Week 6 NFC East picks

Last week – 0-2.

On the season – 7-8.  Oof.

Bills @ Giants

I’m not going to pretend like I’m some sort of expert on the Buffalo Bills, but I’ll say this for that team… They play smart, they play hard, and they have a running back that I might be tempted to call a Top 5 NFL back.  Fred Jackson is a mudder.  He’s not fast, and you’re not going to see a ton of youtube highlight reel jukes from him.  But he runs with power, he has excellent vision, and he’s an utter bitch to tackle.  When the Bills get him out in space in the passing game, and you’re trying to tackle him with corners or safeties… good luck.  He’s up to 480 rushing yards on the season on 90 carries (5.3 YPC), and has caught 19 passes for 232 (a very impressive 12.2 YPC for a RB).  He’s on pace for 2278 yards from scrimmage.  At 30 years of age, he’s definitely a late bloomer, and a guy that’s very under the radar, but I was thoroughly impressed with his play last week, even with the knowledge that the Eagles haven’t really been able to tackle anybody this season.

Meanwhile, the Giants haven’t been able to stop the run.  Here are what opposing running backs have done to them the past 3 weeks:

Player Attempts Yards YPC TD
LeSean McCoy 24 128 5.3 1
Beanie Wells 27 138 5.1 3
Marshawn Lynch 12 98 8.2 1

The Bills can play, and in my opinion, are the better team, and a bad matchup for the G Men.  Bills hand the Giants their 2nd consecutive home loss.

Cowboys @ Patriots

Tony Romo and the Cowboys have had 2 weeks to think about their meltdown last week against the Lions, and now have the unenviable task of going to Massachusetts to face Tom Brady.  The Pats lead the league in passing yards, with an absurd 366.6 per game.  They also give up the most passing yards in the NFL, an almost as absurd 326.6 per game.  Returning from injury for the first time this season will be Orlando Scandrick.  The thinking is that Scandrick will be tasked with trying to shut down 2011 phenom Wes Welker.  Welker already has 740 yards and 5 TDs this season on 45 catches, which puts him on pace for 144-2368-16.  Personally, I think Rob Ryan would be crazy to even consider leaving Scandrick alone on Welker for an entire afternoon – Expect to see a ton of different looks from the Cowboys’ D.  The other dynamic feature the Pats bring to the table are their 2 young pass catching TEs, Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez.  I would imagine that Sean Lee and Gerald Sensabaugh will get the responsibility of matching up with those two all day.

The combined average score of Pats games this year has been 56.8.  Like most teams that face the Pats, I don’t think the Cowboys will be able to score enough to keep up with Tom Brady and Co.  Pats win a typical shootout.

Eagles @ Redskins

Obviously, this is the big game in the NFC East this week.  The Redskins find themselves with an unexpectedly amazing opportunity to bury the Eagles after just Week 6, and possibly their only head coach of the last decade+.

If the Skins win, they go up 3.5 games on Philly with a head-to-head win under their belts. The Skins would be 2-1 in the division, with another head-to-head advantage over the next biggest threat after Philly (the Giants, in my opinion). It would basically be the Skins’ division to win after just 6 weeks.

If the Skins lose, however, the lead is down to 1.5 with the head-to head in favor of Philly, with the Eagles very much alive again.  Philly gets to head into their desperately needed BYE week feeling good.  They’d get a breather to figure some things out, before returning to 3 straight very winnable home games against the Cowboys, Bears, and Cardinals.

This is potentially THE game that might ultimately decide the division winner.

In much the same way the Giants beat the Bills in the 1991 Super Bowl and the Eagles Week 2 this season, the Skins would be wise to play like they're the underdogs this Sunday.

I think the Skins will look to take a page out of the Giants book this Sunday.  The Giants went with a nickle look for the majority of their Week 2 matchup against the Eagles, and made sure the Eagles’ speedy receivers didn’t get behind them.  They basically dared the Eagles run, which they did, effectively.  However, when the Eagles entered the red zone, the D tightened up, and was able to capitalize on mistakes.  That strategy was very reminiscent of the Giants’ Super Bowl win a couple decades ago against the Bills – Bill Belichick and Bill Parcells feared the Bills’ K Gun passing attack with Jim Kelly, and dared the Bills to run the ball, even if the Bills had a great back in Thurman Thomas.  The Bills obliged and Thomas had a big day, but the Giants limited the big plays, pounded the ball on offense, and eventually wore down the Bills’ D.

The Skins’ defense has been great this season, but they’re not going to be able to stop the Eagles’ offense for 60 minutes.  It’s not happening.  Meanwhile, the Skins’ offense simply doesn’t have enough firepower to keep up, even with the Eagles disaster of a defense this season.  The Skins need to play like they’re the underdog, regardless of what the standings say.  Weather the storm, capitalize on mistakes.

