NFC East Trash Talk for Week 14

Dec 12, 2011

Join Roger Newkirk and Chris Jenkins of TheRootDC and Eagles fan Jimmy Kempski and Giants fan Jennifer LeFevre in a free-wheeling live Q&A today to talk about the Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Redskins.

Submit your questions and observations about the games and the state of the NFC East now, and come back at 12:30 p.m. Monday to join in the trash talk ...

My heart STILL feels like it is going to beat right out of my chest. Last night's game was as exciting as it gets. I think the league should have MVP awards for offensive and defensive players, in which case Jason Pierre-Paul would be a major contender for the defensive MVP. He is an incredibly bright star in a defense that has been utterly mediocre (and that is being generous) this season and is a large reason why the Giants plaoyff hopes are still alive this morning. On the offensive side of the ball, anyone who still does not believe Eli Manning to be an outstanding (read: ELITE) quarterback did not see the fourth quarter of last night's game. Yes, he threw an interception (which was tipped) that resulted in an opposing team touchdown. But Eli shook it off and got his job done in spectacular fashion, scoring 15 points with less than six minutes to play.


The other days games were interesting as well. Michael Vick had a triumphant return to help the Beagles take care of the Dolphins and the Deadskins were able to hang tough against the Patriots, wlthough an upset was not to be.


As an aside, and I think Roger will agree with me on this, officiating throughout the entire league yesterday was ATROCIOUS. I think every official needs to have a vision test performed this week.

I suppose Jennifer deserves  a chance to write the lede Intro today after that wild game in Dallas last night. As many of you know, I often invoke my 32 years of Cowboys fandom to provide some context (or solace) after a game like that one. I've been through many a crazy deflating Cowboys loss in my day-  Joe Montana and the Niners in 1982; the Bears in 1985; the Giants in 2007. But I gotta say, I've never seen a season like this one. This team has to be considered the  "chokiest" squad  in Cowboys history. This loss ain't on Romo's shoulders completely, (although you can't tell me that Aaron Rodgers doesn't hit Miles Austin on that 3rd and 10 with 3 minutes to play in the 4th, which would have sealed the game), but the Romo era will go down, unless something happens fast, as one of the most consistently underachieving times in great history of the franchise. These Keystone Cowboys still have a chance to right the ship in the final three weeks, but I'm afraid that, as Trace Adkins once sang, these Pokes are "All Hat, No Cattle". I submit myself to well deserved Trash Talk.

How bad did Eagles W screw our draft position?

A nice "informational" question to start it off.  If the season ended today, the Eagles would draft 10th.  Before they beat Miami, they were 6th.  The Skins are currently 4th.  They should be in a great position to draft a bigtime QB prospect.  Cowboys are 16th.  Giants draft position would be undetermined depending on when they lost in the playoffs.

Do you really think teams that are out of playoff contention should tank their remaining games just to get better draft picks? Ugh! That is ridiculous. Take the Deadskins as an example. I will begrudingly give them their due in that they played a great game yesterday. They could have upset the Patriots were in not for terrible officiating. The have lost players to injury and stupidity (drug test failures) and yet they didn't let themselves get down about it. There is a lot to be said for finishing strong, or at least with your head held high.

I agree with, Jen. The fact that anyone on a professional level would play down and lose out on purpose, tells me they need to be playing Arena football. Stuff like that carries over to the next season, not to mention the negative effect it can have on young players. 

What chance do you give Philadelphia to make the playoffs?

0.5%.  The thing is... If they run the table, which they won't, I think they actually have a pretty decent shot of getting in at 8-8.  They hold all the tie-breakers, so they would need the Cowboys and Giants to lose 2 out of the next 3.  If you've seen the Giants and Cowboys play defense recently, you know it's not out of the question.


But the Eagles aren't running the table, so let's just not even worry about it.

