Cowboys lone winner in NFC East, however Giants, Commanders nonetheless in playoff area

The NFC East nonetheless has an opportunity to get all 4 groups into the playoffs. However after a little bit of a setback on Saturday, there’s nonetheless a bit of labor to do.

Most of that may fall on the Washington Commanders, who misplaced 37-20 in San Francisco, blowing an opportunity to place far between them and their two closest opponents for the final NFC wild-card spot. The Giants blew their likelihood to clinch, too, with a 27-24 loss in Minnesota, although they’ll have an important likelihood to clinch at dwelling subsequent week 

Because it was coming into Week 16, two groups are in with two groups probably to go. In the meantime, the Philadelphia Eagles have been unable to lock up the No. 1 seed within the NFC after they misplaced 40-34 to the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday. And whereas the highway to the Tremendous Bowl within the NFC will nonetheless virtually definitely run by means of Philadelphia, they’ll must play their starters one other week earlier than they will relaxation up for his or her postseason run.

Right here’s a take a look at the wild day of motion in one of the best division in soccer:

Philadephia Eagles (13-2)

Saturday consequence: Misplaced to the Cowboys in Dallas, 40-34

What occurred: Minshew Mania was precisely as thrilling because the Eagles remembered — at the very least at first. With Jalen Hurts out with an injured shoulder, Gardner Minshew accomplished 24 of 40 passes for 355 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. He even threw a landing go to DeVonta Smith that put Philly up 34-27 with 10 minutes to play.

However he was picked off by Cowboys CB DaRon Bland with 4:19 left within the sport, resulting in a Brett Maher area objective that gave the Cowboys the lead. RB Miles Sanders fumbled on the primary play of the subsequent drive, main to a different Maher area objective. The Eagles, in truth, turned the ball over on three of their closing 5 drives.

“We’ll correct our mistakes — and we made plenty of them,” Eagles coach Nick Sirianni stated. “That’s what I love about this team. We learn from our mistakes.”

Really, they virtually overcame them on Saturday. Minshew had one final little bit of magic in him, getting the Eagles all the best way to the Dallas 19 with 33 seconds remaining. However his closing three passes fell incomplete.

The place they stand: The Eagles are nonetheless two video games forward of the Vikings (together with the tie-breaker) and Cowboys within the race for the highest seed. With one win or one loss by Dallas, Philly clinches the NFC East, and with one other win, or losses by each Dallas and Minnesota, it clinches the No. 1 seed and a first-round bye.

What’s subsequent: The excellent news for the Eagles is that they end the season with two dwelling video games, in opposition to the New Orleans Saints (6-9) and the Giants (8-6-1). The unhealthy information is they will’t relaxation their starters, together with Hurts, simply but. In keeping with FoxSports’ Jay Glazer, the Eagles deliberate to relaxation Hurts subsequent week if they’d received on Saturday. As an alternative, they’ll seemingly play him to allow them to sew up home-field benefit.

Dallas Cowboys (11-4)

Saturday consequence: Defeated the Philadelphia Eagles in Dallas, 40-34

What occurred: The Cowboys’ protection simply couldn’t cease Minshew and ended up getting shredded for 442 complete yards. However they did give you two large turnovers within the closing 5 minutes — the interception by Bland and a compelled fumble recovered by LB Anthony Barr. They turned each turnovers into two area targets, which broke a 34-34 tie and gave them the win.

Dak Prescott was excellent, finishing 27 of 35 passes for 347 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. He did most of his harm along with his No. 1 receiver, CeeDee Lamb, who had 10 catches for 120 yards and two touchdowns.

The Cowboys’ floor sport was surprisingly ineffective in opposition to a susceptible Eagles run protection, nonetheless. Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard — arguably one of the best 1-2 operating again punch in soccer — mixed for under 74 yards on 25 carries.

This is probably not the final time these two groups play. If chalk holds, they’re at the moment on monitor for a 3rd assembly within the NFC divisional spherical.

“I think both teams probably hope we see each other again,” Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy stated. “Because we know what that means.”

The place they stand: The Cowboys nonetheless have an out of doors shot on the NFC East title and the No. 1 seed within the NFC, however it will require the Eagles to lose their final two video games because the Cowboys win out and the Vikings lose at the very least as soon as. It’s nonetheless more likely the Cowboys are going to make the playoffs as a wild card. They can’t be decrease than the fifth seed, which implies a first-round journey to play the winner of the NFC South — an opponent virtually sure to complete the common season with a shedding report.