The objective for the Eagles is so simple and yet so complex – Stop playing dunce football.

If the Eagles can limit their turnovers to 2 or less, they win.  Unfortunately for Philly, however, you don’t just flip a switch and start playing smart football.  The Eagles have looked lethargic, lazy, rattled, entitled, and outright stupid this season.  I don’t see that changing overnight. Skins by a FG.


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  4. BBI says:

    Giants go 14-2. NAILED IT!

    1. DerfDiggy says:

      “Personally, if I think a writer is putting stuff out there they don’t truly believe, I stop reading them. Because really, why would anyone read someone that’s just throwing out bullshit?”

      Yea..but I like ya Jimmy.
      You’re an Eagles fan through and through…there’s bias there. I wasn’t saying you’re not knowledgeable…Cause you are, and I enjoy your writing. I’ve just seen(and others) an awful lot of Redskins gushing from you. When overall, they’ve proven to be heading in the right direction, but aren’t exactly world beaters yet. And maybe this is MY blind homer’isms coming into play, but they haven’t looked like a better team then the Boys. They have a single quality win over the Giants, and struggled to put away a Kolb led team that suddenly can’t get seem to find the end zone, and a 7pt win over arguably the worst team in the league in the Rams(Which is interesting…Would you take Luck if you just drafted Bradford if you have the first pick in the draft!??!).
      You can obviously only play who’s on your schedule….Skins just don’t look the part…yet.

  5. Tron says:

    Redskins blowout incoming…

    Go Flyers

  6. Immynimmy says:

    If there’s one week…ONE WEEK for the Eagles to turn it around, it’s this Sunday. If the Bills and the Pats play like they have been all year, they should be able to put a big L in the loss column to the Giants and Cowboys respectively. And then in the other matchup, the Eagles take on the division leaders. This week is uber important. I have faith in the Pats beating the Cowboys, I have faith in the Bills beating the Giants…let’s just hope that the Eagles can follow through and we can have the ultimate NFC East results: A loss for Dallas, a loss for NY, a loss for Washington, and a win for the Eagles…which hopefully will be the first of a steak.

    1. Steve D. says:

      Yum, steak sounds really good right now!

      1. Tracer Bullet says:

        Can we start the steak at LB?

        1. Gary says:

          A cow might actually clog up some running lanes…

  7. DerfDiggy says:

    Oh Jimmy…still not a believer in the Cowboys…..The Division will be a fight between Dallas and the Skins. It’s over Prime, even if the Eagles win this weekend.

    1. It’s far from over if Philly wins.

      As for your boys, it’s not that I think they’re a bad team. I just don’t think they’re a complete team. On paper, you look at the offense and see Miles Austin, Dez Bryant, Tony Romo, Jason Witten, etc. And then on D you see names like DeMarcus Ware and Jay Ratliff, and maybe we’re even close to adding Sean Lee to that mix. But there are just so many things to pick at on this team – No depth anywhere on the roster, a below average secondary, an extremely young and mistake-prone OL (although I believe they’re set up for the long run there), the same cluster of guys that just can’t ever stay healthy, major game-changing errors, etc. No meat and potatoes. Just sizzle. And really, the Eagles aren’t much different at this point.

      1. DerfDiggy says:

        “And really, the Eagles aren’t much different at this point.”

        And yet you’re willing to give them the benefit of the doubt of winning the division? Even at 1-4(or 2-4 if they win). Does not compute…

        Basically…both teams are good to great if healthy…they lack depth, but the amount of “talent” can easily propel them to the top of the division. Of course you’re an Eagles fan so I expect you to give them the benefit of the doubt. The Cowboys just look like the best team in the NFC East with “good” Tony, which I’m to believe will show up more times than not. The Defense is playing lights out(including the 3 bullies), the OL is playing decently, and will continue to improve, and they’re returning some key injuries.

        1. “And yet you’re willing to give them the benefit of the doubt of winning the division? Even at 1-4(or 2-4 if they win). Does not compute…”

          Eagles and Cowboys are all sizzle no steak, but the Eagles are sizzlier (more talented) than the Cowboys.

        2. Gary says:

          To be fair, he didn’t say the Eagles would win the division if they win this week, he said they’d still be in the race.

          I agree that Dallas looks like the best team in the division right now though.

          1. DerfDiggy says:

            “This is potentially THE game that might ultimately decide the division winner.”

            I pretty much took that as…”Redskins lose…and it gives the Eagles an inside track to the Division”.

            Which is just ridiculous to me…..Cowboys will have won a division game with major injuries, and 2 losses to AFC opponents(assuming a L to NE), which ultimately wouldn’t matter if they can take care of business in the division.

