The 5 o’clock club is published from time to time during the season and aims to provide a forum for reader-driven discussion at a time of day when much of the NFL news is not published. Feel free to submit the topics of interest to you in the comments below.
Mike Sandow of The Athletic published an article this week rating all 32 NFL teams against what was identified as each team’s biggest fear in pre-season. Here it is in Sando’s own words:
Ahead of the 2020 NFL season, we recruited executives across the league to identify one primary concern for each of the 32 teams.. Now, 10 weeks into the season, we are revisiting those concerns, and we salute the teams that have overcome them. For the most part, however, pre-season concerns have become seasonal problems.
I thought it might be helpful to take a look at the comments of the four teams that make up NFC East.
Reality of the Season: It was a brutal summer for the Cowboys as injuries spared Gerald McCoy, Sean Lee, Lyle Collins and others. All signs were that the Cowboys were failing to live up to expectations, which was certainly the case, even before midfielder Dak Prescott lost this season..
I spent the entire off-season saying that Washington and New York have new youth rosters and coaches, and that the Eagles have the old and weak roster by 2020.. Hypothetically, it felt the Cowboys would win the NFC East the largest complete roster, despite the change of head coaching. I never felt the Cowboys would be able to win a playoff match – just because they’d be the best in a bad division.
The bad list news started early for Cowboys with the sudden retirement of Travis Frederick in the off-season, and injuries accumulated early. By the time Dak Prescott lost this season, he was the only thing keeping the team competitive on the field..
At this point, Dallas fans have embraced the idea that they are the worst team in the division and are on the right track to picking the top 5.
Here’s what you need to root in Week 11 so the Cowboys get the best possible draft position in 2021
As things stand in the wake of Week 10, the Dallas Cowboys are fourth overall (this season really resembles 2015 in many ways). You can view the current order in full in the Tunathon and if you do you will see that the New York Jets, the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Washington soccer team are the teams in front of Dallas. .
Needless to say we want teams close to Cowboys to win so that their draft status can deteriorate. .
I don’t think my pre-season expectations for the Cowboys were unreasonable, but the injuries they suffered this season were definitely. Washington will be in Dallas on Thursday next week to take part in the Thanksgiving Day match, in which the good guys have a rare chance to win.. It might be a bit ironic that losing a home may be exactly what many Dallas fans want. Perhaps it doesn’t matter how good they get into the draft, as Jerry Jones has demonstrated that without Jimmy Johnson, he would be unable to build a roster of championships..
Anxiety: Too Much Rides On Coach Joe Judge, who is still unknown.
Reality of the Season: Al-Qadi showed himself as a promising new coach at this early stage, sending a team that is the strongest in the special teams, his field of expertise and his improved defense. The Giants are ranked 12th in the Environmental Protection Agency’s joint defense and special teams. This is an improvement from 26 last season.
I must say, I expected Joe Judge in New York to fail. It seemed doomed to two directions: the recent inability of the Giants’ team to make a good decision about training (Ben McAdoo, Steve Spagniolo, and Pat Schurmer), and the long-standing tradition of Bill Bilesic’s aides failing as head coaches.. .
Some early reports in this recession season indicated that Judge was likely the latest in a double streak of major training train wrecks.
Seasonal reports say otherwise. The players seem to love Judge, and the Giants, after looking so terrible at the start of the 2020 season, have played better (even in the games they lost) in recent weeks.. Judge seems to be finding his rhythm as head coach – although there’s a bit of a « red flag » this week, Athletic reported:
Upon being informed of DeGuglielmo’s addition on Tuesday night, Colombo had a heated oral exchange with the judge, according to sources.. The Giants vehemently denied a report of a « fist fight » between Judge and Colombo. But the judge responded to the confrontation by expelling Colombo and replacing him with Dieguglielmo on Wednesday.
This was kind of an annoyance, as DeGuglielmo worked alongside Judge for two years in New England, serving as the Patriots Offensive Line Coach from 2014 to 2015. The judge relied heavily on coaches he was familiar with when assembling his team.
Colombo, 42, had no ties to the judge, but has a long history with attack coordinator Jason Jarrett.
DeGuglielmo and Judge should be on the same page philosophically due to their common New England background. But it will be interesting to see how the new coach deals with Garrett and the players after arriving on board in mid-season.. .
The shooting of Colombo in favor of the DeGuglielmo scraper could be a flashlight on the radar or it could be the first crack in the shield that ultimately proves Judge is just the next failure in the Giants / Belichick series of bad coaches.
At the moment, I tend to think New York made the right decision and « got the man », although I am encouraged by my continued personal impression of Dave Gettleman as a stuttering and inconsistent general manager. The judge’s paralysis should continue with poor standing decisions..
Reality in Season: The pre-season item we introduced noticed Jason Peters was 38, Jason Kelsey was 33 years old, Brandon Brooks was 31 and Lyn Johnson was 30, not to mention aging receivers Decene Jackson and Alson Jeffrey. The injuries did affect the offense in a detrimental way to Quarterback Carson Wentz. Injury tracker Man-Games Lost reports that Philly has lost more matches to injury than any other team, but San Francisco enters Week 10.. .
