Redskins – A-
The Redskins have the best defense in the division, led by what I think is the 2nd best set of 3-4 LBs in the entire NFL. Aside from the Titans, Ravens, and Buccaneers (the Bucs have yet to play Week 4), the Skins have given up the least amount of points in the NFL, at 63. Meanwhile, the Giants have given up 87, and the Eagles and Cowboys have absolutely stunk, giving up 101 a piece (although the Cowboys offense gave up a few of those).
Oddly enough, I’ve actually picked the Skins to win in each of their first 4 games, so their early moderate success doesn’t come as a huge surprise to me. They’re 15th in passing yards, 12th rushing, and are 15th against the pass, 11th against the run. Those are respectable numbers that have been good enough to beat 3 out of 4 very beatable teams: the Giants, Cardinals, Cowboys, and Rams.
They have their bye week, and then a number of games that continue to be winnable: Eagles at home, @ Carolina, @ Buffalo, SF at home, @ Miami, home to the Cowboys, and then @ Seattle. By that point they’ll be 11 games deep into the season, and could be in great shape in the NFC East.
Bland team, but back to legitimacy. It’s an outstanding turnaround for an organization that was a disgrace in 2010.
Giants – B
Results are really what matter, and the standings won’t show that the Giants rightfully should be 2-2 after getting an utterly ridiculous call on what should have been a game-ending fumble against Arizona yesterday. The standings also don’t show that they were outplayed by perhaps the worst team in the NFL (the Rams), and they won’t show that they were thoroughly dominated in their loss to the Skins. Do I sound annoyed that the Giants are 3-1?
Give them credit though. They’ve weathered an absurd number of injuries and begin the second quarter with 3 home games against 3 teams they should beat: the Seahawks, the Bills, a bye, and then the Dolphins. If they take care of business, this team could be 6-1.
Cowboys – C
Week 1 – With 9 minutes to go in the 4th quarter and the Cowboys up 7, the Cowboys had the ball 3rd and G from the Jets’ 2 yard line. A score, any score, would make it a 2-score game, and make it extremely difficult for the Jets to come back. Then Tony Romo tried to do too much, fumbled, and their lead remained at 7. The Jets would eventually tie the game. Later, with a minute left and the score tied, Romo would throw a totally ill-advised pass that was picked off by Darrelle Revis and return to the Cowboys’ 34 yard line. FG, game.
Week 4 – 3rd quarter, up 27-3. Here were the following Cowboys’ offensive series:
– Drive 1 – 1 play – Tony Romo pick 6 to Bobby Carpenter.
– Drive 2 – 7 plays – Tony Romo pick 6 to Chris Houston.
– Drive 3 – 10 plays, FG.
– Drive 4 – 3 and out.
– Drive 5 – 3 and out.
– Drive 6 – 1 play – Interception to Stephen Tulloch. Lions TD on ensuing drive.
– Drive 7 – 8 plays, getting as deep as the Detroit 45, turnover on downs, game.
That would be 2 games in which Tony Romo played great for a half, and then basically pissed the game away. It just never seems to end.
Eagles – F-
You can list all the crazy facts you want. A few my Dad sent me:
– 5 straight home losses.
– Gave up a 20 point lead to the team ranked dead last in offense in the NFL.
– The score in the 4th quarter over the past three games has been: Opponent – 36, Eagles – 0.
– 9 running plays to a RB… with a 20 point lead.
– Alex Smith QB rating of 112.
And you can find as many as you’d like on Reuben Frank’s twitter account:
– Eagles are first NFL team with 1700 yards through 4 games AND a losing record since the 1983 Chargers.
– Eagles’ 25.5 first downs per game thru 4 games is third-most in NFL (Patriots 27.5, Chargers 25.8). Offense now #4 in NFL @ 435 yds per game
– Eagles had 9 INTs after 4 games in 2009 and 6 after 4 gms in ’10. They have 2 INTs after 4 gms in 2011 – their 4th-fewest ever after 4 games
– Eagles have blown more 4Q leads under Juan (0-3) than in 2 years under Sean McDermott (16-2 leading going into 4Q). Also: 75-12 under Jim.
– 4th time in Eagles history they’ve lost after leading by 17 or more points at halftime & 2nd time they’ve lost after gaining 510+ yards.
– 49ers’ 442 yards are their most in SEVEN YEARS … since they had 448 vs. Cards on Oct. 10, 2004. Tim Rattay threw for 417 that day.
– This is 2nd time since 1987 Eagles have allowed 100 or more rushing yards in each of their first four games.
– This is first time in 51 years an opposing RB has rushed for 85 or more yards in each of Eagles’ first four games.
– Last time the 49ers trailed by 17 or more at halftime and won was against the Saints in 1980.
– Last time Eagles failed to score in 3 consecutive fourth quarters was first 3 games of 1999 — Andy Reid’s first three games as head coach.
Crazy. Andy Reid’s post-game intro to his press conference:
“Absolutely terrible job by myself and my football team today.” said head coach Andy Reid .”When you have the lead in the National Football League, you build on it and you continue to score points when given the opportunity. In all areas we were terrible today. We had a lot of yards, but we didn’t punch it in, and we were just 2-for-7 in the red zone. Defensively, we gave up three scoring drives in the second half. Our young kicker [Alex Henery] has got to figure it out too, just like everybody else on our football team. When you have opportunities to score points, you score points.”
Nonsense. Really, it all boils down to one thing – The defense is horrid. Sure, Ronnie Brown made one of the dumbest plays I’ve ever seen. Sure, the kicker missed 2 easy kicks. Sure, DeSean Jackson is dropping passes he should catch. Sure, Jeremy Maclin fumbled as the the Eagles were driving for the go ahead score Week 4 and dropped an easy pass Week 2, again, when the O was driving for the winning score. Sure, Michael Vick holds the ball for an eternity and is getting hit way, waaay too much to last an entire season. Sure, the red zone offense have been ineffective. Those things all matter. But really, the bottom line, again, is that the defense is just flat out disgusting.
Those comments echo the sentiments of Derek from IgglesBlog, who was apparently so mad after the game that he popped his head out of retirement just call for Juan Castillo’s head. And then again. Can’t say I disagree.