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NFC BEast report: How did our rivals fare in Week 1

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 9:24 pm    Post subject: NFC BEast report: How did our rivals fare in Week 1 Reply with quote

We’re only one week into the season so any “trends” that we report are are pretty meaningless. Nevertheless Youth Jaylon Smith Jersey , we endeavor to give our loyal readers comprehensive coverage of all things Cowboys so today we take a look at the state of the NFC East. SummaryOpening week saw the division split their four games, with no head-to-head matchups. Washington looked the most impressive, scoring a convincing 24-6 victory over the Arizona Cardinals. Each of the rest of the teams in the division found themselves in ugly, defensive battles where the teams looked like they were shaking the rust off a long offseason. The most significant thing about the above table is that Philadelphia and Washington won their games while Dallas and New York lost theirs. It’s been noted by some that early games in the NFL’s regular season now serve as preseason for many teams, with players getting their first exposure to real NFL action. Thus, results are very important (after all, there’s only sixteen games in a season) but performances shouldn’t be given too much weight. Similarly, statistics and rankings mean little at this time of year but still, they’re fun to check out:Offensively we see Dallas, New York and Philadelphia really struggled to move the ball (each ranking in the bottom ten of the league).Washington, however, put up over 400 yards against the Cardinals. Really, all you need to know about the offenses this last week are the current quarterback rankings for each:Alex Smith of the Redskins picked up right where he left off last season when he led the league in quarterback rating while playing for Kansas City. Otherwise... some very, very ugly numbers for the remaining quarterbacks. The average QBR is 50 and three of the East’s QBs put up numbers below 30. Yuck. Defensively we see a much different story. All four teams had good defensive games. Only the Giants surrendered more than 300 yards and the teams, on average, gave up only 278 yards. All four teams currently rank in the top eight in terms of yards given up and in the top eleven in points surrendered. It will be interesting to see if the division can keep up these impressive defensive numbers. Team statusDallas CowboysThe Cowboys were very bad offensively on opening weekend and that has been analyzed to no end. However, the defense was quite good, recording three sacks, forcing a turnover and holding the Panthers to 16 points and 293 yards. Were it not for the team’s inability to reign in Cam Newton’s running in the first half those numbers would have been even better. The troubles on offense were numerous: the offensive line broke down several times and committed multiple penalties. Ezekiel Elliott didn’t show the elite vision he usually displays. And Dak Prescott simply had a horrific game. We’ll see if that improves moving forward. The team has some injury issues heading into the Giants game. Randy Gregory suffered a concussion in the team’s opener and did not participate in Wednesday’s practice. Nor did Demarcus Lawrence, Xavier Woods or Datone Jones. Lawrence is expected to play but Woods and Travis Frederick are expected to be absent. It’s disappointing we didn’t get to see Lawrence and Gregory together much against the Panthers; hopefully we’ll see them together Sunday.New York GiantsThe Giants and Cowboys face an early season “must win” in that teams that start 0-2 have only a 11% of making the playoffs. So Sunday’s outcome will largely shape both team’s future. The Giants didn’t look much different than the Cowboys Sunday. They did put up 100 more yards than the Cowboys on offense, but Ereck Flowers looked absolutely horrible at right tackle and Womens Chidobe Awuzie Jersey , as a reward, gets to face All-Pro Demarcus Lawrence Sunday. Eli Manning, who finished 2017 as the 25th ranked quarterback in the NFL, started 2018 as the 20th ranked quarterback. His days as a top ten QB are long behind him. But he does have good targets to throw too with Odell Beckham, Jr back joining Sterling Shephard and Evan Engram. Engram, however, had one official drop Sunday and two more that were negated by penalty. This after he finished 2017 with the most drops of any tight end in the league (eleven). The Giants offense suffered many of the same struggles that plagued the Cowboys. They were four of thirteen on third down (31%) and had five offensive penalties that stalled five different drives. Of course, the most exciting element of the Giants’ offense was Saquan Barkley’s eye-popping 68-yard touchdown run, where he looked every bit as advertised. Beyond that run, however, Barkley was largely held in check, averaging barely two yards per carry on his other 17 attempts. Defensively it’s hard to know what the Giants have. Cornerback Eli Apple had a tremendous game Sunday, looking a lot more like the impressive rookie from 2016 and not like the disinterested, chaotic second-year player from 2017. If Apple can return to form, he makes an imposing tandem combined with Landon Collins. Outside linebacker Olivier Vernon was expected to return to action this week but was only “out there” at Wednesday’s practice, riding a bicycle and not participating in on-field activity. His absence Sunday would be a big blow to the team’s defense. The only other noteworthy name on the “did not participate” list was Shephard but he’s expected to play Sunday. Philadelphia EaglesHonestly, the Eagles didn’t play any better than the Cowboys in week one. But much more importantly, they managed a win despite not playing well.That’s money in the bank and at the end of the year no one will remember that the Eagles looked completely inept on offense throughout most of the game. In fact, they gained the exact same number of yards as the Cowboys. The Eagles continue to struggle with ongoing injury concerns. Carson Wentz and Alshon Jeffrey both returned to practice Wednesday but neither is expected to play Sunday. This means Nick Foles will again be the team’s starting quarterback. The clock