Aug 19, 2010

Upon Further Review: NFC East

Day 292

Still no Revis....

The NFC East should prove to be one of the more physical divisions in football. Personally, I think the NFC East is one of the best divisions in football. Each team hates each other in this division, more than in any other division. And more champions come from this division than in any other. This season will be no different.

When I think of this division this season, I think of the big trade of QB Donavan McNabb going from the Eagles and landing with the Redskins. And when I think of Donavon McNabb I have to snicker a little. I like McNabb, I like him a lot and I think he got the raw deal in Philly. But I have to laugh at him when he didn't know the NFL's overtime rules. He didn't know that a regular season game could end in a tie. You would think he would know, I think anyone that watches football or plays Madden would know that.

The rules of overtime are very clear and simple, it is Sudden Death.
The sudden death system of determining the winner shall prevail when score is tied at the end of the regulation playing time of all NFL games. The team scoring first during overtime play shall be the winner and the game automatically ends upon any score (by safety, field goal, or touchdown) or when a score is awarded by Referee for a palpably unfair act.
At the end of regulation time the Referee will immediately toss coin at center of field in accordance with rules pertaining to the usual pregame toss. The captain of the visiting team will call the toss prior to the coin being flipped.

Following a three-minute intermission after the end of the regulation game, play will be continued in 15-minute periods or until there is a score*. There is a two-minute intermission between subsequent periods. The teams change goals at the start of each period. Each team has three time outs per half and all general timing provisions apply as during a regular game. Disqualified players are not allowed to return.

*Exception: In preseason and regular season games there shall be a maximum of 15 minutes of sudden death with two time outs instead of three. General provisions that apply for the fourth quarter will prevail. Try not attempted if touchdown scored. If there is no score in the 15 minutes, the game shall end in a tie.
There was some talk during the off season of changing this rule especially for the playoffs. One idea that was passed around was that the NFL should adopt a more college-like system where each team has a chance for possession. Some in the NFL feel that the current system is not fair. Some teams have lost in overtime without even touching the ball on offense. So if you win the coin toss you have a much better chance of winning the game in overtime.

I say thee Nay!

Fewer than half the teams that win the toss win on the first possession, about 40% historically. So I don't think a change needs to be made.

The biggest reason why I don't think a change should be made is because the defensive side of the ball is just as important as the offensive side. If I was a coach in this NFL and I lost a coin toss than I need to put my faith and trust into my defense and stop the other team from scoring. I do that for the full four quarters of the game, why wouldn't I do it in overtime? I trust my defense enough to make a play just as I would trust my offense to make a play and win the game. If my defense can't stop even a nosebleed in overtime then my team doesn't deserve another chance to win it. Man up! Life isn't fair, you take the hand that you are dealt with. So you lost the coin toss, that means NOTHING. Just go and stop the other team from scoring. That is what your defense should be doing anyway!


1) Dallas Cowboys

What I Like:
This team is loaded on talent on both sides of the ball. QB Tony Romo was a much smarter QB last season and giving him an awesome new weapon in rookie WR Dez Bryant could really give the Cowboys a huge boost offensively. They have depth at the running back position and an excellent offensive line that will open up a ton of holes for each running back taking the pressure off of Romo to win it all in the passing game. There is a lot to like about this team.

What I Don't Like:
The Cowboys do not have many holes but opposing teams could take advantage on the Cowboy's safeties. That is if opposing teams have time to throw that way since the Cowboys corners and linebackers are among the best in the NFC. The only thing that concerns me about the Cowboys is the pressure. The SuperBowl will be held in Dallas this year and the Cowboys could make history by winning the big one right at home. You know owner Jerry Jones is putting the pressure on his team to win it all. It might be too much for this team. Other than that, this team will go deep in the playoffs.

2) Washington Redskins

What I Like:
I don't know which pick-up is more exciting. New Head Coach Mike Shanahan or rival QB Donavon McNabb. Both of the instantly improve this team and makes them a contender for the NFC East title. McNabb has an excellent receiving corp and if he picks up the offense will be able to put up big points. Shanahan will also put his stamp on the team and will command a presence in the locker room. He will get the player's attention and respect and will play their heart out for him. This is one of the NFC's most improved team.

What I Don't Like:
I don't like seeing McNabb in red but that is merely just an opinion. I am not a huge fan of the Redskin's running game. RB Clinton Portis is getting older and is coming off a concussion, RB Larry Johnson has the most potential but could prove to be a headache and RB Willie Parker is not as fast as he used to be and I don't think his running style is best suited for how the Redskins want to play ball. This will also be the first year of HC Mike Shanahan and it might take some time for the team to get used to how he runs things. This team will challenge for the NFC East title but will fall just short.

3) New York Giants

What I Like:
The team is essentially the same team that won the SuperBowl just two years ago. Last year the team was unfortunately hit by a rash of injuries especially on the defensive side. The Giants have an excellent passing and running game that will take make opposing teams off-balance. The Giants should have their defense players all back from injury and the front four will scare opposing offenses. I do like the addition of Safety Antrel Rolle and he improves the secondary.

What I Don't Like:
Can those players bounce back from those injuries is a big question. I am also not convinced that the Giants offense will be dominant. The offensive line is getting older and may have difficulty against their NFC East rivals. The linebacking corp is the weakest portion of their defense and teams could easily take advantage with a short passing game which will negate pressuring the QB. They also gave up more than 40 points in each of their last 4 games. Not a good way to end the season last year and that might carry over.

4) Philadelphia Eagles

What I Like:
 I still think that the Eagles will be very competitive and I can easily see them taking 2nd or 3rd place in this tough division. Most of the team that made the playoffs last year are still there and should provide a stable environment for the new main cogs in the offense in QB Kevin Kolb and RB LeSean McCoy. I am also a believer in Kolb, this may not be his year but I believe that he eventually will be a good replacement for Donavon McNabb. The defense while unproven could turn out to be one of the biggest surprises in this division.

What I Don't Like:
The Eagles are unproven especially with the two most important positions on the offense. Kolb does have a good receiving corp but without a guaranteed running game the offense will face some difficulty. I also am concerned with the team's leadership, with so many vets gone from the team who will pick up the slack? Unfortunately the Eagles are in a rebuilding phase but the good thing about that is it might not take that long to be back on top.

NEXT WEEK:  We are down to the last division in the NFL! We go north to the Frozen Tundra to visit some old friends that were just in a retirement home and we visit where T.O. calls home in the NFC and AFC North divisions. Since it was NFC this week, I will give props to the AFC North next week and I will talk about the recent change for the Pro Bowl.

1 comment:

  1. Even I knew the overtime rules!! *snicker* Silly McNabb!! :P