Wild NFC East Race Only Gets Wilder

We knew the NFC East would eventually start beating up on itself. What we didn't know was that the rest of the NFC is ready to put up a fight as well.

The Giants remain undefeated heading into their Monday night game against Cleveland, and they received a few gifts in the form of losses by Dallas in Arizona and Washington at home to previously winless St. Louis. Philadelphia is 3-3 only thanks to a come-from-behind win in San Francisco.

"This season isn't going to go down this straight and narrow path and be a nice cozy Sunday drive," Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo said. "You're going to have ups and downs and you'll get to a point where you have to turn it on and get to a point where you are playing good football. Right now, we didn't play good enough football."

And right now, the might NFC East might only have one representative if the playoffs started this week.

With Atlanta, Carolina and Tampa Bay all tied atop the NFC South at 4-2, a fierce battle for the conference's two wild card spots is shaping up.

Which means losses like Washington's could come back to haunt come December.

"I think it's a focus thing," said Redskins running back Clinton Portis. "All of a sudden, you start getting patted on the back and you feel like you're a better team. We need to go back to the grindstone, keep the media away from Redskin Park and focus back in."

This week's back pats figure to be heaped on Falcons rookie quarterback Matt Ryan, who had his first 300-yard passing game in leading Atlanta's upset over Chicago. Ryan is now 3-0 at home, and proving to opponents that he can hurt them through the air when running back Michael Turner is facing constant eight-man fronts.

"Matt has got 'IT'" Falcons coach Mike Smith said. "We say that he's got 'IT.' We don't know what 'IT' is, but he's got 'IT.'"

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