The Philadelphia Eagles opened their 2016 rookie minicamp on Friday and all the attention was, as you'd expect, on Carson Wentz. Everyone was taking pictures and video of the Eagles' potential franchise quarterback of the future in his first practice in Philadelphia.
For some reason, this video of Wentz caught the attention of one of his NFC East rivals: Washington pass rusher Junior Galettte.
Junior Galette (@JovaisG) May 13, 2016
Then things escalated from there.
We running this Division bro they sooo https://t.co/QMYbt0Jsx7— Junior Galette (@JovaisG) May 13, 2016
Yea Aiight we'll see https://t.co/TfB3voNd6R— Junior Galette (@JovaisG) May 13, 2016
@JovaisG and we ain't just go let them wake up either we go wake their ass uppp taking wats been our for so long with out the crown— Bashaud Breeland (@Salute_me17) May 13, 2016
Put that pressure on them boys y'all ready to do it again @kerrigan91 @sackmanlives @prestonsmith94 #defendtheeast #SWAGGYTIME #HTTR #2pieceandabiscuit
I don't know why a video of Wentz throwing a pass in rookie minicamp got some Washington players all fired up, but alas, here we are.
All of this is pretty funny to me. First of all, Galette hasn't even played a regular season snap for Washington yet. He only signed with the team last offseason after the Saints cut him due to multiple off-the-field issues, including a domestic violence incident.
Then there's the fact that Washington players are acting waaaaay overconfident for a team that wasn't even that great last season. Sure, they won the division, but let's not act like the NFC East wasn't downright awful last season. Washington didn't beat a single team with a winning record all year. In four games against teams with winning records, Washington lost by at least two touchdowns each time. They were outscored 140-64 in total, which is an average of 35 to 16 per game. Washington made the playoffs only to get smacked around at home in the opening round of the playoffs by a Packers team that would have gone 3-6 in their final nine weeks if not for a Hail Mary.
Oh, and let's not forget about this ...
Kirk Cousins’ starting QB record = 11-14— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) May 10, 2016
Cousins’ record against teams that finished with 9+ wins = 0-6
8+ wins = 1-8
History suggests that Washington is not likely to win the NFC East in 2016. The division hasn't seen a repeat winner since the Eagles finished on top four years in a row from 2001-2004.
Taking it a step further, early win projection models from Football Outsiders actually have Washington finishing dead last in the NFC East this year at 6-10.
Forecasting that Dallas will return to winning is probably less controversial than forecasting that Washington will return to losing. However, Washington isn't exactly starting from greatness. Washington won a bad division at 9-7, but ranked only 15th in DVOA. That was a big improvement over the previous two seasons, when Washington was 29th (2013) and 28th (2014) in DVOA. But this means they're likely to run into the "Plexiglass Principle," which states that teams that significantly improve one year will tend to decline the next year and vice versa. In particular, the defense is unlikely to keep up its turnover rate (15.1 percent of drives, fifth in the NFL) or ability to stop short-yardage runs (49 percent conversions, the best figure in the NFL). The addition of Josh Norman is somewhat blunted by the losses of veteran defensive linemen Jason Hatcher and Terrance Knighton.
Something tells me Washington might have better things to worry about than a rookie quarterback throwing a pass in his first day of minicamp.