Desperation has come to the NFC East.
Week 4 is too soon to panic, you say?
Not if you’re Washington (0-3), whose offense was stuck in neutral Monday night, even with the revelation that is rookie WR Terry McLaurin.
Granted, Washington played the Bears, but still. Five Case Keenum turnovers in the game, including a pick-six? A guy stirring the team Gatorade on the sideline with a bag full of paper cups?
Washington was even incapable of spelling London Fletcher’s name correctly when it inducted him in the Ring of Honor. (They spelled it “Flecther” on the video board during the ceremony.)
Yeah, Jay Gruden’s job security is getting thinner by the moment.
But McLaurin — a steal of a third-round draft pick — became the first NFL player with at least five catches and a touchdown in each of his first three games.
And then there’s the Eagles.
Their receivers can’t catch (especially in the end zone... we’re looking at you, Dallas Goedert). Their defensive backs continue to struggle in coverage. The injury bug that nearly torpedoed their 2018 season will just not relent.
And tonight the Eagles (1-2) face Green Bay (3-0), which of course, is an issue, even if Aaron Rodgers and the newly designed Packers offense haven’t hit their stride just yet. A road game (at Lambeau!) in a short week does not help a team already hobbled and struggling with fundamentals.
So yes, desperation.
A win and a 2-2 record would be a huge step forward. Philadelphia has proven its resilience in each of the past two years.
But 1-3? Potentially falling three games behind Dallas in September in the competitive and deep NFC?
Now that would be a problem. A big problem.
At least one, probably two and maybe even three good teams will find themselves on the outside looking in come the NFC playoffs. The Eagles very well could be one of them if they can’t turn this around and soon.
So welcome to Desperation, Pa.
But hey, there is a silver lining. Guess who comes to the Linc for the Eagles’ next game? The Jets.
Here are some of the other big stories around the NFC East this week.
How good are things in Dallas right now for the Cowboys?
Stud WR Amari Cooper is hurt — hurt badly enough that the team performed an MRI today on his sore right ankle.
But you know what? The Cowboys have “no concern,” and Cooper even practiced, albeit on a limited basis.
If Cooper were in Philly, he would be out a minimum of six weeks.
Meanwhile S Xavier Woods (ankle) and WR Tavon Austin (concussion) returned to practice Wednesday as limited participants.
Sometimes journalism is hard folks. Digging for facts. Chasing people for interviews. Asking tough questions. It ain’t for the weak of heart.
But sometimes it’s pretty damn easy. For instance: Blogging the Boys asked Cowboy fans who they want to win tonight — their hated rival Philly or America’s favorite little city, Green Bay? The mysterious DannyPhantom clues you in just in case you couldn’t figure that one out for yourself.
RJ Ochoa reports that Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott are off to the best starts of their careers. He breaks down the numbers to prove it (quite an impressive leap in progress by Prescott, by the by).
But despite all the feel-good vibes, Sunday night begins a tough stretch for Dallas, when the Cowboys travel to the Big Easy to take on the New Orleans Saints. Tom Ryle takes a deep dive into a challenging quarter of their schedule.
How bad are things in Philly right now for the Eagles?
Bleeding Green Nation asks, “Are the Eagles a bad team? Unlucky? Both?”
Stop snickering, Giants fans.
Meanwhile, Philadelphia should avoid any and all NFL power rankings for a while, Brandon Lee Gowton reports. The range is rather wide, but let’s just say there’s a clear teenage theme.
However, there’s actual good news! Coach Doug Pederson (nice visor, Doug) expects WR Alshon Jeffery and DE Derek Barnett to play tonight, Alexis Chassen informs us.
Jeffery will not be limited, which is even better news for those of the green persuasion.
LB Kamu Grugier-Hill (knee) returns after suffering an injury early in camp. RB Corey Clement (shoulder) is questionable, despite being a full go in practice on Wednesday.
And hey, I know no one likes Eagles fans — or Philadelphians for that matter. But this guy is pretty awesome: A genuine hero saving babies from a house fire.
And this is the greatest quote I’ve ever seen:
“My man just started throwing babies down, but we was catching them — unlike Agholor, and his mishaps.”
I don’t want to bring anyone down. I don’t. But the boss says I have to include Washington. So here goes.
Gruden announces QB Dwayne Haskins better be ready to play. That sounds like a threat.
But the way things are going in DC, why not? After all, Gruden also said he doesn’t feel like he’s coaching for his job on a week-to-week basis.
Then he added, but “who knows?”
Indeed, Jay. Indeed.
Keenum is in a walking boot. I guess that’s why Gruden is making threats and all. Scott Jennings fills in the details.
But hey, Colt McCoy is back!
We have roster moves! (I apologize for the use of an exclamation point. They weren’t that exciting.)
Anybody heard from Trent Williams lately?