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Losing games you should win - An NFC East report

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After week one in the NFL we now have our first real picture of how the NFC East looks. Now, I'm not going to use this to make a prediction on how the rest of this season will go but there are some things we learned about teams.

There are games that good teams win in the NFL and there are games that even good teams lose. A good team should win any game they play at home. If you expect to be considered a playoff team and a real contender you have to win your home games regardless of how good your opponents are. Same for your division games. However, going on the road against a playoff caliber team and losing is not something to panic about. You really should lose that game. Winning those tough road games is usually what separates Superbowl teams from ordinary playoff contenders.

So what can we take from what the NFC East did this weekend?

Cowboys - This is not the worst loss in the grand scheme of things for the Cowboys. The Jags are a playoff team from last year that went 12-4, and the Cowboys missed the playoffs. Dallas really had no business winning this game on the road against a quality team like Jacksonville. Now, I have no doubt that they aren't encouraged by the way they lost with Bledsoe throwing 3 picks... but it won't be a game where Dallas looks back on say "that's a game we should have won and it cost us our season." This was a "should lose" for Dallas. The same may not be true for NY & Washington however...

Giants - The Colts are a good team. They had a first round bye and homefield advantage in the playoffs last year. They won their division, however so did the Giants! The Giants had no business dropping a home game to another good team. That's a game that they are going to have win a tough road game that they should lose to make up for. In a division that looks to be competitive as the East is, dropping "should win" games such as this is the first nail in your coffin... Especially when you consider the Giants have 2 "should lose" games in the next weeks.

Redskins- This was probably the worst loss in the NFCE in week one(thanks Brad Childress!). The Skins hosted the Vikings on Monday and lost 19-16. I won't even bother with weaknesses this reveals in the Skins' offense... that much is obvious. All you need to know about this game was that a playoff team from last year in their own house lost to a non playoff team. That's a "should win" game if I ever saw one. Granted, the Vikings are a solid team that looks be in for a solid season, but they still had no business beating Washington at home. This is the kind of game you look back on and regret. This is the kind of game that the Skins now have to make for at some point later in the season. They go on the road to meet NFCE rival Dallas next weekend in a game they really should lose. Like the Giants, they risk going 0-2 to start the season... which in a good division is going to be very difficult to comeback from, even though it's still so early.

Eagles - The Eagles were the one team that was favored to win and had a "should win" game that did win. The Texans were the worst team in the NFL last year, and even though it was on the road the Eagles clearly should have won that game. Next week, the Birds also have a "should win" game at home against the Giants. The Giants are a quality team, but no team has any excuse for losing division games at home. That's a surefire way to ensure you won't be playing in January.

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