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Time to Feast on NFC East

We should learn a little more about two NFC East teams today as the Turkey Day football marathon rolls on. Dallas and Philly are both in action, and those teams appear to be on divergent paths.

Dallas should have little problem with Seattle in the late-afternoon game. The Seahawks don't travel well, it's a short week for them and they have nothing to play for. The Cowboys finally got back to their more explosive offensive ways last week, but to me they don't yet resemble the team was rolling through the NFC in the regular season a year ago.

(Because it's a free country, you can also vote here.)

TE Jason Witten has four catches in the past month, WR Roy Williams has not found his niche and lately the Cowboys' game plan has been to either ride Marion Barber exclusively in the run and pass game, or get Terrell Owens in motion, move him to the slot, station him all over the place and run the offense through him. This could be a game in which Jason Garrett goes through a multitude of options through four quarters and gets them back to being a dynamic offensive machine.

I still don't love their secondary - maybe Pacman Jones will help when he returns in a week - and I'm not entirely sold on the team's rebirth, but rediscovering their offensive diversity would be a major step.

As for the Eagles, I'm still halfway thinking Andy Reid is trying to tank the season. I know RB Brian Westbrook is beat up, as is Correll Buckhalter, but the play-calling has been mind-numbing (to say nothing of the bizarre and obviously ill-fated move to yank Donovan McNabb at halftime last week).

The Eagles have thrown 99 passes and handed off to a running back just 31 times in the past two weeks (tie at Cincy, blowout loss at Baltimore). That's wacky, even by Reid's standards. Against the Bengals Reid threw on all 18 third-down chances, including a bunch of third-and-ones, and against Baltimore he did not call a single designed run play for a RB on 13 third downs.

The Ravens were loving life. That defense just teed off on either QB. No offensive line or passer is going to thrive being that one-dimensional. The Eagles gave up a sack and an interception on third down last week, and produced 12 net yards on three third-down plays, completing just a few short passes. Again, not a single run by a running back on third down in the last 31 chances over two games.

They could go out and sign Shaun Alexander - who looked to be done here but does know the West Coast offense, if nothing else - and at least pretend to aspire to some sort of offensive balance. Sheesh. McNabb's catching most of the heat, but his coach has been the primary culprit there, it seems to me.

By Jason La Canfora  |  November 27, 2008; 3:30 PM ET
 
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Comments

First, I need a nap. What a feast we just had.

Posted by: talent_evaluator | November 27, 2008 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Second - ly , Happy Thanksgiving to those of you in the US.

Posted by: crimson999 | November 27, 2008 3:50 PM | Report abuse

I am ready to eat. Perhaps its my ravenous hunger talking, but I think Seattle can win this game. Dallas is still overrated on defense, are susceptible to the big play. Hasselbeck should have most of the rust off. Morris ran well against us. Romo is always good for a loose play or two. Look for a close one....mark my words

HAIL/HAPPY THXGIVING

Posted by: Notorious_LMG | November 27, 2008 4:14 PM | Report abuse

I think Seattle can win this game.

Posted by: Notorious_LMG | November 27, 2008 4:14 PM | Report abuse

False!

But yes, Happy Thanksgiving.

Posted by: SMACK1 | November 27, 2008 4:36 PM | Report abuse

I hope you guys go down Smack. LOL Happy Thanksgiving my friend.

JM220

Posted by: icetotalpackage | November 27, 2008 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Dallas can sure move the ball better than we did against the 'Hawks...

Posted by: 70Chip | November 27, 2008 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Seattle's defense is simply GIVING this game to Dallas....

Posted by: Lisa_R | November 27, 2008 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Well 0/2 in watchable games, thanks NFL!!!!!!

Posted by: chrislarry | November 27, 2008 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Well 0/2 in watchable games, thanks NFL!!!!!!

Posted by: chrislarry | November 27, 2008 5:14 PM

Hey, it's Thanksiving. NFL's just serving up more turkeys.

I wanted to say "who would have known when they made up the schedule that these games would be so bad?" But then I thought of the answer myself. Anyone.