Pretty hard for the Iggles to do this. If the Cowboys lose the rest of their games, they go to 7-9. Eagles win the rest they are 8-8. The Giants would have to be 8-8, too, but they would have to lose to the Skins at home which seems unlikely. But you really WANT to go to the playoffs? I supposes hosting either the Falcons, Bears or Lions would be fun, but making a deep run in the playoff seems unlikely for this squad. Might as well pack it in and get the team straight for 2012.

Unlike the Redskins (damnit), technically the Eagles still have a shot. I mean a long shot, but I've seen it happen to teams in worst situations. Maybe we can help them out by completing a sweep of the Midgets this Sunday...*thinks about the last statement*..."Yea, sorry Eagles doesn't look like you're gonna make the playoffs thisyear!"

Is there any chance that whoever wins the division can actually wina game in the playoffs?

I think so. I think the Giants may be peaking at just the right time (reminiscent of another recent season). As someone else pointed out last week, Seattle took care of New Orleans in the first round last year. Any team is beatable. The big wild card for the Giants is their defense. If we can get guys healthy and get them communicating better, I definitely think the Giants could win some playoff games.

Gotta love Jennifer's optimism. But come on, really? "Peaking?!?" Winning ONE game against a crappy Cowboys team (and giving up 34 points in the meantime) after losing FOUR in a row is not "peaking". Sure, if the Giants win the division they host either the Falcons, Bears or Lions. I'd say any of those teams can beat the Giants at home. In fact, I'd say that the Giants have a better chance of winning a road playoff game over a home playoff game. I would respectfully recommend not to judge the strength of an NFC east team by whether they beat ANOTHER NFC East team. Remember that 17-10 loss to a Michael Vick-less Eagles?

"A" game, as in one game?  Absolutely.  Look at the wildcard contenders.  Lions - stink.  Falcons - stink.  Bears - mega-stink.  The giants or Cowboys could absolutely beat one of those teams in the first round.  But then they'd be traveling to likely GB or NO.  And that's where the playoff run will end in embarrassing fashion.

Well, Chris has a point about how beating another NFC East time is not that great an accomplishment. But I absolutely think the Falcons, Bears and Lions are beatable as well. The G-Men may have lost to GB, but there are few fans who didn't come away from that game all that down on them. They came as close as anyone to beating them.

If you ask me it depends on which of the 9-7 teams will get their (because I don't see Cowgirls or the Midgets winning 10 games). I think the Midgets have enough playoff experience to get a win or two in the playoffs before playing the Saints or Packers and getting molly-whopped. Cowboys have been demonstrating what they do best in the last 2 months of the season these past 2 games, so I have ZERO faith in them winning a game if they win the division.

After last night's performance, which NFCE QB would you most want on your roster?

(sigh) Eli.

As my coworker Frank said this morning, without Eli, the Giants win maybe five games, if that. The man is a machine and the sonsumate clutch player. Romoe couldn't even make a long throw to  a WIDE OPEN receiver that would have clinched the game at the end. Yes, Eli had some help in the final drive with STUPID Cowgirls penalties but he still got it done when it mattered.


If you look at the best QBs in the league: Rodgers, Brady, and Brees - Eli is absolutely right up there with them. The Giants beat New England, the Giants defense lost the game to the Saints miserably and the Giants almost beat the Packers. I'll take Eli over any of the NFCE QBs and the others listed above any day of the week and twice on Sunday!

Eli easily but that's in a division of Sexy Rexy Grossman, Tony NOmo and half a year Michael Vick. Eli has been slowly impressing me more, but to say he's up there with Brees, Brady and Rodgers is absurd. I'll take Big Ben with a bum ankle over Eli all day still and no one cries like E-Cry and the NY Midget fans when Big Ben isn't mentioned in the "Elite" category.

