By Matthew Kaplan
Coming down the stretch of the NFL regular season, there looks to be an exciting playoff race in the NFC. Everybody from the Eagles to the Giants are still mathematically alive in the NFC Playoff picture. Despite the NFC being so wide open, everyone came into this week thinking that the NFC East was wrapped up in Christmas paper and waiting under the Dallas Cowboys’ tree. With a win and a little help, the Cowboys could have clinched the NFC East.
The only problem with this was the team standing in the Cowboys way. Elliot and the Cowboys would be out in Indianapolis to take on the Colts. The Colts would completely shut the Cowboys down, 23-0. This would be the first time the Cowboys were shutout since 2003 (lost to the Patriots 12-0). The Colts managed to keep all of the Cowboys stars quiet; holding Elliot under 100 yards while Cooper would only catch four balls for 32 yards.
While the Colts shut the Cowboys offense down, their offense was rolling, scoring on five of the first six offensive drives. They were led by Marlon Mack, who carried the ball 27 times for 139 yards and two touchdowns. While Mack was the ignition to the offense, other people got going as well. T.Y Hilton caught five balls for 85 yards and Andrew Luck played a clean game spreading it around to eight different receivers. Luck did not have flashy numbers, but he was extremely effective in controlling this game and keeping the offense rolling.
While the Cowboys were being shut out in Indy, the Giants were suffering the same fate in north Jersey as the Tennessee Titans came into Met Life Stadium. The Titans would win, 17-0, behind a second straight huge game from Derrick Henry. The Alabama Alumni would run over the Giants for 170 yards and two touchdowns. He would be the main source of offense for the Titans as they let the defense lead them to victory. The Titans defense would hold Giants star back Saquon Barkley to 56 yards from scrimmage and, without Odell Beckham to help, the Giants couldn’t seem to figure out how to find the scoreboard.
Finally, as the rest of the division was being held scoreless, the Redskins were trying not to join them all as they were down in Jacksonville matching up against the Jaguars. This game would play out like you would think it would when you see the names Josh Johnson and Cody Kessler at quarterback. The Redskins would win the game behind six sacks, 16-13.
At the end of the day, the Cowboys still control the fate of the NFC East. Due to this, it is time we turn our attention to the Wild Card Race. Make sure to check out tomorrow’s article for all of the Wild Card details!