10 random thoughts on the NFC East

Resist your urges Danny.

1) The Redskins will pick 6th in the NFL draft.  They have 8 picks.  The Cowboys will draft 14th.  They have their full slate of picks, no more, no less.  The Eagles will draft 15th.  They have 10 picks, which includes a couple 2’s and a couple 4’s.  The Giants are still alive.  No need to worry yet about their draft.

2) The order of finish in the NFC East was: Giants, Eagles, Cowboys, Redskins.  Next season, in addition to the divisional games, the NFC East will play the NFC South and the AFC North.  Tough schedules all around.  Each NFC East team will also play one team from the NFC North and one team from the NFC West.  The Giants will get the Packers and 49ers.  The Eagles will get the Lions and Cardinals.  The Cowboys will get the Seahawks and Bears.  The Redskins will get the Vikings and Rams.

3) Eli Manning was stellar last night.  24 of 33 for 346, 3 TD’s, and no picks.  I’d have to go back and look at the tape, but of the 9 incompletions he had, it seemed like about 5 of them were good decisions to throw the ball away instead of forcing something that wasn’t there.

4) I liked the moves the Redskins made this past offseason.  I think for the most part their new additions worked out.  They had a draft class of 12 players, and a nice handful of them were contributors this season.  Stephen Bowen was good.  Tim Hightower played really well before he got hurt.  Barry Cofield was a bit of a weird fit, but he was definitely an upgrade from what the Skins had on their DL a year ago.  If you can get yourself to ignore the awesome season Carlos Rogers had on San Fran, Josh Wilson had a very solid season.  Even some of the afterthought signings contributed.  Jabar Gaffney had a nice season as the 2nd WR, and OJ Atogwe was good enough in a league where bad safety play is an epidemic.  Those were all nice additions.  Not a lot of flash.  Just good, solid players.

The Skins have a long way to go.  They’re not going to be serious contenders in 2012.  Not without a QB.  It’ll be interesting to see if they continue to stay the path of patient building, or if they give into the temptation of immediate gratification and add to the list of mistakes like Jeff George, Deion Sanders, Bruce Smith, Mark Carrier, Jeremiah Trotter, Renaldo Wynn, Randy Thomas, David Patten, Adam Archuleta, Laveranues Coles, Mark Brunell, Brandon Lloyd, Jason Taylor, Antwaan Randle El, Fred Smoot, Albert Haynesworth, DeAngelo Hall, Derrick Dockery, Donovan McNabb, etc etc etc.

5) A large number of Cowboy defenders probably played their last games with Dallas yesterday.  Terence Newman got picked on by everyone down the stretch.  I don’t know if he was dinged up, or if his play just accelerated sharply this season, but he had a huge target on him the second half of the season.  And his poor play wasn’t just in pass coverage.  His tackling effort was non-existent last night.  It’s never good when unathletic lumbering white guys are hurdling you as you halfheartedly dive at their ankles.  He won’t be back.  Keith Brooking and Bradie James will both be gone, and they may find that no other teams will be interested in them either.  Both players were major liabilities this season.  Abram Elam is a free agent.  I don’t think he did anything this year to make the Cowboys feel like they have to retain him.  Anthony Spencer is a guy I talked about earlier in the week.  I don’t think he’ll be back.  Neither will Alan Ball.  Neither will Frank Walker.  Even if the Cowboys are trimming the fat, that’s a lot of turnover for one defense. Not good.

6) Alex Henery set the all-time record for accuracy for a rookie kicker, making 88% of his kicks.  If you take out the 63 yarder he missed in Week 2, he made 92% of his kicks.  I like Alex Henery.  He missed 2 easy FGs against the Niners in a game the Eagles lost by a point.  After the game he stood at his locker and answered every question the media had for him.  He could have easily slipped out of the locker room without talking to anybody.  I mean, it’s not like a kicker really has to take a shower after the game.  But he took his post-game beating after a bad day like a man.  That impressed me.  The Eagles had a great kicker for a decade.  They might have another one for the next decade.

7) Rob Ryan has now been a defensive coordinator in the NFL for 8 seasons.  None of those teams have won a division.  None of those teams have even been to the playoffs.  In fact, none of those teams have even had a winning record.

8) What the hell was NBC doing piping in the salsa music after Victor Cruz scored.  Don’t.  Want.  I want to watch football.  I’m not tuning in to watch Faith Hill’s opening song.  I don’t ever want to seee Frank Caliendo do unfunny bits about the Ryan brothers.  I don’t want to hear Chris Berman’s schtick of giving 1960’s pop culture reference nicknames to players.  But at least that stuff isn’t going on DURING THE GAME.  Piping in salsa music?  During the game?  Really?  This isn’t WWE, jackasses.  Cut that shit out.  Now.

