The NFC East continues to be a riddle wrapped up in an enigma as the National Football League finishes week eight of the 2015 season. The question one must ask is: Does any team in this division really deserve a berth in the playoffs?
Two NFC East teams played in week eight –- the division leading New York Giants lost to the New Orleans Saints and the Dallas Cowboys lost to the Seattle Seahawks. Two teams had their bye –- the Washington Redskins and the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Giants-Saints game was a shoot out in the true definition as both teams combined to score more than 100 points. Giants quarterback Eli Manning had six touchdown passes, a career high, but fell one short to Saints’ QB Drew Brees who tied an NFL record with seven touchdown tosses and achieved a career-high 511 yards passing. Three of the six Manning TD passes went to New Orleans native Odell Beckham Jr.
The 101 points scored tied for the third highest scoring game in NFL history. Combined the two teams garnered 1,030 yards.
The Saints have won four of their last five games after starting the season with three straight losses. Saints’ receivers Brandin Cooks and Willie Snead each caught two touchdown passes and Marques Colston, Ben Watson and C.J. Spiller caught one touchdown pass each. The completion to Spiller resulted in the Saints tying the score at 49 with 36 seconds remaining.
With 20 seconds left the Saints forced the Giants to punt from their 25-yard line and Marcus Murphy returned it 24-yards and fumbled. Snead recovered for the Saints. A Giants’ penalty then set up a Kai Forbath field goal to win it. Forbath had been kicking for the Washington Redskins at the beginning of the season, but the Redskins cut him to sign placekicker Dustin Hopkins. The kick tied Forbath’s career long.
The last second kick came after the Giants battled back from a 42-28 deficit.
The Giants’ come back started with a Manning to Dwayne Harris touchdown pass on a fourth and five play. Manning completed a 20-yard pass to Harris for a score, which tied the game. SAINTS 52 GIANTS 49
The last time the Dallas Cowboys won a game it was week two. Starting quarterback Tony Romo was injured in that game and has been out ever since. The team first turned to back up Brandon Weeden, who went on and lost the next three games. After their bye, the Cowboys assigned the QB role to Matt Cassel, who has lost the last two. Cassel’s numbers were mediocre at best, 13 completions on 25 attempts for just 95 yards and no touchdowns. The Cowboys’ offense gained a total of 220 yards, the fewest in almost two years. Cowboys’ running back Darren McFadden rushed for 64 yards on 20 carries and six receptions for 49 yards.
The Cowboys had their opportunities in the fourth quarter. Defensive end Greg Hardy tipped and intercepted a Russell Wilson pass. It was the Cowboys’ first takeaway in five games. Wilson made the tackle at the Seahawks 16, but they would settle for a field goal.
This game marked the return of Cowboys’ starting wide receiver Dez Bryant, who broke his right foot during the Boys second game of the season. He finished with two catches for 12 yards.
The Seahawks winning drive started with 6:42 left with them trailing by two points. Quarterback Russell Wilson engineered a 17 play, 79-yard drive and Seahawks’ kicker Steven Hauschka kicked a 24-yard field goal. Wilson finished with 19 completions on 30 attempts for 210 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Marshawn Lynch gained 71 yards on 21 carries. SEAHAWKS 13 COWBOYS 12
NFC EAST STANDINGS Overall Division
NEW YORK GIANTS 4-4 2-2
WASHINGTON REDSKINS 3-4 1-1
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES 3-4 1-2
DALLAS COWBOYS 2-5 2-1
NFC EAST SCHEDULE
REDSKINS @ PATRIOTS SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2015
GIANTS @ BUCCANEERS SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2015
EAGLES @ COWBOYS SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2015
Courtesy of CSNPhilly.com