Ravens during a game at Lincoln Financial Field on September 16, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Eagles defeated the Ravens 24-23. (Photo by Rich Schultz /Getty Images)
Rich Schultz/Getty Images

Two weeks into the 2012 NFL season, the NFC East possesses three of the league's top-four offenses. The Redskins have scored more points than anyone in football, while the Eagles have allowed fewer yards than the rest of the league. 

Strangely, though, the one thing all four teams are lacking is consistent pressure. After everyone in the division ranked in the top 10 in sacks last season, Dallas, New York, Philly and Washington have just 17 total sacks in eight combined games. 

No one has been particularly great or particularly terrible, but here's how we rank the four teams in the NFL's most popular division.


1. Philadelphia Eagles (2-0, 3rd last week)

What was most impressive in Philadelphia's matchup with Baltimore was how well the Eagles has fared against the run. Last year at this point, the run defense was disaster. This year, they've shut down Trent Richardson and held Ray Rice in check. 

They also beat a great Baltimore team Sunday despite a bad game from Nnamdi Asomugha, two injuries to offensive linemen and only two sacks from the pass rush. 

They've only outscored their opponents by a grand total of two points, but while the Eagles seemed to find ways to lose in 2011, they're finding ways to win in 2012.


2. Dallas Cowboys (1-1, 1st last week)

Strange time to decide you don't want to be aggressive on defense. The good news is what ailed them against the Seahawks can be cured. They return home now and should get back to dialing it up defensively against Tampa Bay.

Additionally, it's hard to imagine Dez Bryant and Jason Witten coming up lame like that very often going forward. 

The Cowboys have to treat that dud in the Northwest as a one-time debacle and move on.


3. New York Giants (1-1, 4th last week)

They were still manhandled by the Cowboys and were very lucky to pull it off against the Buccaneers. Good teams find ways to win games like that, though, and that's exactly what Tom Coughlin's guys did. 

But now, the tests become more intense for a team that has the hardest schedule in football. On only three days' rest, the Giants are in Carolina Thursday night to face Cam Newton and Co. with the secondary in bad shape and David Diehl and Ahmad Bradshaw injured.

I'll never count Big Blue out, but I think the chips are stacked against them in a big way.


4. Washington Redskins (1-1, 2nd last week)

This defense is going to be a very big problem going forward. With Brian Orakpo and Adam Carriker out, they no longer have the firepower up front to limit the damage done to their mediocre secondary.

The pressure falls on the offense to keep putting on 30-plus points per game, as well as defensive coaches like Jim Haslett and Raheem Morris. I've seen teams overcome bigger losses, but the 'Skins are in big trouble.

On the bright side, Robert Griffin III is still killing it (although he's still taking too many hits) and Alfred Morris looks more and more like a franchise back every time he's on the field.