• J.J. Watt is absurdly good. 26 tackles, 8.5 sacks, 8 batted passes. Here’s how that compares with the rest of the NFC East:
- Eagles: 7 sacks, 2 batted passes
- Cowboys: 9 sacks, 1 batted pass
- Redskins: 8 sacks, 8 batted passes
- Giants: 8 sacks, 7 batted passes
The Cowboys and Redskins each had a shot to draft Watt in the 2011 draft. At the beginning of the day, the Cowboys were on the board at 9. The Redskins were to draft 10th. Watt went to Houston at 11. I thought the Redskins’ draft in 2011 was very good overall, and they got a great player at 16 in Ryan Kerrigan after trading down. The Cowboys, meanwhile, took Tyron Smith, a player who I still think was a good and extremely necessary pick.
Eagles fans lament the 2010 draft, when they could have had Jason Pierre-Paul, and instead took Brandon Graham. Graham is still far from a bust and has played well this season, but there will always be the “What could have been?” Cowboys and Redskins fans may find the same level of irritation watching J.J. Watt over the next decade.
• There’s a fairly new website called Sports on Earth. One of their writers is Mike Tanier, who is most notable for writing for Football Outsiders since 2005. Great football writer. He’s going to be writing about the entire NFL there, but my guess is that he’ll slant toward the NFC East quite a bit since he lives in NJ and has been to all of Philly’s home games in the press box (including the preseason) so far this year. His page on their site is definitely worth checking out every day.
• According to PFF, opposing QBs have a 128.0 rating when they target Morris Claiborne. In fairness, Claiborne has only been targeted 14 times so far. Here are the number of targets per game so far for the NFC East CBs with at least 9 targets:
• Interesting matchups across the board in the NFC East. The headliner is the Giants at the Niners in an NFC Championship Game rematch. Fantastic matchup – I’ll be dedicating a lot of time looking into that one later this week. The Cowboys have a tough road game in Baltimore. The Eagles face a desperate 1-3 Lions team coming off their bye week. The Redskins host a very surprising 4-1 Vikings team. Great games all around. This is a very pivotal week in the NFC East, in my opinion.
• Alfred Morris is pretty much halfway to 1000 yards after just 5 games. He has 491 rushing yards on 100 carries. He can run people over, but also has some surprising agility. Great find by the Skins in the 6th round.
• Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromarties are tied for the NFL lead among CBs with 4 penalties a piece. Doug Free and Tyron Smith were formerly tied for the NFL lead among offensive tackles with 6 penalties a piece. After their bye week, they were overtaken by Gabe Carimi and two Seahawks.
• The Eagles’ special teams units have been bad so far this year, but not anywhere close to as bad as the next team they’ll face. The Lions have given up 4 return TDs after just 4 games.
• Do you like my film breakdowns? Yes? Sweet, thanks. That’s nice of you to say. I appreciate it. However, they’re junk in comparison to the film breakdowns being done by Derek from IgglesBlog. Outstanding stuff here.
I’ve still only seen bits and pieces of the Redskins and Giants games this weekend. Apologies for that. The drive home from Pittsburgh wasted a lot of time on Monday, and I’ve been busy with some non-football stuff. I’ll be back with my thoughts on those games at some point this week as well as previews of this exciting week coming up.