ABSOLUTE domination from start to finish last week. The national media spent last week hyping a hollow giants team, and we beat the numbers off their jerseys. This week’s opponent has grown fat off of teams that specialize in hurting themselves. This week they have the wrong opponent. In the wrong house. In front of the wrong crowd.
Eagles QB Jalen Hurts is going to show what it means to lead a team to victory, instead of just being along for the ride. Which is what’s happening on the 49ers sideline. I mean, could you imagine hyping a QB for playing like the best version of Daniel Jones?
The national media isn’t saying “Look at him make jaw-dropping play after play!” They’re saying “Oh look at how he doesn’t make huge mistakes!”Well, OLB Haason Reddick, DT Javon Hargrave, SS Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, CBDarius Slay, and others, are about to put that kid to the test. Context is on the way!
A win punches our ticket to Super Bowl LVII. While I cannot guarantee a win like I did last week, the odds of winning are HEAVILY in our favor. We are all but inevitable.
A loss cannot be entirely ruled out here. The chance exists that we don’t pull this one. Having acknowledged it however, the chance is pretty damned small.
The point of Four Things isn’t to predict a winner, it’s to discuss which tactics would give our Eagles the best chance to win this game. So here are the Four Things that we need to focus on this week, versus the: 49ers
1) Set Hard Edges: The 9ers are a run-based offense that uses lots of misdirection to open holes. Stay disciplined, and don’t fall for the eye-candy. With the way they like to goof around in the backfield, if we don’t fall for the smoke and mirrors, their ball carrier is liable to run smack into a defender.
Have DE’s Brandon Graham and Josh Sweat establish hard boundaries on the ends of the offensive line, to either bottle runs up inside, or force them far outside where there’s no blocking. Understand, the idea isn’t to “shutdown” their run. (They’re too good for that.) The idea is to just make it unreliable, and destabilize their offense.
2) Pick Purdy:You’ve heard the expression “Pick your poison”. Here we should pick their rookie QB. Yep! Just force them to beat us with a seventh round, rookie QB, making his eighth start, on the road, in one of sport’s most hostile environments. Oh, I promised you context.
This kid’s wins? A bad Tampa Bay with no offensive line; Seattle’s 26th ranked defense; The Commanders; The Raiders 28th ranked defense; Arizona playing their 3rd string QB; Wild Card Seattle on the road; and Dallas last week. THIS is what all the hype has been about! So if I’m picking my poison, I’m picking that Purdy lil’ QB.
3) Run The Ball:Usually I mean hand-offs when I say this, but against this opponent, I mean anybody. While RB Miles Sanders should be our hammer early, RB’s Kenneth Gainwell and Boston Scott should each see at least 6 carries apiece, mostly in the second half.
Also, the 9ers defense is smallish upfront. The DE playing across from 365 pound LT Jordan Mailata, is only about 245. They don’t have a LB over 230. We need to physically wear them down, and then wear them out. It also bears mentioning that all four of their losses came against mobile QB’s. (Note: They didn’t face QB Kyler Murray at all this season.)
4) Throw It Deep: Do not allow their defense to dictate our attack. Two of their three CB’s are decidedly overrated. They all do a great job of taking away the quick stuff, but downfield, the Wards can be had.
They play a lot of Cover Three, but we should be able to short circuit that, with WR Quez Watkinsworking deep in the Slot. Even if they’re just dummy routes to hold the FS. With enough protection that’s a one-on-one down either sideline.
If the Eagles do these Four Things, then we’ll be virtually impossible to beat. That being said…
There are a ton of surface indicators which make this game seem a lot more even, than it truly is. What people seem to be (deliberately) looking past, is context. As you know, I never look past context. Context is what makes facts come alive!
At times this season, when the kid has gotten into trouble, their coach has protected him by getting the ball out of his hands with either quick passes, or more running plays. If we take those away, he has to play big boy QB, which puts him right in DT Fletcher Cox’s cross-hairs.
Prediction: EAGLES 24 –49ers 15
WARNING: I don’t have the faintest clue as to what a point spread is, and I know even less about how it works. I know football and that’s IT. If you use Four Things as a gambling tool, you are trying to lose your money, and will deserve it when you do.
Check back in a couple of days for Four Things Reviewed, and we’ll discuss how this game went.
ARMING for a Super Bowl run. That’s the whole point in making a mid-season trade. It’s getting that last piece, which should put your team over the hump. It’s shoring up a glaring weakness, or giving an obvious strength the Barry Bonds treatment. It’s saying “Damn the consequences. I’m all in!”
