The NFC East has turned into the NFC Least this season. After six weeks, every team in the division is below .500. The division is a combined 5-18-1, and there’s a very good chance that the winner of this division could end the season below .500.
On Thursday, the New York Giants(1-5) travel to Philadelphia to battle the Eagles(1-4-1). If the Eagles win, they are on top of the NFC East. If the Giants win, they will be a 1/2 game behind the Cowboys for the top spot in the division. Every game in the NFL is big, but this is a division game, and being that it’s highly unlikely any of these teams will get a wild card spot, this game becomes even bigger.
However, according to Eagles head coach Doug Pederson, this game is no different than any other game.
“Every week is heightened,” Pederson said on Wednesday. “The sense of urgency each week to win a football game, right? We understand where we are, the sort of the hole we dug ourselves into, and it’s all about just one-game-at-a-time mentality. You don’t want to look past the Giants. This is a good football team coming in here Thursday night, and we have to be prepared. It’s a short week, we came off an emotional game this past Sunday with Baltimore, and we got to turn around and play. So, the sense of urgency each week is always there, and again it’s a one-game mentality, one opponent at a time…
“We know our division is down, and maybe it’s up for grabs. All I know is we’re going to focus on one week at a time, and I think that’s all I can ask of our players. This is a short week. The New York Giants coming to town, it’s a good football team. I know their record doesn’t show it either, but these guys are good on defense, they’re good on offense, and got really good special teams. So, we have to prepared to win this game come Thursday and play hard.”
Giants safety Logan Ryan knows the importance of this game, and according to him, it’s pretty close to a must-win game for New York.
“The division games matter, and we’re tying to win it,” Ryan said on Tuesday. “Like I said, the history of the years prior, this is my first year playing in the NFC period. I have been in the AFC for seven years. It is what it is. Our division is winnable. We have to go out here and win some games in our division to put us in a position at the end of the year to strike.
“That’s what we’re doing week in and week out. You prepare hard to put yourself in position to win the game. At the end of the game, I think three or four games this year have come down to the final drive. Our record can swing either way. We found a way to win last week. We need to find a way to win this week. It’s probably going to be a close game. I’m looking forward to the opportunity of that.”
At this point, both teams are not very good, but somebody has to win it, and ultimately, somebody has to win the division. The winner of Thursday’s game will put themselves in a good position to do just that.