The NFC East is considered the NFL's marquee division by the dint of storied histories and television ratings. Through two weeks, though, the four teams have comprised the NFC Least.
The Washington Redskins have been on the short end of two of the dominant first halves of the early season, falling behind 33-7 and 31-0. The New York Giants are 0-2 for the first time since 2007, with Eli Manning leading the league in interceptions. The Philadelphia Eagles just surrendered the San Diego Chargers' most yards in one game since 1985.
Coming off a loss of their own, the Dallas Cowboys appear to be the strongest team in a weak division.
Here's what else we learned during 14 entertaining Week 2 games Sunday:
- Falcons fans don't have running back Michael Turner to kick around anymore, but the ground "attack" is still an issue. The 36 rushing yards Sunday were the fewest in a win in franchise history. Outside of Steven Jackson's 50-yard run through a gaping hole in Week 1, Falcons running backs are averaging 1.86 yards per carry. Jackson never returned after leaving early with a thigh injury.
- Even with Sam Bradford padding his numbers in garbage time, Rams tight end Jared Cook was held to just 10 yards on one catch after toasting the Cardinals for 141 yards and two touchdowns last week. Cook drew six targets, including one where the turf monster prevented a potential gain of over 30 yards. The Falcons clearly placed an emphasis on taking Cook out of the game.
- Joe Flacco and the Ravens were shut out in the first half, but Baltimore's passing game got a boost down the stretch from rookie receiver Marlon Brown, who caught his second touchdown pass in two weeks. For the Browns, one bright spot has been young tight end Jordan Cameron, who has 14 receptions for 203 yards and one touchdown in two starts.
- The game will be remembered for Bills rookie QB EJ Manuel engineering an 80-yard, game-winning touchdown drive with 1:38 on the clock and no timeouts. The Bills are still running a more simplified version of the offense we're bound to see later in the year, but Manuel -- through two weeks -- has been a capable shepherd of the attack.
- Speaking of Newton, Panthers offensive coordinator Mike Shula allowed his quarterback to test the field deep, but Ace Boogie still looks out of sync. He tossed an interception on the first series and overthrew pass-catchers on three consecutive deep balls.
- Both young quarterbacks were very good in this game. But Ryan Tannehill was better. He made a number of difficult throws into tight windows and didn't have great protection.
- Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland's offseason moves are off to a nice start. Cornerback Brent Grimes made the biggest play of the game with an interception in the end zone. Linebackers Dannell Ellerbe and Phillip Wheeler made a number of plays. And Mike Wallace was involved early and often with nine catches for 115 yards.
- This wasn't a good game for the tired Tony Romo "clutch narrative." He lost a fumble in the fourth quarter and made a number of other poor throws in the final frame, including an interception overturned by a sketchy penalty. That came after an excellent three quarters of play, including good protection. Like we said: Weird game.
[San Diego Chargers 33,
Philadelphia Eagles 30](http://www.nfl.com/gamecenter/2013091508/2013/REG2/chargers@eagles)
- If you were questioning how Eagles receiver DeSean Jackson would like Chip Kelly's offense, you have the answer. Jackson feasted in the first two weeks, going over 100 yards in each game. Unlike most coaches, Kelly will run the bomb even if Jackson and Michael Vick don't connect the first, second or third time.
- We were worried how Chargers QB Philip Rivers would perform this season with an iffy receiving corps. However, Chargers coach Mike McCoy's quick-pass offense has protected Rivers, who has spread the ball around and rejuvenated wide receiver Eddie Royal's career. Losing Malcom Floyd will hurt, but a healthy Antonio Gates helps mitigate the loss.
- The Bucs continue to kill themselves with yellow laundry, committing 10 penalties for 118 yards. Through two games -- both last-second losses -- the Bucs have been called for 23 penalties for 220 yards. Many losses will follow if this continues.
- The scrutinization of Josh Freeman will continue. The embattled Bucs quarterback threw an interception, lost a fumble and finished with 118 passing yards. In Freeman's defense, a 73-yard touchdown pass to Vince Jackson was wiped away by an illegal formation penalty.
- Drew Brees flies under the radar a bit in the "Best QB Alive" debate, but he provided a nice reminder of his ability in the game-winning drive. The Saints took over at their own 37 with 1:06 remaining and no timeouts. Completion for 15 yards. Completion for 8 yards. Completion for 31 yards. Spike. Field goal. Brees is an assassin.
- For the majority of the game, the Jaguars were without their star running back (Maurice Jones-Drew), 2012 receiving leader (Justin Blackmon) and Pro Bowl tight end (Marcedes Lewis). They didn't score their first touchdown of the season until garbage time. It's fitting that a player claimed off waivers (Clay Harbor) two weeks ago was the first Jaguar to find the end zone.
- By the metrics of both Football Outsiders and Pro Football Focus, the 49ers boasted the NFL's best run-blocking offensive line last season. It's disturbing that Frank Gore has been held to a paltry 60 yards on 30 carries through two games. Is Father Time finally catching up to The Inconvenient Truth?
- The Seahawks are unbeatable at home. They didn't lose a game at CenturyLink Field last year, and it's hard to imagine that streak ending this season. Even without wide receiver Percy Harvin, starting cornerback Brandon Browner and their top two pass rushers (Chris Clemons and Bruce Irvin), they dominated one of the NFL's powerhouses.