Defensive line and pass rush, are already deep and dominant areas for this Eagles team. There isn’t an NFC team that can beat us now. Adding Dallas Cowboys DE DeMarcus Lawrence to this team, would almost act as a reservation to play in the upcoming Super Bowl.
Understand, this move is highly unlikely at the moment. The current NFL playoff structure includes seven teams, three of which are Wild Cards. If the playoffs started today, Dallas would be in as the sixth seed. With playoff hopes still alive, no team is parting ways with a player like Lawrence.
That said, the November 1st trade deadline is two Cowboys games away from now, and currently there are six, 3 – 3 teams in the NFC. The math will turn suddenly and sharply for at least one of these teams. If the the 4 – 2 Cowboys split these next two weeks, they’d be 5 – 3. If they drop both, they’re 4 – 4 with a very murky franchise picture going forward.
Get this: Lawrence is 30 years old, and set to count 35M$ against the 2023 salary cap. He last had a 10 sack season in 2018. Since then, he’s put up 5.0, 6.5, 3.0, and currently sits at 3.0 through six games. This year, that’s half a sack per game. Over seventeen games that projects as just 8.5 sacks, and he’s under contract until 2025, when he’ll be 33.
Hell, with DE’s Chauncey Gholston and Sam Williams waiting in the wings, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones might welcome a chance to dump Lawrence’s contract. Especially if he can get us to cough up a second rounder and fourth rounder in 2023; or a 2023 second, and a 2024 third.
For the Eagles it would also work out well. Part of Lawrence’s production issues have to do with him never having an interior presence like DT Fletcher Cox. With OLB Hasaan Reddick on his left arm, and Cox on his right, there may not be enough players left to block him! Lawrence isn’t a long term building block, but he can be this year’s Chris Longor Michael Bennett, and really help further a playoff run.
As far as figuring out the money, The Eagles are already projected to have a loose estimate of 11M in cap space for 2023; they should have about 10M in rollover; and no one knows exactly what the cap ceiling will be. Also General ManagerHowie Roseman can take a bad contract, and turn that water into wine. So if you think of the money as an impediment, DON’T.
I’m writing this on my personal laptop, with my work laptop open to my lock screen. The picture on that screen, is of the Eagles 2018 parade. Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles is holding the trophy in the air, as the bus travels (the wrong way) on 15th Street. Crazy thing is, I’m in this picture. (Don’t look for me. Even I can’t make me out in this shot, and I know exactly where I’m standing in it.)
This trade would put us in a real position to see another one of these, at seasons end. Again, this move is highly unlikely at the moment. So share the shit out this article! Spread the rumor! Speak it into existence. We have two weeks to get it to the right set of ears, and maybe make it happen. Be that 12th man, and I’ll see you on in February on 15th Street.
WHAT’S it like to get a foot in your ass, in a building, with a statue of you in front of it? Well, on Sunday around 5p.m. we should be able to ask former Eagles and current Jaguars Head Coach Doug Pederson. So far he has the Jacksonville Jaguars looking, and playing like a professional football team.
My prediction of course, seems like pure fan speculation. I have yet to even start assembling the Four Things article, for this upcoming game. So I can’t have a grounded sense of how this one will shake out, right? I mean, the Jags have the NFL’s second highest differential (+46) in points scored to points against. The Eagles come in third (+36) in that category.
Given the Eagles tendency to sleepwalk through the second half of football games, and Jacksonville coming alive after the half, this game has all the makings of a nail biter. Predicting a win this early, with no due diligence just seems like talking shit. Right? Perhaps.
But there’s a deeper narrative to this Eagles season.
The NFL schedule makers forcing us to put down Doug, the week after putting down QB Carson Wentz, almost seems cruel. It also portends that Week 11, QB Nick Foles may be starting in place of QB Matt Ryan, on the day that we face head coach Frank Reich’s Colts. (If it happens, don’t be shocked.) Do you see the pattern forming?
The Universe loves irony, and it has a poetic way of punishing those who ignore it. Nick should have stayed in Philly, but took a shaky contract, and had a horrific time in Jacksonville. Both on and off the field. (I often wonder if Philly’s better hospitals could have saved his unborn child.) During Week One, Carson beat Doug, who didn’t stick up for him here. Then last week, we pounded Carson who requested a trade, into the ground. Reich has gone from guru to damned near punchline in Indianapolis.
Now Doug gets to come back, and get a foot in his ass, at the foot of his statue. Everyone connected with the collapse of our Super Bowl team, has had to swallow bitter medicine as a result of their actions immediately following that demise. So clearly Doug has an ass whipping coming.
