NFC East Week 4 Power Rankings: New York's Turn on Top

Brad Gagnon NFL National ColumnistSeptember 25, 2012

Sep 20, 2012; Charlotte, NC, USA; New York Giants players on the sidelines during the game. The Giants defeated the Panthers 36-7 at Bank of America Stadium.  Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-US PRESSWIRE

Three weeks in, we've already had three different teams lead the way in our divisional power rankings. Nobody has been consistently good thus far, but nobody has been consistently bad. That's why all four of the NFC East's teams are 2-1 or 1-2, just like 23 of the league's 28 other teams. 

Parity, dude. 


1. New York Giants (2-1, 3rd last week)

The Giants sort of stumbled upon depth that they didn't know existed in Carolina, and they'll bring that to Philadelphia as key starters return with some extra rest in advance of Sunday night's matchup with the Eagles. 

I won't pretend New York isn't still flawed, but it's a great sign that they've scored exactly twice as many points as the Eagles and Cowboys despite a slew of injuries on offense and a bad offensive line. The key might be that they're clearly the most well-coached and well-prepared team in the division.


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

They might have the same record, but the Cowboys and Eagles are lacking the momentum New York possesses. Of course, momentum might be a tad overrated this time of year, but the Cowboys risk digging a bit of an early hole if they don't make some adjustments in time for Monday night's matchup with the Chicago Bears.

See, Tampa Bay gave Dallas a scare at home. But Chicago is a much more talented version of the Bucs. This Dallas defense can survive losses at safety and keep rolling, but I'm not convinced the offense can get back on track just like that. 


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

Eventually the turnovers will have to be curtailed and Michael Vick will have to face less pressure, otherwise the heat on the defense will become too high. That was actually what happened Sunday in Arizona, and now Philly's on the verge of code red with the Giants coming to town.

I believe, though, that this line will get stronger as the patchwork unit establishes some cohesion with time together in practices and games, and the return of Jeremy Maclin will help, too. Considering how solid the defense has been, that gives them a lot of hope. That said, there's still a bad vibe surrounding this team right now.


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

The Redskins are two or three plays removed from 3-0 and the top spot on this list, but I have a feeling we're going to be talking about a lot of high-scoring close calls this year. The 'Skins will keep going all-or-nothing, which will continue to keep 2012 fun and unique in D.C.

The really, really good news coming out of that loss to the Cincinnati Bengals was that the Brian Orakpo injury might not be as painful as first assumed. Rob Jackson played well in Orakpo's stead, Ryan Kerrigan continues to shine and Jim Haslett knows what he's doing. An 8-8 season is within their reach.