9) The Eagles point differential on the season was +68.  Unfortunately, their turnover differential was -14. That pretty much sums up their season.

10) Congrats to the Giants.  I had them pegged as a 7-win team.  They beat that by 2 and won the division.  It’s now a new season.

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  5. Scott says:

    I heard the salsa thing from the other room and was like “Cruz must’ve scored”. Still, no. Just no.

    On a side note what was Henery’s longest kick? Because I’ve been hearing people say that hes just been taking all of them from 40 yards or less

    1. Gary says:

      He hit a 51-yarder against Dallas 2 weeks ago. That’s his only from 50+ but he’s had 4 in the 40-49 range.

  6. Jason-E says:

    Wow. Rob Ryan has another season with a terrible defense and all I’m hearing is how, “it’s not Rob’s fault, it’s the players.” horseshit.

    1. Derf Diggy says:

      At the end of the day…(and this isn’t a defense of Rob Ryan)….

      The players on that side of the ball suck. Wade Phillips is a helluva DC….he said the same thing once fired that Rob is saying…The players have to execute…and that’s after the son of bum defended and deflected blame for these players.

      I think the Dallas Defense needs a HUGE injection of talent…because outside of Ware, and Lee…and maybe Rat and Jenkins…I can’t point to a single player that I keep if I’m looking towards the next 3-5 years of the franchise.

  7. Dallassucks says:

    “It’s never good when unathletic lumbering white guys are hurdling you as you halfheartedly dive at their ankles.”

    What is this supposed to mean? It’s always politically OK to make this statement right? As if there are no unathletic lumbering black guys. If this had been a black athlete carrying the ball you would never have made this statement. You probably would have said “what a poor tackle”. Do you mean to say that a black athlete should be embarrassed because he couldn’t tackle a white athlete? Leave race out of it. Accept the fact that it is ok to believe that there are good white athletes too.

    1. I try to infuse a little comedy into my writing. “Unathletic lumbering white guys,” to me, is funny. My humor isn’t always going to be everyone else’s humor, an that’s fine. But being robotic in my writing isn’t any fun for me.

      1. Derf Diggy says:

        Somebody woke up with a case of the negative nancy’s this morning….

        Keep up the good work Jimmy, it’s going to be a long offseason:(

      2. Tracer Bullet says:

        ““Unathletic lumbering white guys” is not only funny, it’s redundant. POW!

  8. […] did 10 random thoughts this morning, but figured I’d keep […]

  9. ubrab says:

    Wouldn’t shock me to have Shanahan trying to go all-in on a QB, whether it’s Andrew Luck or RGIII next draft. IMO the smart thing to do would be to draft multiple players (focus on OL) and roll the dice on a QB at 8. (Note, am I the only one not 100% convinced that Andrew Luck is the next great thing ? I like his athleticism and intangibles, but I’m not uber impressed by his arm).

    On another topic, congrats for BTB Jimmy: it has become one of my favorite RSS feed, I just wished you could write more (including more uncle Jimmy time).

    1. Thanks. Much appreciated. I was averaging 2-3/day for a while, but I’m down to about 1/day lately. Still going to be writing a lot during the offseason. Typically, content is way down during the offseason, because some writers cover more than one sport, and there’s “less to write about” (something I disagree with). But that won’t happen here. Should be going strong through the offseason, which will be great this year not having to preface every article with “Assuming the lockout ends.” And we’ll have more Uncle Jimmy time this week.

  10. BBI says:

    I thought the salsa music was coming from the stadium….?

    1. giants fan says:

      They always play salsa music in the meadowlands after cruz scores, so maybe you’re right.

    2. Rick says:

      I had the same thought.

    3. Some guy on twitter had a way of knowing that NBC piped it in. I know that’s not exactly a bulletproof statement, haha, but it’s my understanding that it was NBC.

      1. bbi says:

        gotcha. I have nobody to believe but you, I suppose haha.

  11. RogerPodacter says:

    i thought the salsa music was hilarious.

  12. Anders says:

    I think if the Eagles just had a +0 turnover differential, they could have been a 12 win team this year.

    1. deg0ey says:

      I agree. And the turnover differential can’t really be blamed on Castillo. Granted the D didn’t turn the ball over as many times as in previous years (24 this season compared to 34 last year) but the offense giving up 25 INTs compared to 13 from last year (and that’s not even including the fumbles!) – Clearly issues on both sides there…

  13. Reggie says:

    You’re probably right about all the Cowboys that won’t be back next year. And you’re also right that it’s a lot to replace. But at least the new players, whoever they are, can’t be any worse.

  14. brisulph says:

    Yeah the Salsa music thing was more than a bit ridiculous.

    1. LEFT OVER TUNA says:

      not that big of a deal. they do the same thing with the cowboys and “The Boys Are Back In Town” & they play “Call Me The Bree(s)” pretty much every time the saints complete a pass.

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