And don’t think for a moment that General Manager Howie Roseman won’t get his. The Universe doesn’t fuck around when it dishes. At the moment, EVERYTHING Howie does seems like genius. The world can’t pat him hard enough on the back. Which only sets him up for the biggest fall of them all. Gifted with opportunity by the Universe, they each spat in it’s face.
Understand, I’m not saying that the Universe is angry that the Eagles dynasty was shaken down. I highly doubt it cares about football or any sport. What I’m saying, is that a lot of negative energy went into destroying what was constantly advertised, as good men coming together. Hypocrisy. Being a turncoat. Ingratitude. These things scream at Karma in defiance of it. And that only ends one way.
WHILE I really couldn’t care any less about the DeShaun Watson situation, I am infinitely curious about how this is going to shake out for the Cleveland Browns. With the NFL gearing up to place Watson on possibly a one year suspension, the Browns have an absolute shit-show on their hands.
(Full disclosure: I wrote this article on June 27th, but I kept balking at publishing it. If the Browns and QB Baker Mayfield had kissed and made-up (and there were stories saying that it could have happened), then this article would look pretty silly. Well now that Cleveland has been dumb enough to trade Mayfield, I can finally release this bad boy.)
Let me catch you up: Cleveland spent twenty-six years without a playoff win; get one with QB Baker Mayfield; do Mayfield dirty, by signing a pervert (Watson) to replace him; and now looks as if they’ll have to play this season without their pervert, or Mayfield. So ladies and gents, I present to you, third string QB Jacoby Brissett!
Big deal, right? All a third string QB does, is set Cleveland up for early draft picks, right? Nope. Cleveland has no first rounders until 2025. So the team has zero motivation to tank for draft position until then. It’s either win or humiliation. As for Brissett, he’s twenty-nine, and on a one year 4.6M$ deal. So an opportunity to start in 2022, is an audition for his 2023.
A closer look at him reveals a 14 – 23 record as a starter for a “less than good” Colts team. It also reveals a career mark of 36 touchdowns against 17 interceptions, with another 13 scores rushing. So he can play. The issue with him has been that his opportunities have always been with crap teams.
Before anyone forgets, the Browns have a pretty good roster. They went 8 – 9 last year, in a division that was won by the 10 – 7 Bengals. Honestly, with the Steelers now grooming a rookie QB, all it would take for the Browns to win the AFC North, would be an injury to Bengals QB Joe Burrow, and the Ravens continuing to be predictable.
Two years ago, Cleveland went to Kansas City and lost by just five points, in the Divisional round of the 2020 playoffs. This is largely still that roster. If the Browns made the playoffs this year, and suddenly got hot… Hey, weirder has happened.
My question is this: What if the Browns fuck up and succeed? What would the Browns do next year, if Brissett gets the Browns to The Show this year? What if they actually win it behind him? Where would that leave Watson? Remember, this team has no first rounder next year, so this year they have no reason not to go all in. Their QB needs this season, to possibly still have a career in a year. So a lot is at stake.
I don’t have any speculation for what the Browns might do. While the factors for a deep playoff run are all easily possible, it’s their aligning, all at the right time, that is highly unlikely. That said, a competent QB, plus a good roster, and a tight division, equals a chance.
Dear Browns fans, your team could very well stumble towards greatness in 2022. Just kidding! All it would take is a little errant luck, and your DeShaun Watson shit-show, could become a full-blown shit-nado. I hope you all brought a towel, because it’s almost time for you to…
This is going to sound weird to Browns fans, but did you know that most NFL fan bases look forward to football season? C’mon over. Let’s get you out of that abusive relationship. What’s happening to you, is not normal.
WE’VE been told that WR Quez Watkins is going to be working in the Slot, a lot more this year. In an earlier article, I said that we should use Watkins and RB Kenneth Gainwellas a one-two punch in the Slot. Picture it: We pound teams with 12 Personnel, then we make them chase either raw speed, or short area shiftiness. Nasty! Just plain nasty!
When the Eagles won the Super Bowl following the 2017 season, they did it behind WR Torrey Smith taking the top off of defenses, and allowing room for TE Zach Ertz to work underneath. Having to keep a Safety over Ertz, made it easier to get balls downfield, into WR Alshon Jeffrey’s insane catch radius. Having to cover all of that, is what opened up the room for the run game to pile up 2115 yards (132 ypg).
For the next couple of years, the Eagles tried to replicate that formula, first replacing Smith with WR Mike Wallace (2018), who was hurt two games into the season; and then re-uniting with WR DeSean Jackson (2019), who was hurt three games into the season. (Note: It’s not that the formula didn’t work, it’s that we didn’t have the horses to run it.)