Posted by: talent_evaluator | November 27, 2008 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Not a good feeling though that the 'Skins played both Detroit and Seattle and struggled mightily against both, while Dallas and Tennessee are in cruise control. That's why I figure Dallas and Carolina get the last playoff spot unless we win Sunday against the Giants...

Posted by: 70Chip | November 27, 2008 5:20 PM | Report abuse

I hope you guys go down Smack. LOL Happy Thanksgiving my friend.

JM220

Posted by: icetotalpackage | November 27, 2008 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Thanks JM, same to you. Did you like that JuJo fumble? Man that guy is a scrub. I think you can save your hoping for a Philly loss later on.

And I'm sure, Nate et al, that these T-day routs will add voices to your calls for Turkey Day football socialism.

Posted by: SMACK1 | November 27, 2008 5:24 PM | Report abuse

I guess they get a pass on this game, two playoff teams last year....

Posted by: chrislarry | November 27, 2008 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Dallas just put up more points in 18 minutes than we did in a whole game. The difference? Romo has ALL DAY to throw the ball!!!!!!!!! We don't need a pass rush, we need pass protection!!!

Posted by: vegasskinsfan | November 27, 2008 5:31 PM | Report abuse

You got that right with the 0/2.

JM220

Posted by: icetotalpackage | November 27, 2008 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Here's some things I'd like to e thankful for next year:

Percy Harvin replacing Randle El as punt returner and all-around speedy Hester/ for Westbrook-lite option and his young apprentice, Mr. Campbell

Karlos Dansby starting alongside Fletcher, McIntosh at linebacker next year.

The following o-line: Samuels-Rhinehart-Rabach-Thomas-(and a young stud replacing a retired, but proud Jansen)

Jason Campbell being shown the money.

Malcom Kelly-Santana Moss-Percy Harvin-Chris Cooley forming an explosive skill position group.

A schedule that features home/away games against the very soft AFC West.

The league ending the double-bye Dallas gets every year by rotating the Thanksgiving game to the previous year's Super Bowl match-up.

The Skins open up their wallet and steal Dedric Ward from the Giants.

Posted by: MistaMoe | November 27, 2008 5:39 PM | Report abuse

At least make all the Thanksgiving Day games division battles and give them some extra meaning.

Posted by: vegasskinsfan | November 27, 2008 5:56 PM | Report abuse

OK... no longer comatose from turkey day gluttomy. Lovin the idea by MistaMoe. No more Dallas or Detroit automatic Thanksgiving game. Very boring.

LOL T_E: I couldn't agree more.

Posted by: AppleScience | November 27, 2008 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Been out of touch for a while (mostly for all the wrong reasons), but just wanted to wish the RI crew a safe and happy Thanksgiving. I'd also like to thank the NFL for broadcasting the Philly/Cards game on the NFL Network and not on national TV. I think I'll be much happier spending time with my family instead of watching that debacle.

Peace, prosperity, and happiness to all

Eagles Fan Adam

Posted by: anonymous41 | November 27, 2008 7:23 PM | Report abuse

WE NEED TO PICK UP SOME OFFENSIVE LINEMEN IN THE OFF SEASON!!!( a couple between now and Sunday would be nice, too)

Posted by: vegasskinsfan | November 27, 2008 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Sorry vegasskinsfan, but for the rest of the season, you play the games with the team you've got, not the team you want.

Still it's the holidays and I feel your pain. Maybe tonight's (or next year's) Iggles playbook will include a couple of successful short yardage plays, instead of a bunch of slow developing tosses, ill fated dives into the line, or ill-conceived spead offense pass plays.

Sigh...

Eagles Fan Adam

Posted by: anonymous41 | November 27, 2008 7:30 PM | Report abuse

Great to have you back Adam. It could be worse just remember that. At least your team isn't the Lions.

JM220

Posted by: icetotalpackage | November 27, 2008 7:38 PM | Report abuse

Back from spending Turkey day with the in-laws and almost puked when I saw the Seattle (refuse to name the other team!) score. Just about ruined my day.

Well, maybe Zona will help me get back to finish my day right (nothing personal Adam...)!!

Posted by: Curzon417 | November 27, 2008 7:48 PM | Report abuse

Great to have you back Adam. It could be worse just remember that. At least your team isn't the Lions.

