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NFC East: Analyzing The Importance Of November

Posted Nov 1, 2013


Happy Halloween, and all that junk. I didn’t wear a costume this year, but if I had, I might have just dressed up as the NFC East standings. That’s about as terrifying as anything you’re bound to find at the costume shop.

I’m not going to apologize for that attempt at humor, but I do recognize that it was horrendous.

Anyway, the real point being: it’s not October anymore. When the ball kicks off this Sunday for our three fair NFC East contestants, we’ll be into the second half of the season. The temperatures are starting to drop, and the games that determine the playoff picture are about to begin.

With that in mind, I figured I’d take a look at a stat that Cowboys fans should be well-familiar with by now, considering it’s one of Tony Romo’s most impressive numbers. As has been documented, since he took over starting duties for the Cowboys on Oct. 29, 2006, Romo has a staggering 21-4 record in the month of November – which begins today, for those of you not paying attention.

That’s a statistic the Cowboys would desperately love to keep in line with. Dallas has four games sandwiched around a bye week this month – Minnesota this Sunday, at New Orleans in a week, at New York after the bye and home for Thanksgiving against Oakland. 

That’s a combined record of 12-17, with the Saints comprising 50 percent of that win total. Take the current NFC No. 2 seed out of the equation, and the other three opponents are just 6-16. With outdoor road trips to Chicago and Washington, not to mention a home date against Green Bay, looming in December, a winning mark in November would be huge for Romo and Co.

It’s even more important when you look at the upcoming slates for the rest of the division. 

The Redskins, captained by Robert Griffin III, actually begin their six-game win streak and eventual march to the playoffs in November last year. They’re going to need him to improve on his 2-1 November mark to remain in the hunt, as they host the white-hot Philip Rivers this weekend before making back-to-back road trips to Minnesota and Philly, and then finishing the month off with a Monday night game against San Francisco.

Philadelphia has the last bye week in the league, with the final weekend of November the goal for a much-needed rest. In the meantime, they also have back-to-back road trips, to Oakland and Green Bay, before facing the Redskins at home. Nick Foles is winless in November, with an 0-2 mark. The Eagles would love to have Michael Vick back – though his career November record of 12-12-1 is hardly awe-inspiring.

If I’m being honest, I expect the upcoming month to sink both Washington and Philadelphia’s playoff hopes. Ironically enough, however, this 11th month of the year just may give a fighting chance to the once-buried Giants.

The much-needed bye week falls on the Giants this weekend. After a reprieve and a chance to get some guys healthy, they don’t have to leave the confines of MetLife Stadium until Dec. 1. During the three-game homestand, they’ll host the Raiders, Packers and Cowboys.

Despite the Giants’ run of postseason success, Eli Manning’s November record sits at just 13-19. In fact, New York is just 2-6 in November since 2011.

Does any of that mean anything? It’s hard to say for sure. It’s hard for me to take Romo’s winning ways in November too seriously when he hasn’t guided a team to the playoffs since 2009.

But like I said earlier this week, we didn’t decide much in this division in the first eight weeks – other than the fact that there isn’t a dominant team among the four.

Whoever manages the best over the next four or five weeks may find themselves in an enviable position when December starts.

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