Well, now we have a new formula, and I personally LOVE it! I’ve been saying since DJax was here, that we should put our burner in the Slot, not on the Outside. This one move does more than the old formula does, and it does it much more simply.
Watkins in the Slot running “Go” and clear-out routes right down the middle, means that a defense in Single-high coverage, can offer no help to their CB’s. That frequently puts WR Devonta Smith and WR A.J. Brown in one-on-one coverage, on opposite sides of the field. Imagine a CB alone in space with Brown, after the catch. Damned near animal cruelty, right?
Watkins in the Slot running “Go” and clear-out routes right down the middle, means that a defense in Cover Two, has to squeeze the Safeties together, instead of letting them drift out to help the CB’s. (See above result.) This means committing extra resources to coverage. So now instead of four back deep, they have five back deep.
Five back deep, means a six man front. It means they’re in Nickel. Ladies and gentlemen, have you met our run game? Give a hand to RB Miles Sanders! And playing the part of Charlie Mack, I give you LT Jordan Mailata, and LG Landon Dickerson!
Oh wait! We haven’t even started on TE Dallas Goedert on 15 yard Outs, after play-action. Watkins in the Slot will also force teams to declare more coverages, making pre-snap reads easier for QB Jalen Hurts. (This is where spreading the Offense really gets it’s mojo workin’.) All of which is done easily with Watkins being a speed merchant.
I hear you ask: How dangerous can a speed merchant really be? I mentioned Torrey Smith earlier. In 2017 he played in all 16 games, catching just 36 balls for 430 yards (11.9) and just 2 TD’s. Small numbers, right? However, it was his presence that made him the catalyst for the entire Offense. The loss of that, was 75% of why the Eagles looked so disjointed in 2018 and 2019.
Folks, people are predicting us to win the East, but I… I might already be looking past that. I’m telling you, if Hurts can read defenses better in 2022, the entire NFC (not just the East), is on notice. Rams, Bucs, Green Bay AT Lambeau. All of that. We want ALL the smoke.
COUPLE weeks ago, I said that we should pass on adding fading stars like CB James Bradberry and instead, focus on developing our young players. In fact, Bradberry was one of two stars that I specifically named in that article! For the record, I still think sticking with youth was the way to go. However, since Bradberry is an Eagle now, I want to make a few things crystal clear.
First, James Bradberry, welcome to the Eagles. You said that our Defensive Line is what tempted you to come here. That is our gift to you. That being said, to him who much is given, much is expected.
Second, in itself signing Bradberry isn’t a bad move. He’s been a good player in this league for years now, and he has active hands, in terms of denying the ball to receivers. He gave up a ton of yards in 2021, but I’m not concerned that he can’t play anymore. I’m concerned that his starting, means our youth doesn’t gain much experience. That will keep us from developing that youth, and hurt our long term picture.
Third, I’ve spent this offseason banging a pot to draw attention to CB Zech McPhearson. He was a fourth round pick in last year’s Draft, and spent 2021 learning, and rightfully sitting behind CB Steven Nelson, whom we brought in on a one year deal. Giving a player a one year deal, basically says that that player isn’t in the long term picture. This ostensibly, put McPhearson in the on-deck circle.
So when Nelson was allowed to walk, my thinking was “BOOM! The future is now”. Instead, we inked another player (Bradberry) to a one year deal. It would be one thing if we’d added a CB in this years Draft; but since we didn’t, that makes it seem like McPhearson is still our top young guy waiting in the wings. So why the delay? Long term it makes no sense at all.
My only guess is that the Front Office sees something about the team that says “PARADE!” this year. If that’s the case, there are a couple of key things we’ll need to power through first. But I’ll wait to discuss that, in this year’s upcoming ‘THE 12’ series.
LOOK at that! The Bengals have converted their field from grass to mattresses. Not only has it already improved the look of their stadium, but their owner thinks it will extend, or at least not keep shortening, the lifespan of QB Joe Burrow. The team is also asking the league to allow Burrow to wear several pillows duct taped to his helmet. It’s either that or spend the money to protect him.
Steelers LB T.J. Watt increased his sack total for the third straight year in a row. Due to notching 16.5 sacks, he continues to be above criticism. This is despite sporting a missed tackle percentage of over 10 percent, in every season of his career. If only there were some sort of clue about how to fix the defense…
The carriage turned back into a pumpkin, and the horses turned back into rats, as the Browns returned to reality and went 3 – 14 this year.
Somewhere out there is a desperate Browns fan, carrying a clear, platform shoe, and searching for Princess Odell.
