Week 1 is in the books! And that means school is back in session… which makes this post pretty much a gimme! The NFC East teams all faced each other opening week, so that makes it easy to grade. Oh, and I grade on a curve in case you’re wondering. Curves saved my grades a few times, so I’m returning the favor.
It was an eventful offseason for all teams in the division. Signings, hold outs, quarterback controversies, and more. But finally getting to play always makes it that much better.
Philadelphia Eagles: I’ll give them an A-. After a very, very slow start and the defense looking not great, the Eagles came alive. Quarterback Carson Wentz went on to have a day, along with returning wide receiver DeSean Jackson, and WR Alshon Jeffrey. The Eagles came back from being down 17-0 to get the win. I guess the best way to put it is that sometimes you just need to get back into the flow of regular season games.
Three of the four teams in the division played Thursday night and the Cowboys played on Saturday. The Giants perfect preseason record was on the line, for what that’s worth. The Redskins were trying to figure out their quarterback situation, and the Eagles were trying to break the Raven’s preseason streak. The Cowboys welcomed in the Texans and tried to get back to the football that was on the field, instead of contract issues.
When we were dividing up the articles for the 2019 Pro Football Hall of Fame class, I jumped on the chance to write about Champ Bailey. Most of you know I am a lover of defense, and Champ was in a class by himself.
Cornerback Champ Bailey was drafted in the first round of the 1999 NFL Draft. It almost seems impossible that it was that long ago simply because it feels like he just left the game yesterday. Champ spent his first five seasons with Washington, then moving on to Denver in 2004.
His stats are staggering. Impressive from the start, Champ had five interceptions in his rookie year, including three against the Arizona Cardinals on Oct 17, 1999. In Denver, he had three division titles, started in two AFC Championship games, and one Super Bowl. 52 career interceptions, returned for 464 yards and 4 touchdowns. First Team All-Pro 4 times, Second Team All-Pro 4 times, voted to 12 Pro Bowls and named in the All-Decade Team for the 2000s. He holds the NFL record for most consecutive games with an interception (5).
Last week I looked at the quarterbacks of the NFC North to preview what their 2019 season may look like. Apparently, you guys liked it, so I’m going to keep that train moving. This week I’m going to take a look at the quarterbacks of the NFC East.
Overall, it’s been a pretty quiet offseason for the NFC East. Outside of the Giants and the Eagles making some blockbuster moves, it’s been pretty calm in terms of free agency.
This week I ask, what will 2019 look like for the NFC East Quarterbacks? And it’s a dubious situation, to say the least, unlike the NFC North, where barring injury, the quarterbacks are pretty solid. Here in the NFC East, it’s not quite the same.
Even after being named MVP of a Super Bowl LII, even after saving the Eagles 2018 season and taking them to the playoffs, Philadelphia continued to tell quarterback Nick Foles he just wasn’t good enough. QB Carson Wentz, who has been injured the last two seasons, will be their starter. Foles decided that it was time to move on, and he paid $2 million to do it.
The Eagles had picked up Foles $20 million option, but that would mean he would continue to carry a clipboard for Wentz. Foles paid the fee to be released from that option, but Philadelphia still has the ability to franchise tag him. This would give the team the ability to trade him. It has been reported that multiple teams are interested in bringing Foles on board. This isn’t surprising considering the state of the quarterback situation in the NFL.
One year ago on January 30th, quarterback Alex Smith was traded by the Kansas City Chiefs to the Washington Redskins. The trade was to display the unbelievable talent of QB Patrick Mahomes and to usher in a new era in Washington.
Smith signed a 4-year contract worth $94 million dollars to help a franchise who kept falling short of the goal with QB Kirk Cousins at the helm. In his first debut for the Redskins, Smith threw for 255 yards, two touchdowns and gave them their first win against the Arizona Cardinals.
But in a horrific event in Week 11, against the Houston Texans, Smith went down writhing in pain to only be carted off the field. His injury was later determined to be a compound and spiral fracture to his tibia and fibula. Frankly, it was the worst injury Smith could have received as it became the eerie replica of the Joe Theismann injury 33 years to the day. Unfortunately, it didn’t stop there for Smith as he incurred several infections that required additional surgeries.
What a season! Who would have thought with the start that the New York Giants had they could even be having thoughts of a playoff run. But, believe it or not, there is still hope. Very slim, but hope.
It seems as though after the bye week the Giants have started to find themselves. In the past 3 weeks, the Giants have had a close loss against the Philadelphia Eagles, and two good wins, one against the Chicago Bears and the latest impressive win against the Washington Redskins. The Giants have improved their record to 4-1 after the bye.
Now, if the beating they gave Washington was a glimpse of what might be if given the chance to enter the playoff season, the Giants may be in good shape. Unfortunately, it isn’t that simple.