After the Eagles conquered the Atlanta Flacons on Thursday night, the rest of the NFL kicked off their seasons this Sunday. From a general view, 2 of the 3 NFC East teams playing on Sunday lost, which is a huge advantage for Philly. However, lets take a deeper look into how everything shakes out for the Birds’ division rivals.
Let’s start with the NFC East team that looked the worst in their first game of the 2018 campaign. There are very few positives about the Cowboys’ play on Sunday in their 16-8 loss to the Carolina Panthers. After losing Travis Frederick in training camp to an auto-immune disease which will hold him out indefinitely, the offensive line formerly known as the “Wall Of Dallas” seemingly came crashing down without their All-Pro center. They allowed 6 sacks for a total loss of 32 yards and 1 fumble lost which consequently spoiled their chances of a late 4th quarter comeback. The receiving vote, expectedly, looked dreadful. Throughout the game there was almost no separation created by the Cowboys wideouts, forcing quarterback Dad Prescott to hold the ball much longer than he is used to in the pocket and make some very poor decisions. Outside of is poor decision making was Prescott’s blatant inaccuracy throwing the football. A lot of big plays were left incomplete due to Dak’s passes just missing the mark.
Problems for Dallas extended further than Dak Prescott and the offense. The rush-defense looked poor to start off the year, allowing the Panthers to gain 147 yards on the ground. One bright spot if the pass-defense for the Cowboys, only giving up 161 yards through the air, however that may have to do with the Panthers’ #1 target, Greg Olson, going down with a foot injury in the 1st Quarter that would hold him out for the rest of the game.
Year in and Year out, one thing the Cowboys’ could always hang their hat on was their special teams because of kicker Dan Bailey, the 2nd most accurate kicker in NFL history. Well, the bright minds of Jerry Jones and Jason Garrett decided that the team would be better off starting the 28 year old rookie Brett Maher. Maher’s first kick was a 47 yard attempt that he hooked wide right at a crucial point in the 3rd quarter that could have made it a 1 score game.
Next week Dallas faces division opponent the New York Giants at home on Sunday Night Football.
New York Giants
The Giants looked slightly better than Cowboys in their week one opener, mainly due to the stardom of offensive weapons Odell Beckham Jr, who caught 11 balls for 111 yards, and rookie running back Saquon Barkley, who toted the rock 18 times for 106 yards, including a 68-yard dash, breaking 4 tackles, all the way to the end zone late in the 4th quarter to put the G-men within 1 score of taking the lead.
Despite the star power on offense, New York still walked out of MetLife Stadium with a loss, partially because of the mediocre play of Eli Manning. Manning’s play has been slowly declining for years. He was even benched last season for Geno Smith. In the video below, narrated beautifully by Brian Baldinger, Eli Manning clearly blows an opportunity to let Odell Beckham Jr run under a ball for a touchdown, but instead throws it way behind Beckham for an incompletion.
along with Eli Manning’s woes are the issues along the Giants’ offensive line. The group was one of the worst in the league in 2017 and they did not look much better in their first game of 2018. Contributions from skill positions is crucial for any football team, but it takes all 11 men on both sides of the ball to win football games, and the Giants did not show that Sunday.
Here we’re gonna look at the only NFC East team outside of Philly that was victorious in week 1, the Washington Redskins. Not only did Washington defeat the Arizona Cardinals, but they did it in a sweeping fashion by a score of 24-6. The Redskins put up over 400 yards of offense for 24 points and only one turnover. Alex Smith impressed in his first game donning the burgundy and gold, throwing for 255 yards and 2 touchdowns for a QBR of 80.1. Adrian Peterson looked as good as ever in his first game as a Redskin after only joining the team two weeks before the start of the season. “All-Day” rushed 26 times for 96 yards and a touchdown.
Also enforcing their will was the defense, shutting out the Cardinals for 3 quarters and allowing a total of only 6 points. Sammy “Sleeves” Bradford mustered a total of 153 yard passing with no TD’s and 1 INT. The Redskins were dominant in every facet on Sunday, however, some may view the victory as unimpressive considering the Cardinals are very much a bottom of the barrel team. Nonetheless, a win is a win, most especially in the NFL where those come few and far between.
Overall, the weekend worked out pretty well for the Birds. With two division opponents losing their first games of the season, that helps push them towards an early lead in the division race. A race in which they are determined to win and put themselves back on the road to a second Lombardi trophy.
18 year old from Northeast Philadelphia. Currently attending Temple University majoring in Buisness Management and minoring in Journalism.