With Week 10 of the NFL season this weekend, there are headlines across the NFC East. Let’s take a look at what’s going on with all of the New York Giants division rivals in this week’s Around the NFC East.
Master Tesfatsion, Dan Steinberg and Scott Allen kick off the day by discussing one of the more intriguing questions facing the Washington Redskins. You can keep the chat going on Twitter or in the comment section below.
Today’s question: Who has been the Redskins’ first-half MVP?
Scott Allen: Not-just-a-third-down-back Chris Thompson has been a revelation in the screen game this season and was the offensive catalyst in three of the Redskins’ four wins, but my vote goes to Washington’s most consistent performer: Zach Brown.
The inside linebacker has been a perfect fit for Greg Manusky’s aggressive defense, as has fellow free agent acquisition D.J. Swearinger. While many of Washington’s starters on both sides of the ball have been lost for the season or missed time due to injury, Brown has been a steadying force. He’s started every game and leads the NFL in tackles with 86, which is 10 more than Baltimore’s C.J. Mosley, who ranks second.
Each Wednesday, the SB Nation NFL team sites explore a special theme. This week's theme is: Which offensive lineman on your team would make the best skills position player?
And for the Philadelphia Eagles, the answer is simple: Lane Johnson.
Center Jason Kelce, at a spry 295 pounds with a history of second-level speed, makes for an intriguing candidate. What he lacks in power against beefier foes in the trenches he more than makes up for with athleticism, and there’s a lot of potential there for some kind of power back/fullback role, especially on sweep plays. Give him a thick number like 48 and get him in the flats. That’s a bruiser.
Johnson, however, is the obvious choice, and as funny as this whole scenario is, Lane as a skill position player, specifically a tight end, would be no joke. They called Chicago Bears tight end Adam Shaheen “Baby Gronk” in honor of Rob Gronkowksi, but Johnson would be “Daddy Gronk” at 6-foot-6, 317 pounds. The guy played tight end at the University of Oklahoma before converting to defensive end (and then tackle), so he’s got the chops to make a switch, and don’t tell me you couldn’t throw him in goal-line packages as a Zach Ertz complement.
The Philadelphia Eagles are feeling it right now. At 8-1, they’re at least two games better than every other team in the NFL. They’ve won seven games in a row. They just pounded the Broncos, lighting up a once-proud defense for 51 points. They look unstoppable.
The Eagles are pretty much guaranteed a spot in the playoffs at this point. Since 1990, every team that has started 8-1 has made it to the postseason.
For Eagles fans, this is where the BUT comes in. Yes, both of their trips to the Super Bowl came in seasons when they started 8-1. BUT the Eagles also lost both Super Bowls and haven’t won a championship since 1960. That’s longer than the Browns!
Eagles fans, go watch for this a minute. This next paragraph isn’t for your eyes.
Eagles haters, hey how’s it going? So, I’ve got some bad news. If you thought drunk Eagles fans were hard to take, think about how “drunk with the power of a Super Bowl” Eagles fans would be. Like, you know your mom’s friend Cathy, who never stops bragging about her perrrrrfect daughter? Now imagine Cathy as a guard in the Stanford prison experiment. That’s Eagles fans if they are even on the verge of a Super Bowl appearance. If you even know a friend of a friend whose cousin is an Eagles fan, you may as well fake your death to avoid them for those two weeks between the NFC Championship and Super Bowl LII, because they will be that unbearable.
In the NFL, it is safe to say that finding a true franchise quarterback is an absolute necessity for long-term success. In 2016, three teams have seemingly managed to do just that in the draft. The Los Angeles Rams took Jared Goff first overall, the Philadelphia Eagles selected Carson Wentz right after him, and the Dallas Cowboys more or less stumbled into one of the great draft steals in Dak Prescott, taking him with the 135th overall pick after missing out on Paxton Lynch and Connor Cook earlier in the draft. All three of those second-year QBs are now in the top 10 of more than one category statistically, and all three would be leading their teams into the playoffs if the season ended now.
There are still a lot of games to play for each of them, of course, but just being in contention at this point is significant. And having three franchise QBs come out of one draft is not something that happens often. You have to go back to 2004 to find the next most recent clear case of that, when Eli Manning, Philip Rivers, and Ben Roethlisberger were the first three QBs taken in the draft.
FRISCO, Texas -- There is a "strong likelihood" that Ezekiel Elliott will be in New York on Thursday to attend his hearing at the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and not at Dallas Cowboys practice, according to head coach Jason Garrett.
The hearing is set for 2 p.m. ET at the Thurgood Marshall United States Courthouse.
The Cowboys' hope is that Elliott's attendance at the hearing could help his case and lead to him gaining a preliminary injunction that likely would keep him on the field for the rest of the season. That would be worth Elliott missing Thursday's practice, leading up to Sunday's game against the Atlanta Falcons.
It is possible the court could make a decision by Friday. If Elliott loses, his six-game suspension for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy would kick in, pending further litigation by Elliott's side.