            It just reeks of blind homer’ism, and really that’s OK. I understand it. It’s Jimmy’s blog, he can write what he wants, but the issues with the Cowboys at this point in the season PALE in comparison with the issues with the Eagles. The Defense looks like TRASH and it doesn’t exactly look to get better, you can’t undermine coaching. Rob Ryan has done wonders turning around a D that was near the bottom last year….The OL Coach turned DC has done wonders turning around a D that was near the top last year(I think, at least Talent wise they’re near the top).

            Dallas has looked the best in the division overall…despite its issues(Bad Romo). To say otherwise is just bewildering to me. I just don’t understand the dismissing of them by Jimmy. Let’s be serious here, i’m confused.

            1. Tron says:

              I agree with this post, the cowboys have had a pretty tough schedule as well. The worst team they faced was probably the Jets and they could feasibly be 4-0.

              They still suck though, Go Birds.

            2. 1) Definitely didn’t say it was down to just the Skins and Eagles. Just said that it could POTENTIALLY be the game that ultimately decides the the NFC East champ. If the Skins win this game, then the division, there’s a pretty good chance people will look back at this game as a biggie. Conversely, if the Eagles win this game and then the division, this will have obviously been an enormous game for them. That’s 2 of the 4 teams that can win the division, right? As a fan of a team that wasn’t mentioned, the mind tends to wander into “Hey, what about us” territory, but by no means did I mean to imply the Giants or Cowboys have no shot.

              2) I’ve been absolutely destroying the Eagles here. Destroying them. And even in this post, I called them “lethargic, lazy, rattled, entitled, and outright stupid.” Not sure where you’re getting the homerism vibes.

              3) On the entire body of work for the season, the Cowboys have not looked like the best team, in my opinion. To be “bewildered” by that is a little extreme. The Redskins have looked like the best team to me so far. Sure, their offense isn’t anything to look at, but their D is by far and away (and it’s not even close) the best in the division through 5 weeks.

              1. DerfDiggy says:

                1) Again…the way it read seemed to dismiss the Boys/Giants. If that wasn’t implied…my apologies.

                2) See point 1, aka above.

                3) I don’t see it. Again I’ve commented and seen others comment before that you’ve kind’ve taken this whole “Redskins are the team I hate least in the NFC East so I’ll heap praise upon them to not look biased” mantra. It’s just weird.
                The Cowboys have been a better defense this season, allowed less rushing yards, less total yards, and just a simple eye test shows they’re better. Redskins are better in total points allowed, but Romo’s mistakes obviously change that stat drastically. They’ve had numerous injuries on Defense and are slowly getting healthy. They’ve had a harder strength of schedule, and beat the Skins head to head. The defense has played LIGHTS out for the most part…and will only get better as the year goes on and the schedule gets easier. Hell the boys have allowed what…60 something yards per game on the ground?!

                It’s close, and I can see someone going with the Skins defensively…but when looking at an overall team, the Boys have a better team offensively, and it’s close enough defensively that I think the edge goes to the Cowboys…

                Just my .02. I’ll cease and desist.

              2. But it’s not “close enough” defensively to give the Cowboys the edge.

                I look at the 2 DLs, and I’ll take the Skins, although it’s close.

                I look at the LBs… Skins.

                I look at the secondary… Skins.

                But hey, that’s my opinion. You want to form sone weird opinion that I praise the Redskins’ D because you think I dislike the Giants/Cowboys more? Do I have that right? It can’t be because I just think they’re really good?

                Personally, if I think a writer is putting stuff out there they don’t truly believe, I stop reading them. Because really, why would anyone read someone that’s just throwing out bullshit? You’re one of my better commenters here, derfy, but seriously… I’d rather be called a know-nothing hack than have someone imply that I’m writing stuff I don’t really believe.

            3. packimop says:

              Look at the offenses the Cowboys have played this year.

              49ers – not good
              Redskins – suck
              Jets – suck
              Detroit – only good offense and moved the ball when it mattered most.

              Just wait until this weekend when Dallas is hopeless in stopping the Patriots. Dallas has literally played no one and they deserve to be 1-3. 49ers gave them that game with Harbaugh’s stupid mistake not taking the 15 yard penalty on the field goal. Could have ran the clock at least another 2 minutes with 3 runs and kicked another field goal anyways.

              And don’t say that they could be 4-0, because there’s a distinct difference between giving the game away and having a game given to you.

              1. DerfDiggy says:


              2. KD says:

                Detroit moved the ball when it mattered most because Dallas’ secondary captain wasn’t available due toconcussion-like symptoms and the Lions braintrust had almost 35 consecutive minutes to dissect the Cowboys D. Very strange circumstances surrounded the defensive breakdowns in the 4th quarter.

                As for some of what Derf was saying Jimmy…

                This is potentially THE game that might ultimately decide the division winner

                is a bit different than This is POTENTIALLY the game that might… just a bit, seeing how you chose the emphasis. 😀

                I’m interested to know how you consider the Giants more of a threat than the Cowboys, other than the fact that saying they’re better makes the Eagles loss to them more palatable.

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