Ravens K Justin Tucker’s rap/opera album “Come Kick It Wit’ Me” shot to the top of the Italian pop music charts this year. Sighting how he didn’t need this “NFL boll sheed no mo’ ”, Tucker announced his retirement. After which he flipped the double-bird, as he rode away barefoot in a kiddie pool, which was situated in the bed of an El Camino. There was no water in the pool.
Raise your hand if you predicted the Lions going 14 – 3, getting a first round bye, and winning it all.
“It’s better than drinkable water!” was how one fan described the Detroit Lions Super Bowl parade. Thousands of fans came out to celebrate and cheer their team, not long before tens of thousands of muggers descended on both the fans and the players. The car-jacking of a parade float would be the low-point of the day, and perhaps the lowest in all of American history.
After a just barely failing to qualify for a wild card berth, a 9 – 8 Minnesota team is still unsure if they’re a bad team that frequently overachieves, or a good team that chokes at the slightest sign of true relevance.
As Chicago continues their search for a passer, Bears QB Justin Fields was traded to Buffalo for QB Mitch Trubisky. One Chicago football fan said “Eh, it’s good we went an’got a veteran quarterback now, ‘cause Fields played like a rookie. I mean, why din’t he just look at what Tommy Bradley does in Tampa, then come right out and copy exactly what he saw?How hard could dat be, right?? Anyways, Trubisky sounds like a good Polish name. It feels familiar. I like it.”
After another implosion in the second round of the playoffs, QB Aaron Rodgers is continuing to act like he’s doing Packers fans a favor, by allowing them to overpay him millions more than he’s ever truly deserved. Perhaps Green Bay should have double checked for a discount.
After not allowing fans in to SoFi Stadium at all in 2020, the LA Chargers opened their arms to their loyal, fickle, frequently disinterested fan base. In a stadium that seats 70,000, the Chargers drew an average of 28,000 to their games. Somewhere the ghost of Al Davis is laughing so hard, that he’s gasping for air.
Despite being heavily favored by odds-makers, the Raiders Super Bowl loss continues to confound people. Suddenly retired Raider QB Derek Carr, could not be reached for comment as he was out on his yacht. The gold one, not the one made entirely out of stacks of money. His agent Pete Rose also declined comment.
The Chiefs were expected to have a more difficult road, but no one thought they’d miss the playoffs. As a disciplinary measure for yet another violation of team player conduct policy, Andy Reid ate WR Tyreek Hill, prior to the final game of the preseason. When asked if he regretted having eaten the WR, coach Reid responded “Listen, you’d expect athlete meat to be tough, but Tyreek, he was something special. Didn’t even need a marinade. Wait. What was the question?”
The Denver Broncos are trying to decide whether to screw over either another old RB, or another young QB, during this offseason. Either way, it will most certainly cripple the team’s offense next year. Their fans of course, will again feel like they’ve been stabbed directly in the face, when the team spends their top pick on a WR.
The 49ers, who paid QB Jimmy Garoppolo 26M$ to sit and watch rookie QB Trey Lance have an up and down year, will still owe Garoppolo 27M$ next year. Worse yet, they likely have to endure at least one more year with him on the roster, as he won’t waive his no-trade clause. That is, unless he gets an offer he likes, from a team that won’t mind him throwing with his eyes closed. Still, the defense was good enough for the team to post a 10 – 7 record.
Seattle RB Rashaad Penny was surprised to learn that the team is declining to pick up his 5th year option. Penny was selected in the first round of the 2018 Draft, but didn’t get his first start until 2021. In that game, he had one carry for 8 broken tackles, and a 63 yard touchdown. It also resulted in a torn hamstring which ended his season. Tore it right off the bone! When asked whether Penny is “a bust”, GM John Schneider, shrieked, burst into tears, and attempted to answer questions. He however, couldn’t be understood through his high-pitched, racking sobs. Seattle predictably bowed out in the second round of the playoffs.
No matter how much talent Arizona adds, sub .500 is the best God will allow. In other news, QB Kyler Murray married the dancing hula girl on the dash board of J.J. Watt’s car.
It was a beautiful ceremony. When Murray stood on a chair to kiss his bride, there wasn’t a dry eye to be seen, according to Stevie Wonder, who was told that he was in attendance.
The Rams added a ton of weapons in the offseason, but neglected to help their offensive line. This led to QB Matt Stafford being lost for the year in Week Two, and also left the run game stuck in neutral since the preseason. Give you one guess what they’ll be taking with their first round pick this year. Oh wait! They won’t have a first rounder this year. Or next year. Dopes.
After partially tearing the meniscus in his right knee in training camp, it was quickly thought by both QB Carson Wentz and the Colts front office, that the smartest thing would be for Carson to just rest, relax and let that tear take 3 to 5 months to heal on its own. While the Eagles paid him 34 million dollars.
