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 actually are the NFL’s best informed, and most knowledgeable fans. (Provided that you visit this site often.) These updates will come out three times during the season: After Weeks 6, 12, and 17.
This is where things are today:
Washington Commanders: 2 – 4, 4th place
The Commanders score 17 points per game and give up 22. That’s the whole story with this team. That’s it. Per game, they are one stop and one score away from being a winning team. However, their big problem, is poor team culture.
The initial tone for team culture, is always set by the head coach. In this case it’s one of easy answers and finger-pointing. Where you have finger-pointing, you will also find low accountability, and a lack of unity. This was demonstrated by head Ron Rivera, when he was asked about why his team was behind other teams in the division, and he responded with “Quarterback.”
He could have said “Injuries.” His team’s best RB, Brian Robinson was shot prior to this season, but he fought to come back; and has just made his first start in one of this team’s two wins. Their best defensive player, DE Chase Young has been out since last season. They’re missing two-fifths of their offensive line.
Yet Rivera went with “Quarterback.”, seemingly dumping the whole mess on QB Carson Wentz. This is despite the fact that Wentz was traded for, because the team was already a mess, and they were hoping he could help clean it up.
With this noise going on, you’d never know that even without Chase Young, this team has five players with at least three sacks. You’d never know that this team is 57% in the red zone. You’d never know that Carson Wentz leads the division with 10 touchdown passes, despite being sacked 23 times already.
Oh! Speaking of sacks, Wentz has a broken finger on his throwing hand, and QB Taylor Heinicke will be the starter for at least the next three weeks. Also, there is no firm date for Young’s return, and the NFL is preparing to remove the owner, from the team with the stadium that literally shits on it’s fans.
Dallas Cowboys: 4 – 2, 3rd place
While losing to Tampa Bay, in the season opener, QB Dak Prescott broke his thumb. A disaster for some teams, but not for the Cowboys. Stepping in for Prescott, was the man, the myth, the legend, the inevitable Hall of Famer, QB Cooper Rush. Like a velvet Mona Lisa hanging in an Applebee’s restroom, he was truly magnificent!
Rush scorched NFL scoreboards from New York to Los Angeles (both were road games!), with four touchdowns in only four weeks, whilst leading the Cowboys to four straight victories. Ever the perfect professional pocket passer, he ran only when he needed to, racking up 9 yards on 9 carries. You could not stop him, you could only hope to contain him!
Coming along for that four game ride, was the Cowboys 3rd ranked defense, which allowed 13.5 points per game, over that stretch. It was nice to see them making their small contribution to Cooper’s cause. OLB Micah Parsons racked up 6 sacks, and was being compared to Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor. It was four weeks of utter bliss!
Then there were some troubles in Philadelphia.
Unfortunately, in Rush’s last start, the clock failed his comeback effort, by not providing him with enough time. Also, there may or may not have been, three interceptions thrown by Rush. But this isn’t about assigning blame. Besides, it was Parsons fault for letting down Cooper and therefore the whole team. He isn’t nearly as good at getting sacks, when he’s made to cover receivers. There is simply no accountability with him.
So the Cowboys fell from 4 – 1 to 4 – 2. Sadly enough, Dak Prescott gets the start this week vs. Detroit. Even if the Cowboys win, it won’t be the same. There won’t be that Rush that fans get when Coopity-Coop is out there.
New York giants: 5 – 1, 2nd place
Even though the prior two teams are absolute circuses, the giants are the team that makes me laugh the hardest. The funniest part is that nobody else seems to see it yet. Not the team, the media, most fans… It’s an absolute riot! After this article you will totally have a different take on their season. I guarantee it. (In my head, I can hear Bill Burr reading this article, and it’s fuckin’ awesome.)
When a team falls short in the playoffs, they go out and get more offensive or defensive firepower. They add a WR, or a TE. Maybe beef up the o-line. They add a pass rusher or strengthen their secondary. Maybe replace a shaky Kicker. The part that double-digit win teams don’t monkey with, is the QB.
A team’s entire offense runs through the QB. Everything from his pre-snap read, his cadence, his way of processing checks, the way he wants the ball snapped, the way he reads a defense, who he relies on in certain situations. And then there’s the idea that the new QB has to learn an entire play-book, and new players, while playing what would be a tougher schedule.
So winning teams don’t mess with their QB situation.
Hey, did I mention that the giants opted to not pick up the fifth year on QB Daniel Jones’s rookie deal? I didn’t? Well, the giants opted to not pick up the fifth year on QB Daniel Jones’s rookie deal. That makes him a free agent after this year. So now if they want him to come back in 2023, they have to pay the guy more than they would have, if they’d just picked up his 22M$ option.
So the giants are on the verge of either giving Daniel Jones a multi-year contract, for more than 27M$. Or, if they don’t, they have to start all over, and hope that the next guy isn’t worse. What do I mean by worse? Do you see what’s happening with QB Russell Wilson in Denver? Or they could draft the next Ryan Leaf while hoping for a Peyton Manning.
If you’re a fan of the giants, your team is either teasing you with ONE good season, or damning you to four more years of Jones. He’s either your starter next year, or he isn’t. There isn’t a third option! Oh yeah, right now RB Saquon Barkley leads the entire NFL with 771 yards from scrimmage. (Had I led with that, giants fans would have been on the ceiling. Mentioned now, it hardly matters to them. Which goes to show, you can troll a fan base with good news.)
Now if you’re a giants fan, every win will seem like a month added to a prison sentence. If you’re a rival fan, every win makes you giggle a little. Even if they beat your team, there’s sort of a silver lining there, because you know you’ll get ‘em next time. A ten win season is the worst possible scenario for their front office. Imagine having to justify dismantling a ten win team, to 8.8 million people. That’s what they’re facing if they keep winning!
Oh yeah, and their defense is playing extremely well. Ranked 7th in the league! (To giants fans, that just felt like a stab wound.)
So that’s the state of our division rivals as our Eagles head into the Week 7 Bye. See ya in six weeks everybody!