What’s subsequent: The Cowboys are on the highway for the subsequent two video games, each in opposition to groups which can be in desperation mode down the stretch. They first have a fast turnaround for a Thursday evening sport in Tennessee in opposition to the Titans (7-8), who’re tied for the lead within the AFC South. They then end the season in Washington in opposition to the Commanders (7-7-1) who’re barely clinging to the NFC’s final wild-card spot.

New York Giants (8-6-1)

Saturday consequence: Misplaced to the Vikings in Minnesota, 27-24

What occurred: Regardless of an enormous sport from QB Daniel Jones (30 of 42, 334 yards), the Giants have been undone by some uncharacteristic fourth-quarter errors and an incredible, 61-yard area objective by Vikings kicker Greg Joseph as time expired.

The Giants gave themselves each alternative to win this sport, however they unraveled after taking a 13-10 lead into the fourth quarter. Jones threw an interception early within the closing body. WR Richie James had an terrible, third-down drop one drive later. New York even had a punt blocked that arrange a 17-yard landing go from Kirk Cousins to Justin Jefferson, placing the Vikings up 24-18 with three minutes to play.

“You’ve got to be able to make the big play at the critical point in the game,” Jones stated. “And we didn’t do that today.”

Nonetheless, Jones rallied the Giants, and rapidly led them down area to arrange a 17-yard Saquon Barkley landing run, and he hit TE Daniel Bellinger behind the top zone for a game-tying two-point conversion with 2:01 left. However their protection obtained caught in a blitz that allowed Cousins to hit Jefferson with a 17-yard achieve to the Giants’ 42, establishing Joseph’s dramatic kick.

The place they stand: The excellent news for the Giants is that they nonetheless stand on the point of that long-awaited playoff berth, as a result of they obtained all the assistance they wanted. The Lions (7-8) misplaced in Carolina 37-23, and the Seahawks (7-8) misplaced in Kansas Metropolis 24-10. So the Giants nonetheless maintain the sixth seed within the NFC they usually have a 1.5-game cushion with two video games left to play.

What’s subsequent: The Giants return dwelling to face the Indianapolis Colts (4-9-1), who’ve misplaced seven of eight, together with that historic collapse in opposition to the Vikings final weekend. The Giants will clinch a playoff berth with a win. And if they will’t do it subsequent Sunday, they’ll end the season in Philadelphia in opposition to an Eagles crew that may most likely be resting everyone essential.

Washington Commanders (7-7-1)

Saturday consequence: Misplaced to the 49ers in San Francisco, 37-20

What occurred: This sport was a complete meltdown for his or her protection, however that received’t be the headline. The headline will probably be how Ron Rivera benched beginning QB Taylor Heinicke for Carson Wentz for the ultimate 10 minutes of the sport.

Wentz wasn’t unhealthy. He accomplished 12 of 16 passes for 123 yards and threw a 20-yard landing go to Curtis Samuel with 5:25 remaining to tug the Commanders inside 10. However total, he was solely marginally higher than Heinicke, who was 13 of 18 for 166 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.

Heinicke’s closing two drives within the fourth quarter ended with a fumble and an interception, and the 49ers scored area targets off each of them. Rivera had already clearly been tiring of Heinicke’s high-risk type of play, and at that time he determined he had seen sufficient.

“I get it,” Heinicke stated. “I was pretty banged up there and the last two drives were two turnovers. I get it. And Carson did a good job.”

So, who will probably be Washington’s beginning QB in its must-win sport subsequent Sunday?

“We’re going to evaluate the tape, we’ll talk about those things, and I’ll make a decision next week,” Rivera stated. “And I’ll make it early, too, because whoever’s going to start is going to get the chance to work.”

The place they stand: Because of these losses by the Lions and the Seahawks, the Commanders have been assured to stay in seventh place within the convention and in command of the final wild-card spot it doesn’t matter what. However their lead is all the way down to a half-game with two to play.

What’s subsequent: Fortunate for them, they end the season with two video games at dwelling. They first play a Cleveland Browns crew that’s 6-9 and has scored a complete of 33 factors in its final three video games. They wrap up the season in opposition to the Cowboys, who may very well be in place to relaxation all of their starters.

High tales from FOX Sports activities:

Ralph Vacchiano is the NFC East reporter for FOX Sports activities, masking the Washington Commanders, Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants. He spent the earlier six years masking the Giants and Jets for SNY TV in New York, and earlier than that, 16 years masking the Giants and the NFL for the New York Every day Information. Comply with him Twitter at @RalphVacchiano.

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