Random notes from around the NFC East

• 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.


  1. dans105 says:

    As a ‘skins fan I’d love to have Watt anchoring the line for the next 12 years or so, but Kerrigan is a beast and is a nice consolation. Plus they turned that pick into several more late round picks.

  2. Jimmer says:

    Not sure how anyone in their right mind can say Graham is anything but a bust at this point. He has 3.5 sacks in 2+ seasons.

    1. Jimmy Kempski says:

      He was hurt for 1.5 of them, and has played well so far this season . All is far from lost at this point.

    2. brisulph says:

      He is like Beatty for the Giants (2nd round LT pick)… too hurt to get any sort of consistent read. I think Graham will end up being a good player for the Eagles, just like Beatty appears to be coming into his own.

  3. DerfDiggy says:

    Eagles fans think they’re draft picks are the greatest ever….and then they ignore the duds.

    1. I think every team has fans that do that. And I think every team has fans that think their draft picks generally suck.

  4. ct17 says:

    I thought the common belief among Eagles fans was that Brandon Graham is a future Hall of Famer, and JPP got lucky 16 times last year. In fact, that was the daily affirmation on BGN last year. Replacing 2010’s “graham is good enough, graham is smart enough, and once he returns from injury we’ll have the last laugh.”

  5. BBI says:

    It’s interesting that while the Giants’ secondary is basically laughable at this point, Prince Amukamara and Jayron Hosley have both been amongst the lowest targeted players in the East.

    I’d just want to know how much of that is their great play versus how much of that was just targeting Corey Webster or someone else that much more.

    1. horatius says:

      Corey’s getting matchup against Number 1s and I suspect that he’s doing so poorly, opposing teams need not even target the other two corners to make their offense work.

  6. Stan says:

    The Titans drafted Jake Locker and the Jaguars selected Blaine Gabbert. At least Smith and Kerrigan are decent players. Who do you like better Suh or Watt?

    1. Jimmy Kempski says:

      I’ll take Watt over Suh without any hesitation.

    2. mjoedgaard says:

      Suh could become better if he had his head straight (honestly I would love him with Washburn)

  7. Jonzee says:

    Jimmy, any chance we see Curry instead of Hunt in the next few games?

    1. mjoedgaard says:

      Any chance we bench Darell “I commit atleast 1 Personal foul per game” Tapp?

      1. Ha, both good questions. I have no idea what the coaches think of Curry. I thought Curry looked good in camp/preseason, but was clearly the guy to leave inactive when the season began. The Tapp personal foul was extraordinarily ticky tack, but still dumb.

        Very disappointed in Hunt so far. I thought he was going to be a force this season, but his snaps are steadily decreasing. He hasn’t been a factor at all.

        1. mjoedgaard says:

          Still Tapp is a veteran guy. I mean he commited 2-3 personal fouls in the pre season aswell.

          1. corn on the Kolb says:

            He is making himself untradeable with this performance with those fouls. Conspiracy Theory, he doesn’t wasn’t to leave Philadelphia

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