Well, give it to Jen for being a glass half full person. Sure he had lots of yards in garbage time against the Saints (My fantasy team thanks him). But then there was that pick-6 against the Packers that wound up being mildly important. Then there was the fumble against the VICK-LESS Iggles AT HOME. Remember that? Look, the guy is a very good QB. Romo missed Austin last night, indeed,  but I'm sure I can pick out a time when ELI missed an open receiver, too. (Austin is NOT 100 percent by the way)  But let's be real-- the Cowboys secondary got torched by Matt Moore, too.  I'm just trying to help you come back to reality a bit, so the face plant doesn't hurt so much going forward. lol.

Is Jason Pierre-Paul the "best young defensive end" in the league? How about in the NFC East? What do you think of him going forward?

Jason Pierre-Paul is amazing. In yesterday's game alone, he had a veritable defensive smorgasbord: a safety, a forced fumble, two sacks, eight tackles and a blocked field goal. I would say he's certainly one of the best in his position. But the best part is that he is only in his second year and is only going to get better. He's shown he has incredible instincts and more experience will just hone them. He will continue to be a formidible force on the Giant's defense and is one of the only reasons the Giants are even in contention to win the division, given how banged up and how poorly the rest of the Giants defense has  been playing. He is just awesome!

The best?  Let's not crown him just yet.  Clay Matthews and Von Miller are both young and great. Technically, those 2 guys play OLB in a 3-4, but play similarly to JPP.


But he is most certainly great.  What sets JPP apart from your typical uber-talented player is how hard he plays.  Non-stop for 60 minutes.


And I loved Collinsworths' nickname for him last night: The Octopus.  It's perfect.


Crap, forgot I'm supposed to talk trash... Um... The rest of the defense is horrible.  Ah, much better.

Do you feel better, Jimmy?


Yes, the rest of the Giants defense is...frustrating. There is a ton of talk in the G-men blogosphere today about the solution, whichc no one can come to a consensus on, except that JPP is The Man.

Jesus, first Eli is "Elite", now JPP is the second coming of LT. There's no sense of proportion these days. People, can we relax for a second. The guy had a GREAT game last week. He had a GREAT game yesterday. He's had a solid season. But where was he when ya'll were losing 4 straight (ONE to the Vick-less Eagles AT HOME), the Seahawks and Deadskins. Good lord.

You mean the same Jason Pierre-Paul, blunt-smoking Trent Williams pancaked all game long in Week 1?!?! He's the best?!?!?!  No way Jose!

Was it worth it to watch the Cowboys lose in hilarious fashion again to put up with another week of fawning over Eli, who's idea of making plays is thinking "Screw it, I'm going to fall back and just throw this ball up there"?

"Fawning over Eli"? Are you serious? Demarcus Ware even said in a pregame interview that Eli is as good as the other Elite quarterbacks in the league but that he isn't as well respected. Yes, he may get more attention today after yesterday's performance but he has not been fawned over by any stretch of the imagination. He tied a record last night with Johnny Unitas and his brother for number of 4th quarter touchdown passes in a season and there are still three games left to play! His accuracy is undeniable, as uch as you try to deny it.

Websters defines "ELIte" as winning 1 out of the last 5 games, but as long as you win that one game in style, you're as good as Brees, Brady, and Rodgers.

Eli beat Brady and kept them in the game against the Packers. The Defense lost the game to the Saints. But I guess we'll see what happens in the playoffs...

*Soundling like a broken record* as I answer Jen AGAIN. Weren't the Giants just 6-2 and talkin trash talkin about how they were gonna whip the Saints, Packers, and Niners? Then they lost 4 straight, one to the VICKLESS Philly Iggles. Remember that? They beat a Cowboys team that hasn't won a game against a team with a winning record since week 2. Impressive victory? Sure. I'm just waiting, for the OTHER shoe to drop. (that would be the third shoe, by the way, since I predicted this team would flounder in the second half). Let's see if they follow this up against the J-E-T-S Jets! Jets! Jets!

The Jets are almost as inconsistent as the Giants. It all depends (and this seems to be a theme this year) on which Jets team shows up to the game. But we have to get by the rascally Deadskins first, who showed yesterday they won't just lay down.

Eli "beat" Brady but lost to Tavaris Jackson and Vince Young.