Though Wentz played only half the season, taking just under 50% of the snaps, the Colts almost rallied to make the playoffs, going 7 – 1 with Wentz starting. Pretty smart trade. Especially since Wentz didn’t count against the Colts 2021 salary cap.
On a roster that features RB’s David Johnson, Mark Ingram, and Phillip Lindsay, you probably would never guess who led the team in rushing yards. It was Texans QB Tyrod Taylor, who spent the season running for his goddamned life. In the hopes of not suffering another punctured lung, Taylor racked up a career best 836 yards. Meanwhile, R. Kelly is alleging that QB Deshaun Watson inappropriately… (No. I’m going to draw a line here. Gotta preserve a little class.)
WE WILL SUCK YOUR DICK!!!! That’s the Jaguars latest promotion to get people to come to the stadium. Lord knows no one wants to watch them play football. Look at all the upgrades! Super-fast WiFi, an impressive sound system, they put in a party deck, a pool… They’ve done everything they can to avoid improving the team. Now the team has executives slobbing knobs. And they’re all so bad at it! C’mon folks! More spit, less teeth. This is basic stuff!
The Titans were the favorite to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl, until QB Ryan Tannehill tore his Achilles in Week One, and QB DeShone Kizer “Soze” stepped in and killed the whole team. Kizer continued the 0 – 15 magic that he had in Cleveland, going 0 – 7 before being benched for QB Logan Woodside… who then promptly tore his ACL, meaning that Kizer would come back out, and finish the season. Kizer went 0 – 15 (again), even though he also lost the two games started by other QB’s.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have increased their reward for information about head coach Bruce Arian’s whereabouts. Police are looking at DT Ndamukong Suh as a person of interest because, well… Because he’s fucking Ndamukong Suh! I mean come on!
With the retirement of QB Drew Brees last year, the Saints 6 – 11 season shows that they have gone back to being the hapless, talent squandering, afterthoughts that have historically always been. Fans are taking it well, saying that their relevance was nice while it lasted.
The Falcons 5 – 12 record was predicted immediately after they traded WR Julio Jones to Tennessee last year. For a team with no defense, keeping Jones to go with their other weapons, would have made outscoring opponents easy. But Atlanta said “Fuck that!” and thew their easy button out of a tenth floor window. Nowwww look at them. Just look. SMDH.
Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey spent this season being 25 going on 35. Bouncing back from an injury, while being the focal point of an offense, with a QB trying to re-hab himself from having been a Jet, did no favors for McCaffrey. His 663 yards in 10 starts, will likely have the Panthers spending yet another late round draft pick on a RB, who is ill-suited to ever being a starter. Or a contributor. These guys just can’t learn.
The NFL finally made good on its threat to banish the Jets, who can no longer be referred to, as a “professional” football team. As the NCAA has not yet agreed to take them, the Jets have no official league designation yet. The CFL hasn’t offered a verbal or written response as to whether the Jets can seek asylum in Canada. However, the CFL’s pursed lips and side-eye, have offered a very strong hint about where they stand on the issue.
Bill Belichick has coached his last game for the Patriots. He is expected to take the job in Tampa Bay, after coach Bruce Arians suddenly went missing. QB Tom Brady is telling Congress that they cannot search his house.
Buffalo WR and anti-vaxxer Cole Beasley is recovering from the Delta variant of Covid-19. Luckily his access to the best medical treatment that NFL money can buy, put the odds for a full recovery, heavily in his favor. His wife Krystin however, was not an NFL employee. Get vaccinated.
After having changed his name from Jomal Wiltz to Jamal Perry in 2020, the IRS caught up with the Dolphins CB anyway. This goes to show, if you’re going to change your name, do it before you’re on television at least 17 times a year.
For the second year in a row, Washington won 7 games! While their 8 losses are fewer than the 9 from a year ago, their 2 ties offer little in the way of optimism. Because of that, there is currently a split in their fan base. Half of their fans argue that the 7 – 8 – 2 team, is an 8 – 8 team (“Because two half wins, equals one whole one. Dummy!”). Meanwhile, other half of their fan base sees the team as 7 – 8, and thus improved over 7 – 9 (“Because thems two ties cancels theyselves out. Stupid!”). Either way, the rest of us just see a degenerate, losing team that missed the playoffs.
The giants didn’t have to depend on a division rival to get to the playoffs this year, because they used StubHub! They got a great price, on great seats, and watched the Lions model the sort of franchise New York hopes to become. Maybe next year the giants won’t go 5 – 12, and they’ll qualify for a playoff berth on their own. Hey! The giants in the playoffs! Look at me! I got jokes!