JM220

Posted by: icetotalpackage | November 27, 2008 7:38 PM | Report abuse

Good to be back, albeit briefly and I think you hit the nail on the head with your Detroit comment. It could be A LOT worse. To cite the Raleigh News and Observer

"It is hard to imagine, without the arrival of locusts, a city having a worse year. The economy is in a tailspin, the recent mayor is in jail and the auto executives are a punch line because they went to Congress to plead poverty and arrived aboard separate private jets.

Retired laborer Bob Holmes said over a beer on an afternoon raw with sleet, 'There isn't any upbeat to be had.'"


http://www.newsobserver.com/sports/story/1311349.html

Hope you and your family are doing better in Jersey/DC

Adam

Posted by: anonymous41 | November 27, 2008 8:00 PM | Report abuse

Well, maybe Zona will help me get back to finish my day right (nothing personal Adam...)!!

Posted by: Curzon417 | November 27, 2008 7:48 PM | Report abuse


LOL. At this point Curzon, I think an AZ win might be the best thing for my Iggles. It's been a good run, but my team needs some significant changes, and I don't think that's going to happen as long as Andy Reid is running the show.

I think he and the Iggles would both be better off if they parted ways at the end of the season.

Adam

Posted by: anonymous41 | November 27, 2008 8:05 PM | Report abuse

Adam,

The Iggles got Reid for 3 more years and they are NOT going to pay him to leave and still have to pay someone,$4 mill a year to actually coach.. Sorry man. At least Reid is finally using Westbrook again... just in time to come to Washington...

Posted by: michael_b_clegg | November 27, 2008 8:21 PM | Report abuse

I think he and the Iggles would both be better off if they parted ways at the end of the season.

Adam

Posted by: anonymous41

I hear you Adam. That's the way many of us have felt with our owner! You have a much better chance of seeing it happen than we do.

Posted by: Curzon417 | November 27, 2008 8:24 PM | Report abuse

The Lions should have to forfeit the rest of the year..... 154 Total Yds,...... that's just down right disgusting!!!!

Posted by: michael_b_clegg | November 27, 2008 8:25 PM | Report abuse

McNabb (and the Eagles) are looking really good tonight. Hopefully, Kurt Warner will be able to outscore them. Not likely...AZ does not travel well.

Posted by: Lisa_R | November 27, 2008 8:27 PM | Report abuse

Darn! 2 TDs already for the Eagles.....this is beginning to look like the Cowboys/Seahawks game.

Posted by: Lisa_R | November 27, 2008 8:37 PM | Report abuse

We play better from behind.... Overall record and in games....

Posted by: michael_b_clegg | November 27, 2008 8:39 PM | Report abuse

Well, so much for that thought...

Posted by: Curzon417 | November 27, 2008 8:45 PM | Report abuse

Hat trick of stinkers. Where is the flex schedule?

I can't wait for Landry to hurt someone Sunday. Payback for the opener.

Posted by: JasonLaTempleton | November 27, 2008 9:03 PM | Report abuse

WTF!! Warner with 2 picks already.

JM220

Posted by: icetotalpackage | November 27, 2008 9:06 PM | Report abuse

JM,

I'm more shocked at the Eagles play calling

18 rushes
11 passes (DMac 10-11)

Amazing what a little offensive balance will do...

Adam

Posted by: anonymous41 | November 27, 2008 9:09 PM | Report abuse

This has not been a good sports day :(

Posted by: Lisa_R | November 27, 2008 9:10 PM | Report abuse

The teams I am rooting for are probably going to go 0-4 today! What a sucky football game. Hope this means that we'll win on Sunday to make up for it.

Posted by: suzannepdc | November 27, 2008 9:15 PM | Report abuse

Happy Thanksgiving to those of you in the US.

Posted by: crimson999 | November 27, 2008 3:50 PM

And Happy Thanksgiving to the soldiers, sailors, and other service peeps overseas. Sending positive mojo to get you back before this time next year.

And, yes, Lisa, I felt bad about the Lions as players ... almost angry at the League for forcing them to go through the stupid Thanksgiving charade of having to play against the best ... for EVERYONE to have to watch. Just felt bad for them.

