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September 21, 2021

NFC Hierarchy/Obituary: Week 3

Eagles NFL
092121NickSirianni Kate Frese/PhillyVoice

The Eagles tumbled a bit in the Hierarchy this week.

Week 2 of the NFL season is in the books, and while there's a decent argument to kill off the Atlanta Falcons already, we'll hold off for one more week. Let's just get right to the hierarchy. 


16) Falcons (0-2): Step aside, Al Pacino, Rick Moranis, Denzel Washington, and Billy Bob Thornton. When movies are made about the 2021 Atlanta Falcons, Arthur Smith's "We have to put ourselves in a spot to go win a football game" speech will put every great Hollywood football speech to shame.

Last week: 16


15) Giants (0-2): If you stayed up to watch the the Giants-Washington game in its entirety Thursday night, you were treated to an instant "piss the game away" classic.

Joe Judge's messaging throughout his Giants' coaching tenure has been all about discipline. 

How's that going in Year 2? In Week 1, he threw a challenge flag on a touchdown out of frustration because he wanted his moment to complain to the officials about a call that was obviously correct on the field. In Week 2, well, you can watch the video above. Anyway...


Last week: 15


14) Lions (0-2): Jared Goff swatted the ball out of his throwing hand with his non-throwing hand. 

Give him a sack, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery, which in fairness, is more than the Lions' defense did Monday night.

Last week: 14


13) Vikings (0-2): "COME ON!!! IT ISSSSSSS... GOOOOOOOOOOOODDDDDDDDDD!!!!!!!! No, he missed it."


Last week: 10


12) Bears (1-1): This back-and-forth transpired between Matt Nagy and a reporter on Monday:

You can't triple stamp a double stamp.

Anyway, in the Bears' win over the Bengals on Sunday, Andy Dalton got hurt, and did not return. Justin Fields wasn't awesome when he replaced Dalton, but it still doesn't matter. Playing Dalton makes zero sense for a team that has no chance of competing for a Super Bowl. Just play the kid and let him grow.

Last week: 11

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11) Football Team (1-1): We laughed at the Giants above, but the reality is that Washington should be 0-2. Their defensive line has underwhelmed, and WFT fans talking themselves into a JAG quarterback for the 30th straight season should be entertaining.

Last week: 9


10) Eagles (1-1): Let's recap the four-play series after the Eagles got 1st and Goal from the 1 against the Niners:

• 1st down: The Eagles rolled Jalen Hurts to the right, with one guy (Zach Ertz) in the pattern. He was covered, there was nowhere else to go with the football, and Hurts had to throw it away. Throw that garbage out of the playbook.

• 2nd down: Run. But not just a "blow them off the ball and punch it in from the 1" run. Nope. Isaac Seumalo is pulling to the right, but he gets blown up, Miles Sanders has to hurdle him, and it's a loss of 2.

• 3rd down: Foofy run call wide in which Hurts has the ball in Sanders' gut, and has the option to let Sanders run to the pylon, or keep it himself and and cut it back inside. Throw that garbage out of the playbook.

• 4th down: Some bastardized version of the Philly Special, again, in which there's only one guy (Hurts) out in the route.

I'm not one to micromanage play calling, but... 🤢. That sequence probably cost the Eagles a 2-0 start.

Last week: 12


9) Saints (1-1): The Saints had perhaps the surprise showing in the NFL Week 1, when they absolutely took it to the Packers, 38-3. Let's just say that Week 2 was more in line with my expectations of what they would look like with Jameis Winston at QB:

Last week: 6


8) Panthers (2-0): My 2-0 team power rankings:

  1. Buccaneers
  2. Rams
  3. 49ers
  4. Cardinals
  5. Broncos
  6. Raiders
  7. Panthers

Last week: 12


7) Cowboys (1-1): Give the Cowboys credit. They lose their best defender (DeMarcus Lawrence), their next best edge rusher (Randy Gregory) gets COVID, they lose their starting RT (La'el Collins), and a starting WR (Michael Gallup), and they still beat a very talented team in the Chargers on the road. 

Last week: 8


6) Packers (1-1): Aaron Rodgers and the Packers rightfully caught some heat after they got wrecked 38-3 Week 1. After their Week 2 win over the Lions, Rodgers took the opportunity to crow a little.

Rodgers is an awesome player, obviously, but that gives me some Ben Simmons vibes.

Last week: 7


5) Seahawks (1-1): The Seahawks had a 24-9 lead at the half against the Titans. In the second half, the Titans scored 21 points while piling up 318 yards (150 rushing, 168 passing) and 22 first downs. The Seahawks could not stop Derrick Henry. He was a man among gnats.

That's a brutal loss. The Seahawks simply got bullied in the second half, which is something you don't often see from them.

Last week: 3


4) Cardinals (2-0): Rondale Moore was one of my favorite prospects in the 2021 NFL Draft, simply because of how fun a player he is. Through his first two games, Moore has 11 catches for 182 yards and a TD.

That offense has a lot of weapons.

Last week: 5


3) 49ers (2-0): The Niners are a tough football team, and they scrapped their way to a Week 2 win in Philly, but the fact remains that they have major injury concerns at corner, and now in their backfield. That's trouble in a division with major star power at wide receiver:

Cardinals Rams Seahawks 
DeAndre Hopkins Robert Woods Tyler Lockett 
A.J. Green Cooper Kupp DK Metcalf 
Rondale Moore Van Jefferson D'Wayne Eskridge 
Christian Kirk DeSean Jackson Freddie Swain 

The Niners feel like obvious buyers at the trade deadline for a corner. Maybe sooner. They have to do something there.

Last week: 4


2) Rams (2-0): Matthew Stafford picked up his first fourth quarter comeback as a Ram on Sunday. He now has 31 of them for his career, which is third-best among active NFL quarterbacks, and ties him with John Elway for the seventh-most, all-time. Here's a list of the top nine (there are a handful of guys tied for 10th, so we'll omit them), with their career number of playoff wins:

Player 4th Q comebacks Total playoff wins 
Peyton Manning 43 14 
Tom Brady 40 34 
Drew Brees 36 
Ben Roethlisberger 36 13 
Johnny Unitas 34 
Dan Marino 33 
John Elway 31 14 
Matthew Stafford 31 0 
Matt Ryan 30 

If you're wondering if it's weird to have that many regular season fourth quarter comebacks, but zero playoff wins, yes, yes it is.

Last week: 2


1) Buccaneers (2-0): Bucs at Rams Week 3 for the top spot in the hierarchy.

Last week: 1

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