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NFL Power Rankings 2012: NFC East Picture Murky

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After the first two weeks of the 2012 season, there are still more questions than answers surrounding the four teams in the most high-profile division in the NFL.

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If there's anything the first two weeks of the NFL season has taught us, it's that one shouldn't jump to conclusions.

Peyton Manning looked great against the Steelers and terrible against the Falcons, at least until the fourth quarter. Point being, even after two games, there's still as much we don't know as there is we do about any of the NFL's 32 teams. It's what Donald Rumsfeld once called "a known unknown".

While keeping all that in mind, let's take a quick spin through the NFC East, where all four teams have reasons for concern and reasons for optimism after the first two weeks.

1) Philadelphia Eagles:

The Eagles have a 2-0 record and a whopping point differential of +2. They beat Cleveland 17-16 and Baltimore 24-23. You can take that to mean they know "how to win when it counts" or that they've been lucky as hell.

Here's the real concern: They've lost their star LT, Jason Peters, for the season. Their starting C, Jason Kelce, may miss the rest of the season after tearing his knee against the Ravens. Peters backup, LT King Dunlap, may miss some time as well with a hamstring injury.

Michael Vick is not the most durable QB known to man and Philly is now severely undermanned at the two most important positions on the offensive line. This may not end well.

2) Dallas Cowboys

This may seem hard to justify after the way they played in Seattle, but the Giants and Redskins haven't exactly covered themselves in glory so far this season either.

The margin for error in the NFL is not very large and you cannot spot a decent Seahawks team with a great home field advantage 10 points in the first 5 minutes. Now, unless you think Dallas will be fumbling kickoffs and giving up blocked punts for TD's on a weekly basis, it's hard to take that much away from their loss.

The real concern is the Cowboys defense, which was blown off the point of attack in the second half. Most of their talent is on the edges -- with DeMarcus Ware rushing the passer and two high-priced new CB's manning the perimeter -- but that's negated when a team can bully Dallas to death for 4-5 yard gains like the Seahawks did on Sunday. Rob Ryan likes his defenses to bend but not break, but they sure looked broke in that second half.

3) New York Giants

Some things never change. The Giants can't run the ball, can't stop the run and have an inconsistent QB who can put up points in a hurry or throw the ball into the ground. Somehow, this "formula" has produced two Super Bowl seasons, but it doesn't guarantee consistent regular season success.

Their last-second win against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday was a pretty classic example of how they can garbage their way into a win. Eli Manning throws 3 INT's in the first half but somehow survives to throw for over 500 yards. That's Giant football to a T under Tom Coughlin.

4) Washington Redskins

If Josh Morgan doesn't lose his mind and chunk a football at Cortland Finnegan, the Redskins probably would have been atop this "power poll". Talk about consequences!

RG3 has been great, but what's been really cool to see is the spread offense he ran at Baylor being brought to the next level. Him and Cam Newton are the next step after Vick in the evolution of the position. They're bringing the game back to the era of a passing/running hybrids like Red Grange who can beat a defense in two or three different ways.

The difference between the two is that Killa Cam is 6'5 250 and RG3 is 6'2 220. If that doesn't seem like much, have someone hit you in the chest with a 30-pound weight for 3 hours. People forget that he's already missed one season in college with a knee injury; as much as the national media may want to pretend, his career did not begin with the win over TCU at the start of last season.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.