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NFC Obituary - Dead After Week 12 (and the hierarchy of the NFC)

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A little late this week - Sorry about that.  Away we go...

Newly dead

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With their loss last Sunday against the Vikings, the Redskins put themselves 2 games behind 7 NFC teams that are vying for 5 playoff spots.  They'll need to run the table to have even a remote shot of making the playoffs.  In other words, they're done.  What an entertaining team this has been all season - the preseason roster being filled out by guys 5 years past their primes, the Haynesworth conditioning test saga, the Grossman/McNabb 2-minute offense decision, etc.  I'm actually going to miss them.

And oddly enough, Eagles fans should hope they play well down the stretch.  They still have 2 games remaining against the Giants, and one against the NFC contending Buccaneers.  Not to mention, if they win 9 games, the Eagles get their 3rd round pick next year.

So we close the book on the 2010 Redski... Wait, what's that?  Oh, we have a guest.  You have something to say, Chris Cooley?  The floor is yours:

C'mon now, Chris.  McNabb didn't have his best season, but that's a little harsh.

Previously dead and buried

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The Eagles have 3 games remaining against teams in this group.


Every time I think about this division, I get a little annoyed.

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The NFC West has a collective point differential of -247.  I don't even feel like complaining about this garbage division anymore.

I'm convinced they're a good team... next year.

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The Bucs had a very tough test playing in Baltimore last Sunday, and they just simply don't have enough on offense to make any noise in the NFC playoffs, if they can get there that is.  This is a very young team with a bright future, but with a tough schedule remaining, it'll be extremely difficult to get to the dance.  Remaining schedule:

Opponent Record
Falcons (9-2)
At Redskins (5-6)
Lions (2-9)
Seahawks (5-6)
At Saints (8-3)
Cumulative record (29-26)

 

Banged up and a little sensitive

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Pretend you're a Giants season ticket holder that just payed an insane PSL price earlier this offseason.  Your team is coming off a dog turd of a performance at home against a bad Cowboys team and another loss against the Eagles.  You then watch them play like garbage for an entire first half against a mediocre team (the Jaguars), and the scoreboard reads 17-6 Jags.  Are you booing that team off the field as they head to the locker room?  I know I am.  Well, apparently Antrel Rolle feels that fans need to cheer them like they're coming home from combat, no matter how they play.

The Giants showed some heart battling back and eventually winning that game, but their schedule doesn't get much easier:

Opponent Record
Redskins (5-6)
At Vikings (4-7)
Eagles (8-4)
At Packers (8-3)
At Redskins (5-6)
Cumulative record (30-26)

 

Major concerns on defense

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I think it's reasonable to start to call the Eagles' offense the best offense in the NFL.  When good teams are being praised for "holding you" to 27 points/392 yards (vs the Giants) and 26 points/398 yards (vs the Bears), you're a bona fide offensive force.  But that defense has been horrible the past two weeks - really no other way to put it.  The return of Asante Samuel will help immensely as the Eagles now have 10 days to rest and get ready for Dallas next Sunday, but for now, this is where they stand.  Remaining schedule:

Opponent Record
At Cowboys (3-8)
At Giants (7-4)
Vikings (4-7)
Cowboys (3-8)
Cumulative record (17-27)

 

"If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all."

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The Bears just beat the Eagles, and so it would be foolish for me to put the Eagles ahead of Chicago, and it would just seem like bitterness if I were to continue to poo poo this team, so I'll just shut up and list their extremely difficult remaining schedule.  Let's see what you have, Bears.

Opponent Record
At Lions (2-9)
Patriots (9-2)
At Vikings (4-7)
Jets (9-2)
At Packers (8-3)
Cumulative record (32-23)

 

Still not even playing as well as they can... and winning anyway.

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The Falcons and Saints are battling it out for the NFC South title, and likely a first round bye.  Whatever team finishes second will likely be on the road against whatever terrible team wins the NFC West, and might be double-digit favorites.  Remaining Schedule:

Opponent Record
At Bengals (2-9)
Rams (5-6)
At Ravens (8-3)
At Falcons (9-2)
Buccaneers (7-4)
Cumulative record (31-24)

 

Soon to be 9-4

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Everyone knows about Aaron Rodgers and that talented offense.  But what about the Packers' D?  Before last week's 20-17 loss to Atlanta, they held the Vikings to 3 points, the Cowboys to 7, and they shut out the Jets.  This is a complete team, and maybe the best team in the NFC.  Up next they have 2 cupcakes, and then it gets very interesting:

Opponent Record
49ers (4-7)
At Lions (2-9)
At Patriots (9-2)
Giants (7-4)
Bears (8-3)
Cumulative record (30-25)

 

Can they get homefield throughout?

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The Falcons' 2 losses this year?  Philly and Pittsburgh.  The Falcons are 0-2 in PA.  They're 9-0 in the rest of their games.  They've beaten the Packers.  They've beaten the Saints.  They've beaten the Ravens.  As Eagles fans, we all saw an easy win against Atlanta earlier this season, and I think our opinions of them are influenced as such.  But this is an excellent team, and they seem to take their game to another level in the Georgia Dome.  But they're unproven in big games, so we'll see what they actually have in them when it matters soon enough.  As JasonB likes to say, can Matt Ryan win a playoff game before he gets a nickname like Matty Ice?  The Falcons, like the Eagles, have an easy remaining schedule:

Opponent Record
At Buccaneers (7-4)
At Panthers (1-10)
At Seahawks (5-6)
Saints (8-3)
Panthers (1-10)
Cumulative record (22-33)