9 random thoughts on the NFC East

Rob Ryan from his days in Cleveland, perhaps in the midst of losing a mulligan game.

1. An article by David Moore of SportsDay DFW caught my attention this morning, in which Rob Ryan was asked how he does with mulligans.  The article was posed to Ryan obviously because the Cowboys’ next two opponents are the Eagles and Giants, two teams that tore Ryan’s defense apart to the tune of a combined 71 points and 1005 yards.

Ryan’s response:

“In golf, not good, but in football games, pretty good.”

Being the dork that I am, I figured I’d go back and look at Ryan’s history to see if that statement was true.  I took a look at all the times a Rob Ryan coordinated defense lost the first matchup to a division rival, and how they did the second time around.  From 2004-2010, amazingly, in 21 possible games, Rob Ryan teams lost 19 “first matchups” against division rivals, which gave me an even better sample size than I had hoped for.

In the 19 “mulligan games,” Rob Ryan coached teams were 5-14 in the rematch, for a winning percentage of .263. If you’re an optimist, at least that’s an improvement over Ryan’s .095 winning percentage the first time he faced division opponents from 2004-2010.

2. Loved this tweet by Real Redskins’ Rich Tandler on the news that Matt Barkley was staying in school:

All I can say is if the #Redskins' near-term future is "screwed" by the decision of one 21-year-old, not much hope either way.
Rich Tandler

3. The amount of woofing back and forth between two average teams coming off embarrassing losses (you know who you are) is comical.

4. I’ve been looking at film of previous Cowboys-Eagles games.  The Cowboys ran that little WR screen twice in the first regular season matchup against Philly in 2009.  Burned them for 21 yards on 3rd and 9 the first time, and then 18 yards on 3rd and 14 later in the game.  They then used it effectively in the back-to-back shellackings of Philly in Week 17 and the first round of the playoffs that year.  They only tried it once in the first matchup this year, perhaps because the game got out of hand early.  I’m hoping to have a full post on their WR screen up later today.

5. I remember back in Week 1, Jets right tackle Wayne Hunter was abused by the Cowboys.  Various radio hosts on WFAN up here in the NYC area have been killing Hunter over the last three months for bad play.  I saw what they were talking about last Sunday against Philly.  He’ll likely see his fair share of matchups with Justin Tuck.  Tuck has been invisible all season, but he HAS TO show up tomorrow.  The Giants’ defense has been a disaster all season, and Hunter is a weak link that the Giants absolutely cannot afford not to take advantage of.

6. The Eagles defense is starting to play well.

7. Funny story from Mike Shanahan about his days in Denver when they had to face Jared Allen twice/year when Allen played for the Chiefs.  Apparently, Shanahan and Allen have hung out together in Vegas, and there’s even a picture of them together at Club Tao.

8. Mike Patterson was named the Eagles Ed Block Courage Award winner.  Two good choices from NFC East teams: Patterson, and Stephen Bowen of the Redskins.

9. The weather is freaking gorgeous today up here in North Jersey.  It’s a little after 9 AM on December 23rd, and we’re already up around 45 degrees here.  Should easily get up over 50 today.  It’s supposed to be great weather all weekend.  I think that favors the passing game of the Giants, whereas poor weather conditions favor the Jets’ ugly style of play.


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  7. brisulph says:

    Maybe Antrel should do some more impossible math

  8. WeNeedLinemen42 says:

    I was dubious about the Stephen Bowen signing. He got a huge deal for someone who had just showed “promise” as a back-up. However, although he hasn’t been totally consistant, he has put in some very good performances. To achieve what he has done this year, considering what has happened in his personal life, is incredible.

    I love the fact that Shanahan has brought in a lot of high character guys during the last couple of seasons and has got rid of anyone who wont make the effort to get better.

    1. Derf Diggy says:

      Why is Dante Fall still there?

  9. DerfDiggy says:

    Also, its kind if disingenuous to state that Rob Ryan was coaching those teams.he has a big moth and obviously deserves much of the backlash or scrutiny. A better indication would be to see how his defense played in comparison to the first game. its pretty hard to even draw any comparisons really, because you’d have to look at whether or not his defense played bad in the initial game they lost too.

    I’m nitpicking, but I don’t think that’s a valid measurement of a Mulligan, Jimmy.

    1. In the mulligan games, his defenses gave up 24.8 ppg.

      1. RogerPodacter says:

        how many ppg in the first matchup?

        1. Don’t know. It was probably worse, since they lost all of them.

          1. packimop says:


  10. DerfDiggy says:

    Rob Ryan will be the coach if the Philadelphia Eagles next year….if I say it enough, it will manifest itself.

  11. ameer says:

    I was desperately trying to cling to he Rob Ryan bandwagon but that all ended the moment Sexy Rexy led a 2 minute drill to tie the game, and its been downhill from there.

    Though I am interested in seeing what a good pass rushing DE or OLB could do to hide the secondary struggles, I’m not sure one will fall to the cowboys even if they miss the playoffs.

    I’m hoping for a solid free agent class.

  12. giants fan says:

    So embarrassed by the amount of trash talk coming out of the Giants this week. The way I see it, nothing good ever comes out of trash talk.

    1) Either your team sucks and you look comical doing it a-la the Giants this year.
    2) Or your team is good and you have no reason to trash talk because your play does all the talking for you.

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