The Cowboys went 12 – 5 and easily won their division. With a 5,000 yard passer, a 1,700 yard rusher, and THREE 1,000 yard receivers, right out of the gate, Dallas took the NFL by storm. Which is why their first round dismantling in the playoffs was so surprising. The 41 – 6 walloping at the hands of QB Joe Flacco, will forever be known in NFL circles as “The Dall-Ass Whipping”.
The Carson Wentz trade didn’t yield the Eagles a first round pick, and QB Jalen Hurtswas so bad that he was benched by Week Nine. Also, Head Coach Nick Sirianni retiring mid-season to join a professional Rochambeau league, didn’t surprise as many people as you’d think.
After which the hapless Eagles managed to rally and stumble into the playoffs as a wild card. At which point they utterly shelled the Cowboys 41 – 6, before losing to Detroit in the second round.
DISCLAIMER: If you use this article for gambling or betting purposes, you’re an idiot and your money is safer with other people. Don’t be dunce. Stop gambling on sports.
TRADING TE Zach Ertz is stupid. Let me get that on the record right now. I don’t want anybody saying later this season, that I was ever unclear in my language about the move. Trading him, cutting him, doesn’t matter. Ertz being removed from this roster, this year is unwise. Some will argue that 12M$ is too much to spend on an aging player, with diminishing skills.
Okay. Let’s look at that.
His 12M$ cap hit is a large one. That said, the Front Office has already found a way to fit it under our 2021 salary cap. In fact, according to Over The Cap the Eagles are currently 6.4M$ under the cap. So affording Ertz has already been done. That means we can stop trying to make this about money. How about age?
Ertz turns 31 in November. While that is an advanced age for this position, it’s not ancient or even the most advanced age. Current TE’s Travis Kelce, Rob Gronkowski, Jimmy Graham, and Kyle Rudolph are all older than Ertz, (and most Eagles fans would be happy to add any of those).
People bring up age, because they want to either infer, or say outright, that older players will be less durable, miss more games, and thus be less reliable. Last season at age 30, Ertz missed 5 games, due to injury. It was the first time he ever played in fewer than 14 games in a season.
Before suggesting that the misses are tied to Ertz’s age, consider the following: Back-up TE Dallas Goedert, whom the Front Office (and fans) expect to replace Ertz, also missed 5 games with injury. Goedert is 26 years old. Injuries, not age, determines injuries. So quit letting yourself be told, that one means the other.
Well what about Ertz’s diminishing skills? What diminishing skills? Based off of what, the 2020 season?? You go and point out even one, just one, Eagles starter who didn’t take a step backwards in 2020.
Don’t say RB Miles Sanders. He ran for more yards, but his receiving production took a nose dive, and his yards from scrimmage were dramatically down in 2020. Yes, WR Travis Fulgham emerged, but A) He wasn’t a 2019 Eagles starter, and B) He faded badly, down 2020’s stretch. A pandemic of bad offense infected the whole roster. Including Goedert. Including Ertz.
Finally, what on Earth would we be replacing him with? Aside from Ertz and Goedert, the Eagles have five TE’s on the roster. Only one has ever caught a ball in an actual NFL game. One is converting from WR. Another one is converting from QB.
TE Caleb Wilson shows a little promise, and Jason Croom would be a decent #3, but the step down at TE would be huge, if Ertz goes in 2021.
Then again, Head Coach Nick Sirianni isn’t Doug Pederson. He may not like using 12 Personnel (1RB, 2TE), as much as the guy who won a Super Bowl with it, while playing 32 year old TE Brent Celekfor a third of the offensive snaps. (Hey! Isn’t 32 older than 31?)
If Sirianni is looking to feature a Slot WR more, then he won’t be using two TE’s very much, and won’t need to have two good ones. That doesn’t help us with talented depth for red zone situations, or insurance vs injury, but you can’t have it all right?
Except right now, we still have Ertz, and his presence is a luxury. Moving him now would be stupid. Just stupid.
WE’RE not a good team right now. To not even be .500 this deep into the season, is a solid indicator that we probably aren’t getting home-field throughout. Understand, the Eagles are a bad team in 2020, but they are not a bad organization. So fixing this will be a lot easier than you might think. In fact, I wrote about that, this February in THE 12.
Before I launch into it, let me hit the qualifiers, just to get them out of the way:
YES, we are still at the head of the division.
YES, it’s likely that with an infusion of talented veterans, this team will improve at least a little.
YES, if this team hits the postseason, it’s possible that we could get hot.
