NFC Obituary/Hierarchy with Week 6 in the books

Graveyard:

Freshly Dead:

Obituary:

For the second time this year, a team that was resting on their BYE week finds themselves in the obituaries.  The Seahawks have actually played better this year than I thought they would, but still… they’re just not a talented team, and at 2-3, they’re already 2.5 games behind the 5-1 49ers, who look like the real deal.  But wait, the Seahawks are the third NFC West team to land in the obits.  Do you really think the 49ers have the West wrapped up?  Yep, I do.  That defense out there is excellent, and the Niners don’t have that ONE guy that they absolutely CAN’T lose to injury (see Brady, Peyton, Brees, Vick, etc), or their season will be over.  That’s both a good thing for the Niners, and sort of a bad thing too.  But I digress, back to the Hawks.  The 2011 Seahawks… Bad enough where I feel comfortable killing them off after Week 6, good enough that they’re hurting their chances for the QB sweepstakes in the draft.

Heirarchy:

11 – Big W, but how impressive were they, really?

After starting the game with a 3-and-out, the Eagles had the following 4 drives, and looked like the rout was on:

Plays Yards Result
11 82 TD
10 72 TD
10 69 FG
8 41 FG

They wouldn’t score again, and largely on the strength of 4 bad decisions by Rex Grossman, the Eagles were able to eek out a season-surviving win.  Let’s be honest – If they play like they did in the second half on Sunday, they aren’t going to win many more games this season.  Their BYE comes at a perfect time.  The coaching staff gets a breather to regroup and figure some things out, while the Eagles get healthy (namely, Jason Peters and Trent Cole), and they’ll return to 3 straight home games, all against very beatable opponents (Cowboys, Bears, and Cardinals).  In the Andy Reid era, the Eagles are undefeated after a BYE week (12-0 in the regular season, and an extra 3-0 in the playoffs).

With the Pats driving and a gimpy Matt Light at LT, arguably the league's best defender didn't get so much as a whiff of Tom Brady.

10 – Let’s give the D some credit.

The Patriots, by game, total yards on O:

– Week 1 @ Miami – 622

– Week 2 vs San Diego – 504

– Week 3 @ Buffalo – 495

– Week 4 @ Oakland – 409

– Week 5 vs NYJ – 446

– Week 6 vs Dallas through the first 57:30 or so – 291

And then the Pats drove 80 yards in 2:09 for the win.  Gotta close.

9 – Stock plummeting.

I still really believe in that D, as the Skins have given up 16.6 points per game, good for 3rd best in the NFL behind only the 49ers (16.2) and the Ravens (14.2). But it’s pretty simple – If you don’t have a good QB (and the Skins don’t have anything close), you’re not going anywhere unless your defense is the ’85 Bears or the ’00 Ravens.  Obviously, the Skins’ D isn’t that good.

8 – Bleh.

The Falcons were out-gained by the Panthers at home, but still picked up the W and moved to within a game of the Bucs and Saints for the NFC South lead.  Big game in Detroit this week.  Let’s see what’chu got in a hostile environment, Matty.

7 – Such a weird team.

It’s crazy how this team can look so bad one week (9 false start penalties in Detroit) and look so good the next (39-10 shellacking of the hapless Vikings)

No, not you Eli. I think you've played well this season.

Stealing my own answer from my little side-gig at The Washington Post, during a chat, a reader asked “Are the Giants the worst division leader in the NFL?”

Well:

Better than the Packers? No.

Better than the Saints? No.

Better than the Niners? No.

Better than the Patriots? No.

Better than the Ravens? No.

Better than the Chargers? No.

Better than the Titans? Ah… got one.  The NFC East leader is better than ONE division leader.  Sweet!  Of course, they’re not better than the 2nd place team in that division (the Texans), but whatever.

5 – Wait, what was I saying about the Bears playing horrible one week, then great the next?

Two weeks ago, 48-3 loss to the Niners.  Then this week, they beat the Saints?  Really?

4 – U mad?

3 – Removed from the 2 spot for the first time

Think the Eagles’ D has been bad? The Saints have given up more points (151) than Philly (145).

Aldon Smith

Start believing, people.

This is an awesome defense.  I had Ryan Kerrigan earmarked as the Defensive ROY.  He better start looking over his shoulder at Aldon Smith (5.5 sacks).

I know that people will continue to say, “But… Alex Smith.”  And I hear that.  But to be fair, here are Smith’s numbers on the season – 100 of 158 (63.3%), 1,090 yards, 8 TDs, 2 INT.  Yards are low, but the completion % is high, and he’s not making mistakes.  That’s all this team needs him to do.

1 – Still the best

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  7. Number5 says:

    How can you jump on the 49ners but not the Lions???

    1. I’m on board with the Lions, but you’re right, took me longer. Love the Niners D – Might be the best D in the NFC.

  8. CarverM says:

    If the ‘Skins had Alex Smith through 5 games, we’d be 5-0. I’ve never thought Alex Smith was as bad as people made him out to be, but Harbaugh is working miracles with this guy. Amazing.

  9. brisulph says:

    Giants get one more easy-ish game from Miami… then the pain begins. If they are really any good, they will be able to handle some of those nasty road contests coming up (ie NE, SF, etc.).

    1. Eli has been good. If he continues to play well, I’ll think they’ll end up right around 9-7 or so, which will probably be good enough to win the division, as long as some of those 5 upcoming wins come against the right teams.

      1. brisulph says:

        I think the 49ers game will tell the tale of the Giants… win or lose a really close, well played contest, they might have enough to take the division. Play poorly, and I think it sets the table for the usual second half swoon.

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