It’s been quite some time since the NFC East was considered one of the NFL’s power-house divisions, and analysts don’t appear to see that changing anytime soon.
CBS Sports ranked all eight divisions and placed the NFC East dead last. Any division that produces two teams with top-four picks is going to struggle to garner praise. The now Tom Brady-less AFC East narrowly edged out its NFC counterpart for the No. 7 spot.
Of course, the New York Giants’ 4-12 record last year didn’t help the division’s case for a higher ranking.
The NFC East being ranked the NFL’s worst division is a far cry from the early-to-mid 2000s when the division often produced multiple teams in a season with double-digit wins.
Here’s what John Breech of CBS Sports wrote about the NFC East:
If you need a quick refresher on how bad the division was last year, just consider this: Every team had a losing non-divisional record, no team hit double-digit wins and three of the four coaches in the division got fired. Also, Washington, a team that went 3-13, somehow tied for the second-best record in non-divisional games, going 3-7 (The Cowboys also went 3-7 while the Eagles led the division with a 4-6 record).
As the article points out, the four teams in the NFC East combined for an out-of-division record of 12-28. For comparison’s sake, the teams in the No. 1 ranked AFC West compiled a 26-13-1 out-of-division record.
Breech also notes the effects from the COVID-19 pandemic particularly impact the teams in the NFC East, considering three of the four teams feature new coaches and systems that need to be implemented.
Based on last year’s performance, the ranking has merit and isn’t too surprising. The late-season drama between the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys was less of a sprint to a division title and more of a brisk walk. No team in the division outside of Philadelphia won four games in a row.
The development and play of New York’s Daniel Jones and Washington’s Dwayne Haskins will likely heavily contribute to whether the NFC East is placed higher in next year’s rankings.