Totally wrong answers listed below:
“Hi, I’m Doug Pederson, and I’ve totally been thrust into a situation where I can’t win” – Said the guy who will be resubmitting his resume by 2019. But nevermind all that, we’ll get to that later.
NEW YORK GIANTS
How they will make the postseason:
They’ve got the tools necessary to run this division, and honestly, it shouldn’t be that close. Offensively Eli Manning has his weapons: Victor Cruz is back healthy again, Odell Beckham Jr. has another year under his belt and DeWayne Harris will have the opportunity to emerge as a slot threat now that Reuben Randle has moved on to Philly. Ben McAdoo takes over as Head Coach, and his most difficult task will be to keep the flow of the offense moving. As I’ve stated before, when a “stud” Offensive Coordinator transitions into a Head Coaching role, he has to make sure that either a) whoever is calling plays is on the same page as him or b) that he can balance calling plays and being a Head Coach. Again, something that’s very difficult to do. More on that later.
Why they’ll miss the postseason:
Eli goes full bad Eli and not even ODB and a revived Cruz can save him. We know Eli has his tendencies, the moments where he decides he’s Brett Favre and can gun any throw anytime he likes. We also know that Eli has a tendency to turn the ball over even when he’s not being a new age Brett Favre. This we know. For the most part, Eli holds it together, but he’ll have that stretch or two where he’ll throw some ugly passes, very ugly passes. Sort of like the Washington re-match last year. He was terrible. Awful. Combine that with losing Robert Ayers, one of the defense’s top producers, and you’re looking at a defense that’s got to find a new groove. It’s either all going to go well for New York, or all go really, really, really, really bad.
WASHINGTON (I DEFINITELY THINK HOGS WOULD BE A BETTER NICKNAME)S
Will make the postseason if:
Kirk Cousins becomes the second coming of Mark Brunell and comes out playing the same way he did the back half of the season….which was kind of phenomenal. In the last 8 games of the season Washington finished with a 6-2 record. During that stretch, which started with Cousins’s 4 TD performance against the Saints (20/25 324 yards), Cousins threw for over 2,000 yards, 19 TDs (2 INTs) and completed 74.6% of his passes. His WORST performance during that time frame was the blowout against Carolina where he still managed a decent game/performance (1 of his 2 interceptions in the final stretch was in that game). In short, the guy we mocked as barely being able to do the job in September and October, became one of the most reliable guys in the league by the end of November. He’s also got one of the more underrated sets of skill players at his disposal: DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon are as reliable of a 1-2 punch at WR that you can get and Jordan Reed emerged as one of the league’s best Tight Ends. The only question mark offensively would be whether or not Matt Jones can sustain himself the whole season. Their Front 7 on the defensive front is a force to be reckoned with. They can pressure you inside, rush the quarterback, and stop the run. Basically, they can cover the basics, and that’s really all they’ll need in a weak division. If they can compete with a healthy Cowboys team, they’ll be right back in the postseason.
Will miss the postseason if:
Kirk Cousins falls down to Earth and plays like he did in September. Average or below-average QB play won’t help Matt Jones and the weapons they have won’t mean much of anything. They don’t have the type of defense that can bail out lackluster offensive performances consistently throughout the course of the season. So the best way to sashay your way out of the playoffs is to produce jack squat offensively. No pressure Kirk.
[Ron’s note: You didn’t think I would let Ryan do this segment without offering my opinion about the Eagles, did you?]
How they will make the postseason
Well, with prayer. Lots and lots of prayer. New coach, new system, different philosophy. How is this a plus? Well…new coach, new system, different philosophy. Chip ruined Philly with an iron fist. If you weren’t down with the regime you were shipped out. Pederson is a disciple of Reid so he’s more of a player’s coach. His practices are more laid back. Players actually have something to play for now. The guys who thought they had no shot now have a chance to prove they can not only earn a roster spot, but could be a valuable contributor on this team. On offense, the options at receiver are bare once you get past Jordan Matthews, but expect Pederson to use lots of 2 TE sets. Ertz and Celek are salivating at this opportunity.
On the other side of the ball, this already underrated defense will be even better. It’s kind of hard to sustain any production when you’re on the field for 40 minutes but this will never be the case with Pederson’s slow burning, possession offense. Jim Schwartz defense have put up numbers everywhere he’s been and this defense will be no different. With the likes of Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham, Connor Barwin, Mychal Kendricks, and Malcolm Jenkins, the pieces are already in place. Toss in under the radar signings such as Rodney McLeod, Leodis McKelvin and Nigel Bradham and the defense could finally have the depth in needs to brave a 16 game season.
The NFC East is always whacky but we do know one thing: Every single year, the division is for the taking.
[Ryan: with a healthy Bradford or a semi-competent Chase Daniel, they actually have a LEGIT shot]
Why they’ll miss the postseason
If we know anything about Philadelphia as a sports town, we know that they’re a patient, loving fanbase who embra…Ok, I’m lying. Philly fans are bloodhounds. Which is why, at all costs, Lurie, Roseman, and Pederson must ignore ALL chatter and keep this guy on the bench.
You called Carson Wentz the QB of the future, well let him be. You brought Sam back as a contingency plan, well let him brave the waters for these 2 years. If Sam goes down, heaven forbids, put in Chase Daniel. He gets paid way too much to ride pine. When Sam screws up, which he will, ignore the chants for Wentz. Tossing him into an offense with new terminology and little to no playmakers will crush his ego. Those chants for Carson Wentz will turn into boos. Brandon Brooks was signed away from the Texans, but with an aging Jason Peters, we still don’t know how good (or terrible) this O-line is. Let young Wentz soak everything in while a team is built around him.
[Ryan: hey guys, you know what makes complete and total sense? Mortgage your whole future by trading your draft picks to the Browns for Carson Wentz and then play dumb by acting like you have every intention to start Sam Bradford and wonder why people are laughing at you!]
I say all that knowing that I expect Wentz to be the starter after the Week 5 bye week smh.
Will make the postseason if:
Tony Romo plays.
Will miss the postseason if:
Tony Romo plays less than 12 games.