So, by no means am I throwing in the towel. I plan to be here, loud and obnoxious, every damned week with a smile. Truth is, I’ll take a bad Eagles season over no season at all. It sure beats having to endure yet another loss of something we all enjoy. Even in a bad season, I’m glad I get to root for my Eagles.
So how can I say that this will be easy to fix? First let’s identify the problem. Remember going into this season, we saw a silver lining to our constant injury situation. That silver lining was how much experience our deep bench, and Practice Squad were getting. Lots of experience up and own the roster. In small doses, that IS a great thing.
The issue is how often those players get extended snaps, and even starts. That’s what been necessary for the Eagles. On no other team would CB Avonte Maddox be a starter. Or LB’s Alex Singleton or Duke Riley. Or G’s Sua Opetaand Nate Herbig. Or T’s Jack Driscoll and Matt Pryor. That’s not to say that all of those players are trash, but none of them was penciled in start here, prior to an injury.
You wouldn’t permanently hold a metal bolt with a plastic nut. You wouldn’t long-term drive your car on a doughnut.
Yet this is what the Eagles have had to do for years now. While mixing high quality with lesser quality may buy you a little time, done over a long period, things break down much faster than if you’d mixed good with good.
People don’t compare this 2020 Eagles team against 2019’s or 2018’s. People keep comparing this Eagles team against the 2017 edition. Especially QB Carson Wentz. Given the amount of erosion that has occurred all over this team, the O-Line, RB’s, coaching staff, that’s hardly fair. It also explains what you’re seeing out there.
Now let’s start talking how to fix this. You’ve heard that iron sharpens iron. Imagine if you’re WR Jalen Reagor trying to nail down a starting spot in Training Camp, and your competition is J.J. Arcega-Whiteside. Remember how Ron Jaworski said that Reagor isn’t a disciplined route runner? Didn’t TE Dallas Clark seem to play better, when he was trying to get snaps from TEZach Ertz?
The solution is simple. Establish a primary back-up, and play favorites. Don’t split snaps evenly behind the starters. Nix heavy rotation at CB, LB, WR. Starve them for snaps.Make the back-ups fight for snaps.
Again, I said all this back in February, in the article ‘STARVE THE KIDS’ . Understand, there is little chance that this can be successfully implemented during the 2020 season. And that’s fine. A bad year fits the Eagles salary cap plans better, anyway.
For example, if WR’s DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery utterly ball-out during the playoffs; or LT Jason Peters makes a few blocks that get him on Sports Center, fans will revolt when they get cut. Especially if we get hot and win the Super Bowl. So this year being a train-wreck is right on schedule.
If Head Coach Doug Pederson wants to see more passion from this team. If he wants to see more of a sense of urgency. If he wants a greater sense of focus. Then he needs to breed a sense of competition, and foster an atmosphere of hunger that drives his roster. That said, Starving The Kids is an easy fix to improve the quality of the 2021 roster. Not just that, but it can be done for free.
HEY Eagles fans, wanna see a magic trick? You know, it’s bad enough that GM Howie Roseman seems to have taken a contract out on his own team. It’s bad enough that we had to watch roster holes go unfilled, or filled with lower ranked players. But worse than all of that, is rival fans making fun of us, for selecting a QB in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft.
That magic trick, that I mentioned? I’m going to show you how to wipe that smile, right off of our rivals faces.
They clown us because QB Carson Wentz is “always injured” right? Well isn’t drafting QB Jalen Hurts a solid way of addressing that in a long-term fashion? QB Nate Sudfeld was just signed to a one year deal, meaning that this year Hurts gets to sit, and only do package work. For 2020 that’s likely how it goes, even if Wentz gets injured again.
Odds are that Hurts signs a three year deal in a month or so. Then he barely plays in 2020. He becomes the #2 in 2021, and even if he plays, he likely doesn’t set the world on fire. Year 2022 he enters as the #2 again, and the Eagles get to offer him an extension or trade him.
If he’s traded, we get something we value higher than him. If we re-sign him, it won’t break the bank, and is still inside of Wentz’s cap friendly deal, which runs through 2024. If Hurts is re-signed to a 4 or 5 year deal in 2022, then it gives the Eagles some negotiating leverage with Wentz in 2024. Unless Wentz has earned himself a second ring.
This means, as of today, we’re solid at QB through 2026. Can the Redskins say that? Can the Cowboys? The giants certainly hope that they can. We on the other hand, have an MVP caliber starter with a Super Bowl ring, who’s backed-up by a proven winner.
Granted, we Eagles fans may have wanted something else, but right now at QB, what we have on tap is better quality than some our rival’s top shelf. And if they’re reading this, you can bet that they’re not smiling.