clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

NFC East Notebook, Nov. 19: Mike Shanahan on the hot seat?

News and notes from Dallas, Philadelphia and Washington

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Finally, a shakeup in the NFC East over the weekend as the Eagles reclaimed first place with a win over the visiting Redskins. Not only did the win allow a divisional squad to move above .500 on the season, but it marked the first win at the Linc this season for the home team.

With the loss, the 'Skins dropped to the bottom of the divisional standings, while the New York Giants -- winners of four straight -- remain just a game back of Dallas. The top three spots remain up for grabs, and this week's Dallas-New York showdown will be just as pivotal in terms of playoff implications as last week's Philadelphia-Washington game.

Here's the latest from around the NFC East:

Dallas Cowboys

The B'oys spent the bye week preparing for one of the league's hottest teams in the Giants. Dallas dismantled New York in the season opener, but now they face a team that's reeled off four straight wins in a game with major playoff implications for both teams.

But how did the Giants get here?

The Giants have played a D Class of quarterbacks during the winning streak -- Josh Freeman, Scott Tolzien and the injured versions of Terrelle Pryor and Michael Vick. But their defense has feasted on these quarterbacks, and the confidence is an all-time high.

Offensively Eli Manning has cut down on his turnovers, and behind Andre Brown the running game has emerged from the dead. The offensive line, however, still remains vulnerable.

That's why the key to ending the Giants' win streak is to put pressure on Manning. A healthy DeMarcus Ware and Jason Hatcher will revitalize Big D's pass rush, which has generated four sacks in the past three games.

Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles' offense will get a ton of credit for the team's soar to the top of the standings, but it was the defense that stifled Robert Griffin III and Co. Sunday.

The Redskins' quarterback said Philly's D knew what was coming and it was disheartening to play against that. The Eagles shut out Washington for the first three quarters of the game, forcing Griffin to complete less than half of his passes, sacking his four times and nabbing an interception.

The win thrust Philadelphia into first place, and according to Bleeding Green Nation, it's a testament to head coach Chip Kelly and defensive coordinator Billy Davis who together have gotten the most out of their players.

"Chip Kelly and Billy Davis: These guys are quite the pair as of late," BGN wrote in its Eagles report card. "Kelly has been getting guys open and getting yards like they are going out of style. Davis has been dialing up great blitzes and shutout the Redskins for three quarters for the second time this season. They are both getting the most out of their talent."

Washington Redskins

With the 'Skins falling to 3-7, these's already chatter about the team's offseason plans.

The obvious one is whether Mike Shanahan will return as the team's head coach. In order to keep his job, Hogs Haven suggests Shanahan needs to go 4-2 down the stretch, winning at least three divisional opponents along the way.

Not only do the wins need to pile up, but Shanahan would have to agree to replace his entire defensive staff and his special teams coaches. Washington ranks 28th in the NFL in total defense. Shanahan would also have to make a pride move and surrender his job in the front office and allow a true personnel man take over.

Not only is Hogs Haven pondering which coaches will be on the sidelines, but which players the Skins could draft to improve the product on the field.

Defensively, the team could use some help in the secondary. One prospect Hogs Haven likes is Florida defensive back Marcus Robinson, who is drawing parallels to former Gator and Cleveland Browns corner Joe Haden. In the linebacking corps, Stanford linebacker Shayne Skov could be a potential heir to London Fletcher.

On the offensive side, wideout L'Damian Washington out of Missouri could bolster Washington's receiving corps, which is very inconsistent aside from Pierre Garcon and rookie tight end Jordan Reed. Kent State return specialist Dri Archer would help the Skins' special teams woes. Archer can add not only in the return game but as a third-down back and receiver.

Follow Sam on Twitter @SamSpiegs