Ranking the NFC East’s offensive/defensive units

Rank Unit Comment
1 Eagles Offense Per Reuben Frank: The Eagles have netted 2,650 yards of offense in just six games, which puts them on pace for 7,066 yards over a full 16-game season. Only one team has ever had more yards: The 2000 Rams with Kurt Warner, Isaac Bruce, Torry Holt and Marshall Faulk at the height of their “Greatest Show on Turf” netted 7,075 yards.
2 Redskins Defense The Redskins are only giving up 16.6 points per game, good for 3rd best in the NFL (the Ravens have given up 14.2, and the Niners have given up 16.2), despite an offense that is prone to turnovers.
3 Giants Offense Eli Manning’s numbers this season – 125 of 196 (63.8%), 1778 yards (a whopping 9.07 YPA), 11 TD, 5 INT, 101.1 rating. Before the season, if you had asked me if I’d rather have Eli Manning or Tony Romo, I’d have answered Romo, emphatically. But Eli is far outplaying Romo this season, and it’s not even close. Throw in the fact that the Giants, in addition to their regular playmakers are getting some serious play out of two very unexpected contributors, Victor Cruz and Jake Ballard, and this offense, in my opinion, is clearly better than the Cowboys’ O.
4 Cowboys Defense All offseason, I made snarky little jokes about Rob Ryan installing a defense that was going to attack the line of scrimmage (what defense doesn’t attck the line of scrimmage?) and that the defense was going to be aggressive (again, what DC is going to say ‘We’re going to be passive?’). But Ryan has done a great job. The 121 points they’ve allowed don’t look so good on paper, but when you consider 21 of those are on a couple Tony Romo Pick 6’s and a blocked punt, 100 (20 ppg) is very good in today’s NFL. The defense was an outright disaster in 2010. Credit where credit is due – Ryan has been good for this team. However, they’re not closing. This unit couldn’t close against the Lions or the Pats, and even the Jets to a degree. As a result, they’re 2-3.
5 Cowboys Offense Tony Romo is as up and down as they come, and while Jason Witten remains a steady, awesome player, Dez Bryant has just 2 catches in the second halves of games this season and Miles Austin struggles to stay healthy. But my biggest concern for the Boys is that they simply can’t run the ball.
6 Giants Defense The Giants are actually somehow giving up more points per game than the Eagles. The offense is the reason this team is 3-3, er, 4-2.
7 Eagles Defense The Eagles’ D was atrocious during Philly’s 4 game losing streak, but nothing helps a struggling unit like the great Rex Grossman.
8 Redskins Offense We all saw it Sunday.

19 Comments

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  5. natalie imbrouglia says:

    Looks like you’ll need to adjust the Cowboys defense and running games up, and move the Redskins “D” down a peg or two. The team that, according to your thoroughly subjective chart, was already the most balanced in the NFC East now looks even harder to beat.

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  8. ATLEagle says:

    Someone running the Redskin’s D is really smart. After 20 points in the first half, I thought the Eagles were going to shred the low PPG average. Then I realized that TD,TD,FG,FG was a downhill trend. Putting up 0’s in the second half is a hell of an adjustment.

    1. Eagles Fan in Nola says:

      We were in prime position to score at least ten more points in the second half (Vick throwing the ball off the Olinemans helmit inside the RZ and Reid not letting Henery try a 50 yard FG on the 4th and 2 play definitely cost us). It was really our own mistakes though that cost us the points, not the Redskins defensive adjustments. You’re right to give them some credit for adjusting and slowing us down a bit, but I think the real issue was our turnovers/poor play-calling, which seems to have been the problem all year.

  9. Immynimmy says:

    Haha, I see what you did ther Jimmy, and I agree; The Giants had no right to come out of the Cardinals game with a ‘W’.

    1. giantsfan says:

      you know, except for those pesky things called rules

      1. Did Cruz give himself up, or did he think he was touched? Be honest.

        1. giantsfan says:

          Honestly, I think he went down and thinking the play was over he got up without making any attempt to move the ball forward.

          Now the rule: An official shall declare the ball dead and the down ended when a runner is out of bounds, or declares himself down by falling to the ground, or kneeling, and making no effort to advance.

          Based on the plain text of the rule, Cruz’s state of mind regarding whether or not he thought he was touched down is irrelevant. The only factor that the referees are supposed to consider is whether the receiver goes down and makes no attempt to move the ball forward.

          1. Kent says:

            By rule, the refs made the call. By history, they were dead wrong. That call has never been made before, and it shouldn’t be made. The Giants deserved to lose.

            1. giantsfan says:

              See the comment I left for Steve D. below!

      2. Immynimmy says:

        The rules for that situation are so ambiguous, that the NFL should feel ashamed, especially how it literally forced the result of the game. If that same thing happened to your team, you would be irate too, and it would be justified as well.

        1. giantsfan says:

          1) I don’t think the rule is ambiguous, maybe it gives the referee too much discretion to determine when a receiver has “declared himself down” but that’s an inherent problem with any rule that relies on adjudicative actors.

          2) Of course I would be upset, but I would also realize that Cruz clearly thought the play was over and that if I had gotten that call it would be just as much of a technicality as Cruz received, which is the one thing everyone seems to be ignoring here.

          1. Steve D. says:

            I think what you are ignoring is that (as Kent said above) this rule has never been applied this way in similar situations before. For example, the play where plaxico burress spiked the ball after falling to the ground and making no effort to advance was ruled a fumble because he was not touched.

            Before the giants got this call, I cannot remember a single time that this rule was applied in any situation other than a player kneeling or a defensive player falling to the ground and staying there after an interception at the end of the game.

            1. giantsfan says:

              1) Again, I think this point this harps back to whether or not the rule gives the referees too much discretion to determine when a receiver has “declared himself down” but that’s a problem that inherent to any rule that requires adjudicative actors to make a decision. Furthermore, it’s not as if the Arizona players knew that this rule existed, knew it “had never been applied this way” before and decided not to down Cruz on the off chance that he would voluntarily let go of the ball and give it back to them – in other words there’s no detrimental reliance argument here. In reality, both parties neglected to do something that they should have done. Cruz neglected to hand the ball to the referee to end the play and the Arizona defensive backs neglected to down Cruz when he fell to the ground. Given the fact that both parties were negligent, I don’t see why everyone is up in arms about the fact that the ball stayed with the team that already had possession.

              2) I don’t see how anyone can say with complete confidence that this rule has never been applied this way. First of all none of us can claim to know how each call in the history of the NFL since the existence of this rule has been made. Secondly, just because you’ve seen things that may look like this same situation in the past, that doesn’t mean that this rule was necessarily applicable in those circumstances – only that your (presumably untrained) eye thought it was. Since I’m not an NFL referee and you’re (presumably) not an NFL referee, it makes a lot more sense to let actual NFL referees determine whether or not this was the right call. Which they’ve come out and affirmed.

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