Struggling NFC East Dominates Primetime Coverage
John Fennelly , Executive Editor
The NFC East has been one of the worst divisions in football this season, and they will get the opportunity to either redeem or condemn themselves the next few weeks in front of a national television audience
This week, the nation will be treated to games featuring all four teams in the once-storied bracket. On Thanksgiving, the Cowboys (5-5) will host their traditional turkey day game, this year vs RGIII and the 4-6 Redskins. Not a bad matchup when you think about it. Giant fans will no doubt be rooting for the visitors. Kickoff is set for 4:15 on FOX.
On NBC’s Sunday Night Football, the Giants (the only winning team in the division at 6-4) play host to the 7-3 Green Bay Packers, the team they embarrassed in the NFC Divisional Playoffs last season. This time around, things should be different. Before the Giants went on their bye last week they dropped two straight and QB Eli Manning hasn’t thrown a TD since he hit Victor Cruz on a 77-yd TD to beat the Redskins exactly one month ago. The Packers have won their last five, and six of the last seven regular meetings vs the Blue.
The Eagles (3-7) will play the 2-8 Carolina Panthers on Monday Night Football, a game that has to have the league kicking itself. These are two franchises that have completely imploded this season. The Eagles will probably be without QB Michael Vick and All-Pro RB LeSean McCoy. Both are recovering from concussions. Six of the Panthers’ eight losses have been by six points or less. Suggestion: find something else to watch.
In Week 13, Philadelphia will visit Dallas on Sunday Night Football, a game the league has decided to keep in place rather than flexing it out. Depending on how things fall this week, this could be a game featuring two losing teams. The Cowboys won the first meeting two weeks ago in Philly, 38-23.
The next night, the Redskins will host the Giants on Monday Night Football. The Giants needed a big play from Victor Cruz to put the Redskins away in the first game at MetLife on Oct 21. If Washington defeats Dallas and the Giants lose to the Packers this week, this game would be for first place in the division.
The only other scheduled prime time game featuring NFC East teams the next six weeks is Thursday, Dec 13 when Philly travels to Cincinnati to play the Bengals, but the Giants have the Saints, Falcons and Ravens left on their schedule and one of those could possibly be flexed to a Sunday Night if the league chooses to make an exception to the broadcast rules.