I want to punish NFC East teams for mediocre or less-than-mediocre performances in this spot, but the problem this week is that all four franchises in the league's most popular division lost Sunday/Monday, so we're maintaining the status quo.
As we enter the second half of 2012, here's how we rank the division's four teams.
They can't defend the pass, and now they're officially struggling to stop the run and move the ball consistently through the air. Is this an indication that they're in for another second-half collapse? The good news is that even if that happens, they'll likely still win the NFC East and have a chance to make another run in January.
2. Dallas Cowboys (3-5, second last week)
Their last three losses have come by only 3.5 points on average, and against three very good teams. That has to hurt, because if they had made just a few extra plays in those games, they'd be leading the division. Instead, they're 2.5 games out and panicking. On the bright side, though, they only play one more team that currently possesses a winning record.
3. Philadelphia Eagles (3-5, third last week)
If they lose to the Dallas Cowboys Sunday at home, Jeffrey Lurie might be tempted to spare Andy Reid from the final seven weeks of speculation and just move on to an interim head coach while beginning the process of finding someone new to run this team in 2013 and beyond. On paper, the Eagles are still alive, but you'd be foolish to believe they still have a shot. They've given up.
4. Washington Redskins (3-6, fourth last week)
Their playoff hopes have been dashed, but their next three games after the bye are actually crucial because they come against the three teams listed above. Washington has to prove that defenses haven't figured Robert Griffin III out while also sending a statement to the rest of the division. I have a feeling they won't finish in the No. 4 spot this year.