apparently struck midnight on Foles as he returned to being a (far) below average quarterback in the team’s opening week victory after playing like, well, a Super Bowl MVP during the team’s unlikely championship run last year. Coaching “genius” Doug Pederson’s schemes couldn’t overcome Foles’ ineffectiveness and the Eagles looked like an ordinary team against the Falcons. Next week Authentic Cole Beasley Jersey , however, they get to face a Buccaneers team that just surrendered 40 points and 475 yards against the Saints in a surprising 48-40 victory. This should be a good indicator if the problems that plagued the Eagles’ offense in week one might linger longer into the season. Washington RedskinsEveryone who had the Redskins with the best showing of any NFC East team in week one raise their hands.No one? No? Yeah, me either. The Redskins put a pure beat-down on the Cardinals. The 24-6 final wasn’t nearly as close as the score indicated. The Redskins basically did whatever they wanted. Late pickup Adrian Peterson looked vintage, running for 96 yards and catching two passes for another 70 yards while reaching the end zone once. Zillion-dollar quarterback Alex Smith compiled an 118 passer rating in very efficient fashion, throwing for 255 yards and two touchdowns on only 30 attempts. It was the kind of offensive performance Redskins’ fans haven’t seen too often over the last... oh... 25 years. But let’s be honest. They were playing an obviously rebuilding Arizona team that wasn’t expected to do to much this season. Still, you have to play the team on the schedule and the Redskins took care of business in very impressive fashion. Next up is an Indianapolis squad that looks much more competent than the Cardinals. The Kansas City Chiefs trudged into the locker room after their first loss with Patrick Mahomes at quarterback, a streak that goes back six games to his Week 17 start last season.Here's the thing, though: There was no sense of defeat in Gillette Stadium on Sunday night.Instead, the Chiefs seemed downright emboldened by the way they fought back from a big halftime hole against New England. And if not for a litany of injuries to their defense and another clutch game by Tom Brady and the Patriots offense, which drove downfield in the final minutes to set up a winning field goal in their 43-40 victory, the Chiefs might have kept their winning streak going."We got down, we put ourselves in a huge hole and I'm just proud of my team and how we fought to get back in the game," Mahomes said. "We had the lead at one point and then we ended up not coming out with the win but just that fight, it's something you can carry on and to the rest of this season."All of which is true, of course. But the way the Chiefs performed under the lights in New England may have been more than just the stereotypical moral victory.Mahomes threw two interceptions in the first half, when Bill Belichick's defense seemed to have the young quarterback confused. The Chiefs' running game was going nowhere and a defense missing lead pass rusher Justin Houston and its top three safeties to injuries looked like a sieve.It was 24-9 at the break and could have been a whole lot worse.But for the first time in his budding career, Mahomes not only was forced to make massive in-game adjustments but did so successfully. He wound up throwing four second-half touchdown passes, three of them to Tyreek Hill, and that same offense that scuffled through the first 30 minutes and found itself in a deep hole piled up 31 points over the final two quarters.In fact, the Chiefs' offense was rolling so impressively in the second half that they may have scored their final touchdown too quickly. Mahomes found Hill over the middle, and one of the fastest players in the NFL turned up the sideline for a 75-yard score that knotted the game 40-all.Two problems with that: There was still 3陆 minutes left and Brady was on the other sideline.The Patriots moved seemingly at ease against the Chiefs' porous defense Authentic Terrance Williams Jersey , getting into position for Stephen Gostkowski to knock through a chip-shot field goal as time expired. And the old cliche of the last team having the ball would win wound up being spot-on."It was a heck of a football game," Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. "I was proud of how the guys battled. We will learn a lot from this game. We kind of shot ourselves in the foot a little bit early and you can't do that against a good football team. So, we learn from it and we move on."Because the fact is Kansas City is still 5-1 with the toughest six-game stretch of the season already finished. There's another spotlight game coming up this Sunday night against Cincinnati, but that game will take place at Arrowhead Stadium, where the Chiefs tend to have a big advantage.They're still a game ahead of the Chargers in the AFC West, and have beaten Philip Rivers and Co. on the road, along with picking up road wins over the Steelers and Broncos."You want to win. As a competitor, you want to win every single week," Mahomes said, "but you learn from everything in this league. You learn from every experience that you have. You're not going to win every single game. And so for us, we're going to take the things that we did in that second half to kind of get us back into it and kind of keep that stuff going as the season goes on."The Chiefs still believe they're the best team in the AFC, and going toe-to-toe with the reigning champions on the road Sunday night only underscored that belief. Defensive tackle Allen Bailey even predicted that they would "see those cats again," alluding to a possible playoff showdown.So, there was no sense of defeat in the Chiefs locker room on Sunday night.There was a feeling of steadfast resolve and unwavering confidence."Guys showed character. Down what, 15 at halftime? Guys showed character," defensive tackle Chris Jones said. "It's a tough loss, a tough loss, but you learn a lot from that. You learn a lot about your team and about yourself and who you are. We are going to face adversity throughout the season and this team came together, we battled back, but they ended up kicking the field goal for the win."
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