NFL columnist: “Astonishing” that Eagles are atop “NFC Least”

The NFC East is dreadful, USA Today’s Jarrett Bell says, and whichever team wins the division will be one-and-done in the playoffs

After Hours With Amy Lawrence
October 05, 2020 - 8:42 am
Carson Wentz Eagles

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The Philadelphia Eagles got their first win of the season Sunday, beating the San Francisco 49ers, 25-20, in Santa Clara. 

The Eagles, who are 1-2-1 on the season, are now atop the NFC East – or, as USA Today NFL columnist Jarrett Bell calls it, the “NFC Least.”

“For the Eagles to be in first place now is just astonishing,” Bell said on After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “I think it speaks more to how bad the Dallas Cowboys and their defense has been, in addition to just the quality of play with the teams in the division. This one will be decided by those divisional matchups.”

Dallas (1-3) and Washington (1-3), as their record suggests, have been bad, while the Giants (0-4) remain winless. The NFC East has just three wins on the season; no other division has fewer than seven.

“Washington is still in it, so let’s not forget that,” Bell said, laughing. “It’s going to come down to those divisional games, and then it will be one-and-out in the playoffs.”

Doug Pederson’s Eagles, to their credit, have a history of playing their best when their backs are against the wall. Well, you don’t get much more “against the wall” than starting 0-2-1 and flying across to country to face the reigning NFC champs on their home field.

Could the Eagles actually win the division?

“They could definitely win the division,” Bell said. “They’re in first place right now. When you think of the makeup of that team, you know they’ve got some [quality] defensive linemen. You’ve got Darius Slay, a playmaker in the secondary, and you’ve got Carson Wentz, who had his best game of the season tonight. He has not played well at all, and part of that can be attributed to the offensive line, which has been pretty good for the Eagles in recent years. 

“So if they can get that offensive line solidified to the point where they can at least have a semblance of an offense, then they’ll be a real contender to win the division,” Bell continued. “And again, take that with a grain of salt. They’re lucky to be in the NFC East.”