Thing I'm not thankful for ... 101.5 degree fever. Thing I'm even less thankful for ... giving it, apparently, now to my daughter.

I'm thankful for everyone out there who puts up with my crap and my attitude ... plus everything else going on in my life.

Posted by: dcsween | November 27, 2008 9:33 PM | Report abuse

Also, on this Arizona-Philly game, Arizona has nothing to play for ... they essentially have their division locked up ... they are playing at home in the playoffs. In Philly, Reid and McNabb are playing to keep their jobs.

Posted by: dcsween | November 27, 2008 9:37 PM | Report abuse

DC,

Hang in there.... you could be sicwidit today.... now that's bad,....... :-)
Get well.....

Posted by: michael_b_clegg | November 27, 2008 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Sorry you not feeling well DC. I hope you and your princess feel better real soon

Posted by: icetotalpackage | November 27, 2008 10:30 PM | Report abuse

That last post was from me. Now fly fly Mr. Powers. LMAO

JM220

Posted by: icetotalpackage | November 27, 2008 10:31 PM | Report abuse

The teams I am rooting for are probably going to go 0-4 today! What a sucky football game. Hope this means that we'll win on Sunday to make up for it.

you should be used to rooting for losers by now.

Posted by: Dfan | November 27, 2008 11:06 PM | Report abuse

I still don't love their secondary - maybe Pacman Jones will help when he returns in a week - and I'm not entirely sold on the team's rebirth, but rediscovering their offensive diversity would be a major step.

LOL, good one!

Posted by: Dfan | November 27, 2008 11:13 PM | Report abuse

Eagles fans are simply evil - they don't deserve to win.

After the Eagles got off to a great 14 point lead - with McNabb completing all his passes, he misses ONE pass and the fans booed. Evil Eagles fans.

Posted by: Lisa_R | November 27, 2008 11:28 PM | Report abuse

A special treat for those who missed it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l6ZtwttbGE8

Posted by: allen_wrench | November 28, 2008 4:21 AM | Report abuse

Eagles fans are simply evil - they don't deserve to win.

After the Eagles got off to a great 14 point lead - with McNabb completing all his passes, he misses ONE pass and the fans booed. Evil Eagles fans.

Posted by: Lisa_R | November 27, 2008 11:28 PM

That's why those punk @ss fans will never get a Super Bowl. I can't wait until McNabb leaves and it takes them 15-20 years to get themselves another franchise QB worth a damn and they'll pine for the days of #5. Karma's a b!tch...

I hope the Skins are able to ride an emotional wave to victory Sunday. I remember the Giants crushing us after their owner died a few years back and I hope we're able to do some similar damage to them in honor of the late great #21. HTTR!

Posted by: brownwood26 | November 28, 2008 6:17 AM | Report abuse

I guess I'm talking to myself since RI Nation is probably in a food induced coma right now...

Posted by: brownwood26 | November 28, 2008 6:20 AM | Report abuse

Nice to see Adam back here. The games were horrid yesterday...just from a watchability standpoint...Game seems out of whack with such high scoring (except locally...). We'll be discussing that today and this weekend on The League.

Forecast for Sunday says rain could be in the offing:
http://voices.washingtonpost.com/capitalweathergang/2008/11/skinscast_tossup_conditions_fo.html

Posted by: CindyBoren | November 28, 2008 7:28 AM | Report abuse

Forecast for Sunday says rain could be in the offing.

Posted by: CindyBoren | November 28, 2008 7:28 AM

A good sign would be "intermittent rain": pours when Giants have the ball, sunny and mild when 'Skins are on offense.

Posted by: talent_evaluator | November 28, 2008 7:36 AM | Report abuse

What an awful bunch of games yesterday.

The Cards are screwed in the playoffs when they come east. They just can't win out here.

Posted by: Original_etrod | November 28, 2008 7:56 AM | Report abuse

etrod,

I don't think it's a matter of travelling east. I think they're just not a very good team. Who have they beaten? San Francisco (twice), Seattle, St. Louis, Buffalo, Miami, and Dallas. They lost to Washington, Jets, Eagles, Giants, and Carolina.

Posted by: talent_evaluator | November 28, 2008 8:31 AM | Report abuse

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