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.
“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:
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.
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.