IT’S THAT TIME AGAIN KIDDIES!!!
GENERALLY when I talk football, it’s about my Eagles. I tend to keep mum about our rivals, unless we have a game coming up against one of them. Otherwise, I’ve reserved most talk about them for my Pre-Draft Preview, which drops each April. (Look for it).
In 2017 however, I decided to try something new, and give our fan base a running commentary of what the division is doing around us. This ensures that Eagles fans ARE actually the best informed, and most knowledgeable fans in the NFL. (Provided that you visit this site often.) These updates will come out three times during the season: After Weeks 3, 9, and 15.
New York Giants: 1 – 2 , 4th place in the NFC East
The giants left 2017 with a 3 – 13 record, and in 4th place in the division. They were ranked 31st in scoring, and had trouble with a leaky offensive line. Ripped out the coach, GM, acquired a big time free agent for their offensive line, had a great Draft and presto change-o! The giants open 2018 at 1 – 2, and 4th place in the division. They’re ranked 27th in scoring (18.1ppg) and only four teams have allowed more sacks.
I don’t know what else to say. I’m just… It seems like they…
On defense, they have yet to allow an opponent to reach 30 points, and are a pretty middle of the pack unit (scoring 13th (20.7ppg), yards 15th (343ypg)). They aren’t particularly good vs the pass or run and don’t have any standout stars. SS Landon Collins tried to be that guy, when he called out Cowboys QB Dak Prescott. However, the Cowboys went on to beat the giants, mostly by leaning on Prescott.
After inking WR Odell Beckham to a long-term deal and drafting RB Saquon Barkley, all indications were that the giants would have more than enough firepower to make a run at the division crown. Although it is still early, it would appear that all their firepower, is in the hands of unskilled marksmen.
Dallas Cowboys: 1 – 2, 3rd place in the NFC East
Top 10 defense right here. Points allowed per game 7th (17.7). Yards allowed per game 3rd (281). Passing yards allowed per game 4th (182). Rushing yards allowed per game 11th (98). Those are killer numbers, folks.
The Cowboys have more killer numbers for you. Points scored per game 31st (13.7). Yards per game 30th (277). Passing yards per game 31st (145). While the Cowboys are 7th in rushing yards per game, it’s meaningless if the QB can’t find a guy to make plays in the passing game.
Honestly, the Cowboys offense is miserable. Through three games they have just ONE completion longer than 20 yards. Their QB has been sacked 11 times. Their best reciever right now is Cole Beasley (12 – 132 – 11.0 – 0). Their second best receiver is RB Ezekiel Elliott (11 – 37 – 3.4 – 0). If 3.4 yards per catch seems small, let me bring that into sharper focus: Elliott averages 5.7 yards per rush. Some will say that the culprit is owner Jerry Jones not replacing retired TE Jason Witten, or released WR Dez Bryant, but the Cowboys were having problems passing even last year. (Which I stated and outlined in the last edition of this report, which you can read HERE.)
On defense, OLB Jaylon Smith is rewarding the Cowboys for their faith in his ability to recover from a torn ACL and LCL, which also included serious damage to a nerve in his leg. Through three games he leads the team with 22 tackles and is second with 2 sacks. Rival or not, you can’t help but feel good for the guy.
Washington Redskins: 2 – 1, second place in the NFC East
Note: I’m not sure how the ‘skins are second in the division, when neither of us has played a division opponent, but they have a 2-0 record in the conference, while we’re 1 – 1. However, that is how the NFL has it stacked as of this moment (9.29.18 5:50pm), so we’ll go off of that.
Another Top 10 defense. Across the board Top 10, defense! Points 2nd (14.7), Yards 2nd (278), Passing 5th (187), Rushing 8th (90). Killer numbers. Then again if you and a couple of your friends got to play the Cardinals, Colts and then Green Bay (with a damaged Aaron Rodgers), you could probably put off a similar feat. After an early Bye during Week 4, they get Drew Brees and then Cam Newton. So let’s not get too crazy until we see how those games shake out.
Washington is solidly upper-middle class on offense (Points 17th (21.3), Yards 10th (383), Passing 15th (245), Rushing 4th (137)). In fact, QB Alex Smith and RB Adrian Peterson are making the Redskins GM look like a genius right now, right? Right? Hold up. Pump the brakes.
Smith has gotten off to faster starts than this. In fact, take a look at where he was after Week 3 last year. This isn’t the AFC West. You can’t run out of steam near the end, and have it work out for your team.As for Peterson, a Week 4 Bye is of no help to a 33 year old RB, who is so far on pace for 288 carries. That’s a workload that he hasn’t seen since 2015. All with no WR help to speak of.It would be different if the ‘skins were developing some young guns, but right now they seem content to let the old guys carry the team.
So that’s the state of our division rivals as our Eagles head into Week 4.