Philadelphia at NYG
The good news for both of these teams is that right now, the NFC East is so mediocre that any team could win it. The bad news is that both teams are about to have something bad happen to them tonight.
There's been lots of talk about New York's troubles this season, and I'll get to that, but first I want to talk about Philadelphia. Things haven't exactly been rosy for them either. In a season where offences have put some big numbers on the scoreboard, from Kansas City and New Orleans (of course), to Pittsburgh and New England (sure) to Tampa and Chicago (weird), Philly's offence has been consistently mediocre. Granted, their receivers aren't exactly a strength, and they've been devastated at RB due to injuries. They just haven't been able to score a lot of points. Also, their defence has not been playing at a high level. Last week, as they were getting dominated by Minnesota, I saw a lot of finger-pointing and arguing among some of the defensive players. It seems that the defending champs are not handling success very well.
New York's early struggles were typical of what many teams deal with early in the season; trying to figure out what they have, don't have, need to improve. And from what I've seen, they've done the hard work. Like finally cutting bait on the underperforming Ereck Flowers. It's not an easy thing to admit that a player who came in with such high expectations is never going to live up to them, but they did it.
In the first few games, it looked like New York was going to wear Saquon Barkley down to a nub. However, the team has started to use him in more creative ways, and he has shone. I would argue that Barkley is the most valuable player on the team on offence already.
Now, New York has another problem. Or rather, the continuation of the same problem.
The team is being held hostage by one talented player with an outsize ego and a warped sense of his importance to the team.
Do I really have to say who I'm talking about?
So, you have a guy who's just ridiculously talented. He's also an idiot. He helps the team with the plays he makes, but he hurts the team in so many other ways. Now it's time to decide whether to pay him the money that his skill and potential (and the market) dictate, or explore the idea of life without him. So you talk to the guy. He says all the right things. So, you talk yourself into believing him, and you pay him.
You listen to his words, and ignore ALL of the behaviours, and you pay him.
Now you're stuck with him.
As you all know, Odell Beckham gave an interview last week. It was an idiotic thing to do. I won't even argue the point. The the team went out and gave a great performance, losing to a heavily-favoured, rested Carolina team, and only because of a heart-shredding 63-yard field goal. Then Pat Shurmur goes out and addresses the media about the interview, and the coach just kills it; honestly, one of the best answers I've ever seen a coach give in a presser.
Later, Beckham takes credit for his team's effort, basically saying that the controversy he created was good for the team.
This is what your team paid for, fans of Big Blue. It's Odell's world now, and you, and the rest of the team, are just living in it.
You think I'm wrong?
Sterling Shepard beats up a trash can on the sidelines. Later, he says, "That's not me."
At practice this week, they played Lil Wayne (I can't believe I even fucking typed that name) over the PA. Ha Ha ha... that's hilarious. Just a big joke.
I feel bad for the coach. I feel bad for the team. I feel bad for the fans.
(That was a longer rant than I expected. Sometimes it just goes where it goes.)
So anyway, back to the game.
Philadelphia, on the field, is struggling. New York, on the field, looks like a team on the rise.
If things go the way they should tonight, Philly will be two games under .500, and that's bad.
If things go the way they should tonight, New York will get its second win of the season, and that's bad.
Don't get me wrong, a win is a win. I just think that reinforcing Beckham's bad behaviour might cause the team more harm than good in the long run.
Winner: New York