I was wrong about the Cowboys winning the 2020 League title, and I was wrong that Joe Judge definitely failed as head coach, but I was right about the Philadelphia Eagles. I spent the off-season slump asking what others on this list didn’t see.
What I saw was a mediocre menu, overrated, old age with dubious training. While many fans and critics around the NFL have seen the Eagles team whose 2017 Super Bowl run was the norm for him, the 19 « & » seasons have been largely driven by injury woes; While they saw a team that would compete for the division title and make a noise in the qualifiers, I saw the opposite. The engineers of 2017, John DeFelipo and Nick Falls, are gone. Howie Roseman made free agency decisions in each of the past three seasons in an effort to try for a second Super Cup win in 2017, but only succeeded in building a modest, advanced and increasingly expensive roster.. .
As other people saw Rosman playing 4D chess, I saw a manager acting like a blackjack player trying to recoup his loss from the previous hand by increasing his bet and hoping for better luck.. I thought Vultures were bound to suffer injuries this season and find it difficult to break them . 500.
In All Over the Cup, the Eagles are currently projected to hit $ 69 million from the 2021 estimate with only 44 players on contract – the worst expected position for any team in the league except the Saints.. . By contrast, Washington is expected to have fifth place among the best matches in the league, and will likely jump to third on the list once separated from Alex Smith.. . The writers at OTC have repeatedly said that vultures have a lot of options to attack cap-laying, but getting the cap and rebuilding a sick roster are two different things. It looks like Eagles’ front office will have to do the job with both hands tied behind their backs, as it looks like they’ll win enough games not to have a great draft site, and no money to spend at a free agency.
For now, the NFC East Division title looks like a poison pill for any team that wins, since it automatically puts that team’s draft placement between supplement teams. If the Eagles win the division, the relatively poor draft placement will likely not be a good swap for the fun of hanging a 2020 division title banner at the stadium..
Anxiety: Leaked defensive secondary that threatens a talented defense, putting great pressure on a young attacker – specifically Dwayne Haskins’ young midfielder – to overpower the opponents.
Seasonal Reality: High School has sometimes had trouble, most recently at key moments in Detroit, but fullbacks Kendall Fuller and Ronald Darby exceeded expectations. Washington allowed 36 full passes longer than 15 yards. This ties in with the third lowest number in the league. Washington also ranks third for the percentage of opposition EPA production passes.
Honestly, I was shocked to read that pre-season anxiety was secondary. I thought it would be (in order): (1) Dwayne Haskins’ ability to develop as a midfielder; (2) Failure to receive weapons when attacking, or (3) a group of suspected backers in a new defense scheme.
I always expected Fuller and Darby to play well, and I expected Landon Collins and Shawn Davis to play hard too. . I’m still perplexed by the coaching staff’s decision to sign Apke to Davis, but I’m happy to see that by most statistical measures, Washington High School has done well this season, and that Fuller and Darby have passed the eye test as well.. Camerin Correll looked so good as a rookie being called out to escalate in the wake of Dad’s poor play and Collins’ injury.
Haskins – I had high expectations for the second year quarterback, and I expected him to build on his accomplishments late in Season 19. I was expecting that the entire 2020 season would be awarded to prove himself, and while I was really disappointed with his decision to sit on the bench after 4 games, it had nothing to do with suspicion that Rivera had made the right decision and more to do with the idea that Washington again found itself unable to Resolve the quarterback case.
Lack of Talent Reception – In the wake of Kelvin Harmon’s injury, it was hard to see how the team was going to put the received firepower on the field needed to win ball matches. I was expecting Terry McLaurin & Steven Sims to be a showcase. The Sims performed below my expectations, but Logan Thomas, J.. . Dr. McKissic and – recently – Cam Sims have both surpassed my expectations.
Defensive line – I wasn’t sure what to expect from the LB team in 2020. I have struggled to understand who will be the junior, who will be the backup and how 4-3 will be executed in the second level. In my pre-season prediction, I had Kevin Pierre Louise in the coaching camp bubble, and ended up playing a major role for the team.. Washington’s huge defensive problem this season appears to have been primarily center back, with poor running spells and poor passing coverage.. Personally, I describe midfielders as the most disappointing group of situations on the team in 2020 (closely followed by the venue factor).
If Ron Rivera and Jacques Del Rio want to have a rival team in the play-off next season, they have to decide center-back (I tend to stick with Alex Smith if they don’t believe in Heskins) and fix the set-back. I will not be disappointed to see a high-quality free agent back signed and another drafted in the first two rounds prior to regular season « 21 ».. I also wouldn’t rule out Landon Collins’ position change (when he’s healthy), which seems more right-back than safety.
Andy Dalton, Dallas Cowboys, Coronavirus, Quarterback, Dak Prescott, Washington Football Team
World News – CA – Club 5 O’Clock: Athletic revisits 32 teams’ concerns Pre-Season – What did they say about NFC East?