Producer's note: The chat introduction did not get published when we started the chat, buit it's up at the top now. Scroll up to see if if you missed it. Sorry for the confusion!

Why do you think the Eagles have had such awful defensive efforts then have a game like the Dolphins? Is it personnel getting the scheme? Better preparation due to the coaching staff having a few extra days? Thanks, Gio

I've given up trying to figure out the 2011 Eagles.  And you're right - The came to play against the Cowboys.  they came to play against the Giants in a big way.  And yesterday, they came to play against the Dolphins.


The rest of the season, they've been a non-tackling, non-covering, non-turnover inducing frustration of epic proportions.


And I don't have the answer as to why.

The Iggles have been a mystery and a riddle all at the same time. Jim knows this much better, but from my layman's point of view seems like they're a little unprepared and don't have the right personnel to run the schemes they want. (no LBs, can't get the secondary thing straight, etc). That may be a by-product of the lock out or the fact that, well, the Def Coord is a former OL Coach

With the Redskins cemented in fourth place every year, what is there to talk about? They won't be a factor in the division until Snyder sells the team.

Or until Snyder gets a personality transplant. Do others think it;s the front office? It is so hard to pin down the fix for the Deadskins. Despite Sexy Rexy's solid play yesterday, they still need a solid QB, they miss Hightower terribly and I continue to maintain that Kyle has to go. If Snyder set up a good, smart front office and let them run the team without interference, things could turn around but I see none of those things happening.

Personally, I love the Skins.  They're like the "Maury Povich Show" of the NFL.  Something in your life not going well?  Turn on Maury.  You'll feel slightly better about yourself.  Michael Vick gets hurt?  Meh, could be worse.  At least we don't have Rex Grossman and John Beck.  Lose to the Seahawks?  No worries, the Skins are losing two of their best players because they can't lay off the reefer.  It's comforting to know they're there.

I don't understand the Snyder curse. I mean I get it but I'm not superstitious enough to believe something like that when I'm educated enough to see the talent level and play calling is still on a college level....a mid major college at that.


I love the hate from Jimmy. In many ways your Eagles is that comfort for me. After the years over and the superbowl winner is crowned sometimes I feel down but I always remember "at least AT SOME POINT, my team has been there and done that."  Like LeBron and D Wade, the "Dream Team" Eagles always have next season to get that 1st notch...

I'm sympathetic to the view imbedded in this question that the culture of a team won't change until the ownership changes or somehow has a radical change in approach. I'm a proponent of the view that the Cowboys problems begin and end with ownership; an ownership that refuses to hire REAL football people to run the organization. As long a Jerry and his mini-me are running the show without a Tommy Thompson-type, the overwhelming talent that the Cowboys have will never be organized into a winning whole.

Playoff spots are on the line and the officials are getting it so wrong sometimes. It seems worse this year than others. And protecting the franchise QBs like Brady?! Are they being given kickbacks from team owners? It sure seems like it!

I really don't know what they can do.  In the Skins game yesterday, there were two of most ridicuilous "roughing the QB" calls I've ever seen, one for each side.  There was a terrible call in the Lions-Vikings game too, that basically handed the Lions a W, in which Joe Webb's head was clearly jerked by his facemask, the whole stadium saw it, and it wasn't called.  There are 5-10 atrocious call every week.  But again, what do you do about those?  Tell the officials "Get it right, or you have to run around the stadium naked while the fans throw eggs at you?"


It's the ambiguous calls that really bother me.  What is a catch these days anyway?  How was Greg Jennings' catch last week a catch but Calvin Johnson's last year not a catch?  And what are the rules as far as what's a legal hit on a WR that's trying to make a catch, or a QB?  When can helmet be involved? When can it not?


It seems like there's no rhyme or reason to it.  Maybe the NFL would be wise to implement what the NHL does.  In the NHL, all reviews go to one guy in a remote location.  At least in the NHL, the calls are consistent.  Not sure how that would work if there were a few reviews going on at the same time, but worth the thought at least. 

