Better late than never for Beast teams

For the past four seasons, the NFC East has been able to advance a team to the playoffs after it began December hovering around the .500 mark. Avid Beast enthusiast Don Banks of SI.com had a story on this interesting trend earlier in the week, but I got distracted by Thanksgiving and forgot to post it.

The Redskins turned .500 records into playoff seasons in '05 and '07 and the Eagles pulled it off in '06 and '08. The Giants are 6-5 as they prepare to host the 8-3 Cowboys in the Meadowlands. I think New York could turn its season around with a win over the division-leading Cowboys.

But here's the other thing: I think there's a pretty decent chance the Beast will send three teams to the playoffs. It happened in '06 and '07 -- and it could easily happen in '09. That doesn't mean the NFC East will rule the league again, it just means the NFC is pretty watered-down this season.

After the Saints and Vikings, who scares you? I think the Cowboys' offense can short-circuit at any moment and everyone behind them has serious flaws. Banks thinks the Falcons will play their way back into the playoff picture, but I don't see it.

Thanks again for making the Beast the focal point of your NFL day.