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October 13, 2020

NFC Hierarchy/Obituary: Week 6

Eagles NFL
101220ArthurBlank Dale Zanine/USA TODAY Sports

Arthur Blank was voted "Owner Who Most Looks Like His Team's Mascot" in each of the last three seasons.

Week 5 of the NFL regular season is in the books, and we have our first obituary of the season. That would be the Atlanta Falcons, who started 0-5, and have already fired their head coach and general manager.

Obituary: Atlanta Falcons

051020FalconsLogo2020

Historic back-to-back choke jobs against the Cowboys and Bears Weeks 2 and 3 set the table for owner Arthur Blank to clean house, and a pair of non-competitive losses to the Packers and Panthers Weeks 4 and 5 sealed the fates of head coach Dan Quinn and GM Thomas Dmitroff.

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The Falcons descent from near Super Bowl champions to mediocre team to "so bad that they fired everybody after 5 games" is sort of astounding.

• 2016: They made it to the Super Bowl, and led 28-3 mid-way through the third quarter. And then, we all saw what happened.

• 2017: They still had a strong roster, made the playoffs with a 10-6 record, won a road playoff game, and went toe-to-toe with the eventual champs before a pass to Julio Jones in the closing seconds fell harmlessly to the turf. But clearly, their offense wasn't the same powerhouse as it was the year before.

• 2018: It starts to really fall apart, as the Falcons experience some injuries, and can't overcome them. They begin their season at 4-9, but a three-game winning streak to close the season only provides false hope for 2019.

• 2019: 1-7 start, but the head coach and GM get to keep their jobs yet again after a four-game winning streak to close the season provides more false hope. "Fool me once, strike one. Fool me twice, strike three." - Michael Scott's advice, unheeded by Blank.

2020: 0-5 start, head coach and GM canned.

Unfortunately for Falcons fans, they're not just bad. They're also the oldest team in the NFL, and years of awful drafting have put this team in a position in which they are not going to rebuild quickly. Atlanta is likely to be a doormat for years.

Graveyard

101220Graveyard2020afterATL

Hierarchy

15) Giants (0-5): The Giants' record since the boat pic is now 12-42 (.222). They do have a chance to win a game soon though. They have the Kyle Allen-led Football Team this Sunday, and then the Eagles the following Thursday. 🤞

Last week: 16 📈

14) Football Team (1-4): How's the Dwayne Haskins benching working out? Well, the Football Team had 108 yards of total offense on Sunday, and they averaged 1.8 yards per pass, lol. 

Last week: 15 📈

13) Lions (1-3): The Lions had a bye this week, so I'll exercise my right not to think of something to say about them.

Last Week: 13

12) Vikings (1-4):  Watching Sunday Night Football, I was shocked that Mike Zimmer went for it on 4 and 1 from the Seattle 6 yard line instead of kicking a short field goal to go up 8, even if I thought it was the right decision. Here's footage of Zimmer post-game, lamenting his decision to listen to analytics nerds.

 

Last week: 10 📉

11) Eagles (1-3-1): See the Falcons' timeline above? Does that look familiar?

Last week: 12 📈

10) Cowboys (2-3): Yes, Dak Prescott is done for the season, but can we talk some more about Dallas' trash defense?

The Giants haven't scored a TD since Week 1, and they put 34 points on the Cowboys, despite having two touchdowns nullified by penalties (one of which was a bad call). If not for those bailouts, they very likely would have lost, at home, to the worst team in the NFL.

Last week: 11 📈

9) 49ers (2-3): For the second straight week, the Niners benched their starting quarterback, in-game. In Week 4, as you saw against the Eagles, they pulled Nick Mullens in favor of C.J. Beathard. Week 5, Jimmy Garoppolo got the hook too against Miami, as they went back to Beathard.

Garoppolo had an NFL season low QBR of 1.4, throwing two ugly INTs along the way. The first one:

101320Garoppolo

The second one:

101320Garoppolo2

You could call fair catches on those.

The Niners are 2-3, and the easy part of their schedule is over. Their first five opponents have a combined record of 6-18-1. Their next 7 opponents have a combined record of 28-9.

Last week: 6 📉

8) Panthers (3-2): In our first edition of the hierarchy/obituary series this year, we had the Panthers in the 16 spot, assuming that they'd be really bad in a rebuilding year. Nope. They've been one of the biggest pleasant surprises of the 2020 season, with Teddy Bridgewater playing well, and Carolina rattling off three straight wins with Christian McCaffrey out.

Last week: 9 📈

7) Buccaneers (3-2): In the Bucs' loss to the Bears, Tom Brady didn't know it was fourth down, he threw an incomplete pass, and appeared confused as to why everyone on the field was heading toward the sidelines, holding up four fingers as if to say, "Hey wait guys, isn't it fourth down now?"

In the aftermath, Brady's social media team made light of the situation:

Predictably, morons went, "Oh, that Tom Brady. He can laugh at himself. What a great guy."

No! Tom Brady is a sore loser. He proved as much when he didn't shake Nick Foles' hand after the Super Bowl, and then again when he ran off the field like a baby after Foles beat him again on Thursday night. 

Last week: 5 📉

6) Cardinals (3-2): Just because it's fun, here are three wide receivers that were available to the Eagles that they passed on:

  1. DeAndre Hopkins, Cardinals: 45-528-2
  2. DK Metcalf, Seahawks: 22-496-5
  3. Robby Anderson, Panthers: 36-489-1

Hopkins, Metcalf, and Anderson are the three leading receivers in the NFL.

OK, so that's less about the Cardinals and more about the Eagles, but shut up.

Last week: 7 📈

5) Bears (4-1): Nick Foles is one of the most fascinating players in NFL history. In one moment, he can make a throw like this:

101320NickFoles

And then he'll lead a clutch drive for a win over Tom Brady, lol.

Last week 8 📈

4) Saints (3-2): The Saints have had soul-crushing, gut punch playoff losses in each of the last three seasons. I look forward to them getting wrecked in the playoffs this year, because this just isn't the same dominant Saints offense.

Last week: 4

3) Rams (4-1): The Rams are 4-1, but they won't have the NFC East to pick on anymore.

  1. Week 1, Cowboys: W, 20-17
  2. Week 2, Eagles: W, 37-19
  3. Week 4, Giants: W, 17-9
  4. Week 5, Football Team: W, 30-10

Last week: 3

2) Packers (4-0): Again, I'll exercise my right not to think of something to say about the Packers on their bye. No wait, I will say something here. Their bye comes at an absolutely awful time, seeing as (a) it's so early in the season, (b) they're healthy, and (c) they're rolling.

Last week: 2

1) Seahawks (5-0): It feels like the Seahawks have more super close games than any team in the league. For example:

101320SeahawksWinProbabilityNE-DAL-MIN

And they just find a way.

Last week: 1

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