I agree. Eventually it's gonna become flag football for just the quarterbacks because they don't want anyone touching them anymore. London Fletcher had every right to go nuts after that ridiculous call. Rex's pick was bailed out by one I didn't think was roughing but apparently in the "rules" you can't go for the QB's legs?!?! Why not when you can go for a receiver or runners legs?!?! The pampering is getting ridiculous and out of hand to say the least!

We pretty much handled the Jets for 55 minutes before collapsing in the final 4 and a half minutes, and gave the Pats all they could handle. How great would it be to sweep the Midgets and make them sweat trying to get in the playoffs?

I can see why you would salivate on that thought but I don't think it's going to happen. When was the last time the Deadskins swept the Giants? I certainly expect the Deadskins to bring it on but I don't think there is enough left in the tank to defeat the Gaints a second time, even with the pitiful state the Giants' defense is in. I think they learn from the last game and handily beat the Deadskins. In fact, it may very well be the only game the Giants won't have to come back to win  in the 4th Quarter!

Like they were suppose to "handily beat" the Vince Young-led Eagles a few weeks ago right?! Thats right your defense made "Mr. Emotional" Vince Young look like McNabb in his prime, so I wouldn't be too confident if I were you. Sexy Rexy is letting that ball go now and your secondary is just as bad as the Patriots. Better hope Eli doesn't have a game like he did here in Landover or it could be a repeat of the 10th Anniversary of 9-11!

Do you know what the rule was that he broke?

Bradshaw apparently broke curfew and was punished for it by not starting and not even playing until the second half. I disagreed with the decision. I see Coughlin's point that riles are rules but when your season is on the line, you do what you have to in order to win.  I don't know the whole story but I am glad that Jacobs finally stepped up.

I mean what is there to say?! Every year we have the month of December and every December we watch NOmo and the Cowboys find unconvenient ways to lose games. How ironic were they barely beating teams they should've been blowing out (The Redskins twice, Miami Dolphin, etc.) by fg's at the end, only to lose the first 2 games of the month by a fg missed (after being iced by his own coach) and the next week by a blocked fg. There's a God somewhere I tell you!

Yeah we sure do give haters the ammo to use against us, ain't no doubt about it. What is there to say? How about this, Redskins fan: At least we make it to December being relevant. The Deadskins always find a way to be out of the conversation by October. I'll take my two months of fun over your inevitable October 15 faceplant any day. lol. I mean, the Skins had a pretty nice game yesterday, but are we even  TALKING about that 4-9 squad today?



That's like saying "Hey we both got beat up up but I still got 4 of my teeth while you only have 1" The fact remains you choke and are sitting comfortablly on the couch with my Skins and Jim's Eagles. So how well does that "We were relevant in November" statement sit when you're with me at a bar watching the Wildcard game the Giants are playing in?!?!?! 

Because we living in the moment, son! Plus this fact: 18-16; 27-24. lol.

I've always said Romeo isn't a pressure player. Of course others a share in the blame, but he's just not clutch.

If we really want to be honest this is what we'll say: Romo can be clutch one game and he can choke the next. That's why we as Cowboys fans are suspect of him getting it done. We don't know which one will show up.

Chris - Really? You would still take Romo over Eli?

I give it to Eli but not by a huge margin. Sure, Romo has made knee-slapping mistakes over his career (and this year). So has Eli- (remember the FOUR pick-6's he threw against the Vikes?) Both these guys make incredible throws. Both have a record of 4th Q comebacks. Obviosly Eli has the ring. But it ain't a slam dunk.

C'Mon CJ. Romo is a better liked Grossman. He has his moments but in the end, no one has faith in him and knows he's going to screw it up. He's proved that year after year after year. And it's no secret I don't like Eli and think he's over-rated...he's better than ROmo by a long shot tho.

Well just have to draw the square circle on this one: By a long shot? Nope.

