Their struggles, coupled with those of well, everyone else, have contributed to the decline of a once-grand division. In a league that prides itself on parity, the N.F.C. East has become parody. By nightfall Sunday, its four teams had combined to win 10 games, the fewest by any division through Week 10 of a full season since the A.F.L.-N.F.L. merger in 1970, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. And the ignominy doesn’t stop there.
Already careering toward the fewest combined victories over a full season since the merger — the record is 22, Elias said, shared by the 2008 N.F.C. West and the 2014 N.F.C. South — the N.F.C. East could finish with the worst winning percentage, as well. In its way? The 2008 N.F.C. West (.344).
Much like Bill Belichick, his previous boss in New England, Judge maintains that tomorrow does not exist until midnight, and he has conditioned his players to believe as much, too.
“It’s irrelevant,” Judge said. “The only thing that matters is that we keep improving.”
That they are. They have won two of their last three games, defeating Washington and losing by 2 points to Tampa Bay.
“We’re finally feeling that sense of team,” said running back Wayne Gallman, who ran for 53 yards and two touchdowns, adding, “We’re not trying to show everybody what we are. We just know who we are and we’re doing it as a team.”
What they are, at this point, is a 3-7 team. A team with difficult games against Seattle, Arizona, and Baltimore remaining, but a team making incremental progress.
Only two teams with losing records have qualified for the playoffs, and both — the 2010 Seattle Seahawks and the 2014 Carolina Panthers — won a game. The N.F.C. East winner will almost certainly join that group of qualifiers, and since no one else seems interested in doing so, as absurd as it seemed eight weeks ago — six weeks, four weeks, two weeks — maybe, just maybe, that team will be the Giants.