Analyzing the NFC
It’s officially Dallas Sucks week ladies and gentleman! After a week without Eagles football, our Super Bowl champions return this week in primetime to take on their NFC East rivals. Without the Eagles playing, Week nine in the NFL was a relaxing one. No stress of watching an Eagles game. Just relaxing and watching football. And it doesn’t hurt that everything kind of went our way around the league.
Eagles bye week mood.
Trade for Golden Tate ✅
Cowboys Lose ✅
Redskins Lose ✅
— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) November 6, 2018
What the bye week did give us, however, is a little bit of insight into the rest of the NFC and who is holding the power at this point in time. Bye weeks are great for not only analyzing the rest of the division but also the entire conference. Here are a few things to love and hate about the NFC after the Eagles bye week.
Thing to hate #1: The Carolina Panthers are a good football team
We saw glimpses of the Panthers’ talents a few weeks back during that unspeakable game at the Linc. The Panthers have a lot of good weapons on offense and as long as the defense, mainly Luke Kuechly, stays healthy, they are a good football team. As long as the Saints continue on their current path, the best the Panthers can hope for is a wild card spot. Therefore, there is a really good chance that the Eagles could see the Carolina Panthers again in the postseason.
.@Panthers @CameronNewton shows all athletes that it’s never too late to improve . Cam is getting better, and the players around him are helping. The MFC SOUTH is going to be so fun to watch the next 8 weeks. #BaldysBreakdowns pic.twitter.com/WiGUprpo6w
— Brian Baldinger (@BaldyNFL) November 6, 2018
We saw what the Eagles could do to the Panthers. They simply couldn’t close out the game. It would also be a great opportunity for revenge. But the Panthers can put up points. As long as Christian McCaffrey and Cam Newton are on the field, they are going to put up points. They now sit at 6-2 riding a three-game win streak. That might come to an end on Thursday as they take on the Pittsburgh Steelers. Both of the Panthers losses have come in away games, and the Steel City is not an easy place to snatch a win.
Thing to hate #2: We might also see Atlanta again…
The last two matchups with the Atlanta Falcons came down to the same play, in the same end zone, as time expired. That’s too close for my heart rate, blood pressure, anxiety, and comfort. Let’s just say, the Eagles are lucky they played the Falcons when they did. Atlanta is ROLLING. Granted, their most recent win came against a crumbling Redskins team. However, Atlanta was making the key plays on both sides of the ball. And now they just signed Bruce Irvin.
Former Raiders’ DE Bruce Irvin is signing a one-year deal with the Atlanta Falcons, per source.
Falcons plan to play Irvin on Sunday against the Browns.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 7, 2018
As I mentioned with the Panthers, as long as the Saints keep going in the direction they’re currently moving, the best Atlanta can hope for is a wildcard spot. There is a really good chance that for a second year, both wildcards come out of the NFC South division, depending on how the NFC North shakes out. So, there is a chance we see the Falcons in the playoffs AGAIN. That scares me just a little bit.
Thing to love #1: The Saints and the Rams are good, but not invincible
The Saints and the Rams matched up on Sunday and boy was it a fun game to watch. Both of these teams have extremely high powered offenses with above-average defenses. The defenses aren’t great, but they’re above average. The Saints have incredible weapons in Alvin Kamara, Michael Thomas, and even 37-year-old tight end Benjamin Watson. And of course, Drew Brees is one of the greatest quarterbacks the game has ever seen. Watching that game on Sunday just reiterated that fact. Their defense is good. They have good pieces, but they are not lockdown by any means.
The Rams also have playmakers like Todd Gurley, Cooper Kupp, Brandin Cooks, and more. But even though they paid a ridiculous amount of money for their defense, it is nowhere near lethal. Jared Goff can make plays but he is still a young quarterback that can make questionable decisions at times.
Unfortunately, the Eagles have to play both of these teams on the road. However, they are good, but it’s not impossible to beat either of these teams. The key? Putting up points. So far, scoring has not been the Eagles strong suit as it was last season. Hopefully with the addition of Golden Tate and hopefully the return of Darren Sproles the offense can get on a roll starting this week and carry right over into New Orleans.
Thing to love #2: The Packers really are not a threat in the NFC
I said at the beginning of the season that the Packers getting Aaron Rodgers back would return right back to where they belong. On top. Boy, was I wrong. Rodgers is still doing Rodgers things, but the rest of the team is not at his level. The offensive line is abysmal and the defense is basically non-existent. They have some good young players who can make an impact in games, but right now they won’t be able to get to where they need to be. Right now, the Bears are sitting on top of the division, Minnesota is right behind them, and the Packers are in third with a 3-4-1 record. Unfortunately, that won’t be enough to even clinch a wildcard spot.
Thing to love #3: The Minnesota Vikings. Not a scary football team.
There’s no excuse for the way the Eagles played this team. They played the Vikings like a bunch of softies. This team is not scary. Kirk Cousins is not scary. Sure he might throw for 400 yards but he can’t make the plays that count. If we happen to see them again, the Eagles don’t lose that game twice. End of story. I know they won their game on Sunday against the Lions. But watching that game and the way the Vikings played at some points, I couldn’t figure out how the Eagles managed to lose that game.
That's always the issue with Kirk Cousins. Plays well. Puts up numbers. But makes the big mistakes.
— MarkMaske (@MarkMaske) October 29, 2018
Thing to love #4: The Redskins are NOT a good football team
Yikes does this team have some issues. They are now down a few offensive linemen, and Paul Richardson is lost for the season. Richardson had not been producing very much but that’s neither here nor there. The Redskins got absolutely thumped at home by the Atlanta Falcons 38-14. They are doing exactly what they do, which is start the season off well, and then plummet and will eventually end 8-8.
Full play of the Alex Smith hit herepic.twitter.com/lTT9GUHeED
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) November 4, 2018
I really can’t understand why they gave Alex Smith all of that money for the same exact caliber of play as Kirk Cousins. But whatever, the NFC East is now wide open for the Eagles and they get to play the Redskins at home on Monday Night Football on December 3. I can’t wait.
Thing to love #5: Dallas Sucks
I saved the best for last. The Dallas Cowboys are absolutely IMPLODING. It’s so beautiful to watch. Dak Prescott is terrible. Their defense is terrible. Shockingly Sean Lee hurt his hamstring again. Which obviously means the offense won’t perform because of that injury, according to the logic of Cowboys fans. Jason Garrett will just keep clapping away to a 3-13 season.
The Cowboys had the audacity to attempt their own version of the Philly Special last night…
It went the way almost all Cowboys football goes… terribly. ? pic.twitter.com/4GNebF8PwN
— Eagles Nation (5-6) (@PHLEaglesNation) November 7, 2018
What makes this even sweeter is all of the images and video clips of Jerry Jones upset in his little box and then committing to extending Dak. It really doesn’t get much more amazing than that.
— EROCK (@TheMightyEROCK) November 6, 2018
The Eagles have the chance to completely crush the Cowboys season on Sunday. They will be fresh off of the bye week, Sunday Night Football, against Dallas, at home. It doesn’t get any better.
How will the NFC shake out?
I think the NFC will be seeded as follows:
I think the Eagles will pull it together to win the NFC East. But it will be an interesting remainder of the season. We learned a lot about the rest of the NFC during the Eagles bye and it really gave us some insight into where the Eagles need to adjust to put themselves in good standing for playoffs. I know they can do it. They’re hopefully getting Sproles back this week, hopefully, Tim Jernigan can make his debut and the team can REALLY get rolling. Go Birds. Dallas Sucks.