With a win over the "tough" Dolphins ( Skins couldn't do it *Cuba Swing*) and out of the basement of the division for now, is Andy Reid's job safe now?

I think Reid is going to survive this turd sandwich of a season, but it won't be because they beat the Dolphins.

When others bring up bygone Super Bowl victories, they're living in the past. But you just went there with Jimmy, Rog. Love your passion but why can't you admit he's right? Washington loses year after year with this pathetic excuse for an owner. He's had these crazy cartoon free agent signings and excavated this latest coach from Egyptian ruins. He's worse that Jerry Jones, and that's sayin' something.

Yeah, Roger... Admit I'm right, you big doo doo head.

That IS sayin something

Ay man I'm just saying that selling the team isn't gonna overnight make the Redskins relevant again. Yes he's played fantasy football with our team for years and yes he doesn't know the game well enough to be the owner, gm, friend and so on and so forth, but he went in the right direction by hiring a general manager (something Jerry Jones STILL refuses to do). I wonder how long it will take idiotic fans to realize, Snyder isn't making the decisions anymore. Bruce Allen does. Rebuilding takes a few years and we just exploded the roster last season. I know "Graphs of Cops" but you're really not gonna see a change in the team until we get some draft picks in and make key moves at different positions. QUite frankly don't look for anything to happen until we get a quarterback. Period.

And past of present, when you've been in the league 30+ years and have no titles, and you're in a division with 3 different teams with dynasties then're gonna get picked on more than De Angelo Hall.

Usually you don't hear this much cheering for a team w/o a dance routine. The Giants barely won a game after giving up nearly 40 points and freezing a shaky kicker. The NFC East is just awful this year. And remember, you can't spell "feline" without "eli."

Yes, we all know the NFC East is crap this year. Tell us something we don't know. But last night wasn't luck. The Giants defense gives up way too many points. But Eli still scored 15 points in five minutes. I think that is impressive because, although not great, the Cowgirls defense isn't non-existant. And they didn't freeze the kicker on the last play. The kick was BLOCKED. Big difference. They gave up too many points and that will likely be their downfall but they got it going on offense, and now that Jacons seems to have a fire under his butt, even bigger things coould be in store.

Look, the Giants just came off a FOUR GAME LOSING STREAK. Remember that? I know everyboy in Big Blue land forgot what it's like to actually win a game, but act like you been there. lol.

"Jacobs seems to have a fire under his butt, even bigger things could be in store."


Oh no!  Dirty... joke... overload!  Musn't... get... fired.

Thanks again for checking in with us, loyal Trash Talkers. Because of the Christmas/New Years holidays, next week will be our final installment for the 2011 season. Another NFC East showdown on Sunday: Redskins travel to the Swamp to take on the Giants, the Eagles host the Jets and the Cowboys go to Tampa. See ya next week.

In This Chat
Roger Newkirk
Roger Newkirk is an Information Technology Systems Editor for The Washington Post. Born and raised in the D.C. metropolitan area, he's been a die-hard and loyal Redskins fan through the good and bad for over 25 years.
Chris Jenkins
Chris Jenkins, a staff writer at TheRootDC, has been a Cowboys fan since Superbowl XIII. He's repped Cowboy Nation behind enemy lines for 11 years. Dallas, baby.
Jennifer LeFevre
Jennifer LeFevre, concrete industry professional by day, is a long-time Giants fan who has survived having to hear about the Redskins' trials and tribulations for more than 16 years. A transplant to D.C. from upstate New York (yes, there is a whole other state beyond New York City), she is happy to still be in the NFC East corridor. Go Big Blue!
Jimmy Kempski
Jimmy Kempski is an editor at Bleeding Green Nation, covering the Eagles, and the founder at Blogging the Beast, covering the NFC East. Jimmy was born and raised in South Jersey (Eagles country), but currently resides in North Jersey (Giants country). Jimmy is the proud owner of many fantasy football titles, which unfortunately, makes his trophy case more full than his favorite team.
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