When we last left Asinine Analysis, it looked like the rest of the AFC East was just trying to play keep-up, or even keep-away, with the Super Bowl-winning New England Patriots.
Unfortunately, no one in the NFC East won the Super Bowl last season, so these teams are just trying to get into the playoffs this coming season. At the very least, they’re trying to keep their fans buying tickets without resorting to Groupon.
Asinine Analysis continues its critical summary of the good moves, bad moves and hopeful moves for each and every team this offseason, leading into the 2015 NFL Draft.
Our next targets: the teams of the NFC East.
The Good: Dallas’s front line on the offensive side of the ball is still solid. Like, Emmitt Smith days solid. I have nothing against Smith but, come on, a Winnebago being pushed by a kindergarten class could have gotten through those holes back in the ’90s.
What does this mean? It means that DeMarco Murray is replaceable. Let him join the injured reserve squad in Philadelphia. The Cowboys can put out a running back with one leg and still pick up enough yardage for the offense to live and die by a Tony Romo throw.
The Bad: The Cowboys picked up Darren McFadden, which isn’t too far away from putting a running back with one leg in the backfield. Luckily, Joseph Randle looked decent enough last season to steal some touches away from McFadden and Lance Dunbar.
What, too soon?
The Hopeful: The biggest hope in Dallas is that the defense proves everyone wrong again. Like most other analysts, I had the Cowboys ranked dead last in defense leading into the 2014 season, and I’m still eating my foot after they only allowed an average of 22 points per game and ranked in the middle of the pack. I’m up to the ankle right now.
New York Giants
The Good: It looks like the New York Giants finally have the sort of swagger they’ve been lacking since the days of Jeremy Shockey. That’s right, I’m talking about “ODB,” Odell Beckham Jr. The Showstopper. Mr. Magic Hands. Take your pick of nicknames, because he probably refers to himself as all of them.
Granted, that swagger didn’t get the Giants into the playoffs last season, but it makes games much more entertaining than trying to find the Manning face of the day.
The Bad: That Giants offensive line really needs a boost. It doesn’t matter how many running backs the Giants sign from other teams: Rashad Jennings, Shane Vereen, um… Orleans Darkwa. They can’t all run at the same time and play keep-away with a defense. And Manning needs time to get the ball down to ODB. Defenses picked up on the Larry Donnell safety valve pretty quickly, so the dink-and-dunk playbook needs a few pages replaced.
The Hopeful: The Giants have the #9 pick leading up to the 2015 draft, so they pretty much have an open choice on a young, solid offensive lineman that can be slotted into any game plan. T.J. Clemmings, for instance, would probably look great in blue.
The Good: Chip Kelly obviously doesn’t take missing the playoffs lightly, even if the Philadelphia Eagles won 10 games. Fifth in total yards and third in total points scored? NOT GOOD ENOUGH! Get rid of our quarterback, get rid of our running back, get rid of our wide receiver, get rid of our defensive backs. I’m sure Chip Kelly would have traded away his owner if he could. He took losing to heart.
The Bad: The roster that Chip Kelly is amassing to replace all of these #1 starters looks more like a team in the hospital league than the NFL. Sam Bradford will probably tear both of his ACLs even browsing the high-paced Chip Kelly offense. DeMarco Murray will probably hit the IR during the preseason. Ryan Matthews, Miles Austin… well, you get the picture.
The Hopeful: The real hope for the Philadelphia Eagles is that their team becomes so injury-prone that other teams feel bad for them and only run out their second and third-string lineups. Drafting defensive tackle Eddie Goldman to stop up the front probably wouldn’t hurt, either.
The Good: Well guys, here’s to three months news-free about whether or not Washington should change their name. Whoops! I broke that streak. Sorry, guys.
Oh, and did I not mention enough last season that Colt McCoy is the chosen one, the second coming of Mark Rypien? WHY WON’T YOU TAKE ME SERIOUSLY, JAY GRUDEN?!
Aside from that, Washington has decided to tweak their defense by adding Chris Culliver to the secondary and Terrance Knighton to the line, because those moves are less prone to criticism than, say, replacing your franchise quarterback that you sold the farm to get.
The Bad: Did I mention that Washington is in the midst of a quarterbacking controversy for three years and running? I just wanted to make sure that everyone knows about it, including the quarterbacks, the coach, the owner, the food vendors and the entire population of the Washington, DC metro area.
The Hopeful: The Redskins currently have the #5 pick in the draft. Barring some insane trade that moves them up two spots to pass two teams that don’t need a quarterback and takes away their first round pick for another two years after, the Redskins can probably address their quarterback situation by taking Marcus Mariota. Or they could play it smart by trading down, picking up some volume and getting started on building a team again. Maybe replace the 100-year-old Santana Moss with a wide receiver who can be involved in more than two plays per game.
Hey, it could happen.
Patrick Emmel is a sports humorist who once punted a soccer ball fifty yards to his teammate, who then scored the only goal for his college intramural soccer team’s season. Seriously, that kick was placed PERFECTLY. He is also still a believer that Colt McCoy is going to break out as an NFL quarterback. You can read more of his obnoxious commentary at This Jeer In Sports and heckle him on Twitter @Patrick_AE.