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Playing a game of “What if?” in the NFC East

Looking back at some interesting hypotheticals.

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New York Jets v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Do you ever find yourself wondering how an entire timeline might’ve played out differently with one change?

If so, this week’s episode of the NFC East Mixtape podcast, which lives on both the Bleeding Green Nation and Blogging The Boys podcast feeds, just might be up your alley.

RJ Ochoa and I previously discussed how things in the division might be different had the Eagles not tanked in Week 17. Playing “What if?” in that scenario inspired us to look back even further in time to the 2018 NFL season, which feels like a big inflection point for each team in hindsight.

EAGLES

What if Josh McDaniels never leaves the Indianapolis Colts at the altar and Frank Reich remains in Philly for the 2018 season? Do the Eagles win another Super Bowl with Nick Foles? What happens with Carson Wentz? Is Doug Pederson still around? Is Reich in play for the Cowboys if they don’t wait so long to fire Jason Garrett?

COWBOYS

What if the Cowboys’ long snapper isn’t called for a rare penalty that leads to a loss to Washington? Does Dallas still make what seemed at the time like a desperate trade for Amari Cooper? Do they not go on a run? Does Garrett get fired sooner?

GIANTS

What if the Giants didn’t hold on to Eli Manning for entirely too long? What if they prepared for his departure sooner by taking Josh Allen or Lamar Jackson instead of Saquon Barkley at No. 2 in the 2018 NFL Draft?

WASHINGTON

What does the NFC East look like if Alex Smith doesn’t get hurt? Washington is 6-3 heading into that game (Cowboys and Eagles 4-5). They might’ve been able to beat Houston to go to 7-3 with the final following schedule: at Cowboys, at Eagles, vs. Giants, at Jags, at Titans, vs. Eagles. They ultimately went 1-5 in that stretch. Is Jay Gruden still around?

THE BIGGER PICTURE

Before you unironically comment with a “Who cares? This is useless. These scenarios didn’t happen!” allow me to say:

1) It’s the friggin deadest of dead zones. Lighten up and have some fun.

2) Talking through this all, RJ and I came away with some valuable big picture takeaways. Including how teams need to be more honest with themselves.

So, hit the play button and we’ll show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.

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THE REVERSE REVIEW: If you’re an Eagles fan who enjoys the NFC East Mixtape, leave us a rating and review on BGN’s Apple podcast feed telling us that you like the show! If you’ve already done so (or if not), however, you can also go over to BTB’s Apple podcast feed and also leave a review there. You’re even encouraged to trash talk the Cowboys as long as you leave a 5-star rating. And if you’re somehow a Cowboys fan reading this, well, I’ll allow you to poke fun at the Eagles in the Apple podcast review section as long as you leave a 5-star rating as well. Thanks for the support as we try to get this new weekly pod off the ground!