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December 06, 2016

NFC Hierarchy/Obituary: Week 14

Eagles NFL
120616DougPederson Frank Victores/AP

The Eagles are done.

After a two-week absence, the "Hierarchy/Obituary" is back, and we have a bunch of teams to kill off, beginning with your 5-7 Philadelphia Eagles. Let's get right to it.





DEAD: Eagles (5-7)

The Eagles' 2016 season, in run-on sentence form:

The Eagles' wide receivers are the worst in the NFL, the cornerbacks can't cover, their right tackle got pinched for the second time for PEDs and the offensive line has had to be juggled all season to account for that, the defensive line forgot how to rush the passer, their linebacker got arrested twice for "dumbass" offenses, their running backs can't just hold onto the football when they have the lead late in games, the tight end literally jumps out of the way of blocks, and the rookie quarterback coming from an FCS school in North Dakota is being asked to put all the above mess on his shoulders and win games.

Does that about sum it up?

MORE ON THE EAGLES: Jeffrey Lurie is learning one thing about Doug Pederson: Nice guys finish last | Wentz should have his top two weapons back when Eagles host Redskins | Eagles' Pederson: 'Not everybody' played hard in loss to BengalsEagles' Pederson: 'Not everybody' played hard in loss to Bengals | Eagles need Zach Ertz to start playing like a tight end, Part II | Eagles' Pederson not worried about his job status – but should he be?Eagles' Pederson not worried about his job status – but should he be?


DEAD: Rams (4-8)

During training camp, Jeff Fisher cut undrafted rookie free agent Deon Long for having a woman in his dorm to send a message, then delivered the following infamous "7-9" speech. (NSFW):

Yeah, that didn't work, although technically, Fisher is correct that his team isn't going 7-9 again.


DEAD: Panthers (4-8)

Heading into next season, I bet there will be a lot of people who pick the Carolina Panthers to win the NFC South, because really, they're still probably the most talented team in that division despite the oddball down year they had.

And hey, guess what? The Eagles will face the NFC South team that finishes in the same place within their division as the Eagles. If the season ended today, that would be the Panthers. In other words, the Eagles' fourth-place schedule would yield the team that went to the Super Bowl last year.



11) Saints (5-7)

It's pretty much division or bust for the Saints at this point. At 5-7, I would have killed them off already, but they play the co-division-leading Buccaneers twice in the final four games, and the Falcons once. The Saints did have a five-game stretch earlier this season in which they won four games, and they still have an explosive offense, so I'll hold off one more week before we add them to the graveyard.


10) Cardinals (5-6-1)

Even with the Cardinals' down season, we should probably take a moment to acknowledge the year that RB David Johnson is having. On the season, he has 228 carries for 1005 yards (4.4 YPC), and 11 TDs. He also has a ridiculous 64 catches for 704 yards (11.0 YPC) and 4 TDs. Ezekiel Elliott is, of course, getting a lot of attention on a 11-1 Cowboys team, but David Johnson has had a better season.


9) Vikings (6-6)

Over the last four games, the Vikings should probably be of more interest to Eagles fans (from a wins/losses perspective) than their own team, seeing as the Eagles own the Vikings' first-round pick, which would be 16th overall if the season ended today.

Over those last four games, the Vikings play a few garbage teams:

Opponent Wins Losses 
 At Jaguars10 
 At Packers
 TOTAL17 31 

Then again, the Vikings themselves have been garbage, losing six of their #LastSevenGames.


8) Redskins (6-5-1)

The Redskins were looking dangerous there for a hot second, but after two straight losses they find themselves on the outside of the wild-card hunt looking in. Luckily for them, they face the Eagles this week, who are apparently owned by Kirk Cousins, and not Jeffrey Lurie.


7) Packers (6-6)

After their defense was becoming something of a punchline in the NFL, the Packers have given up a total of 26 points the last two weeks, albeit to the Eagles' incompetent skill players, and then Brock Osweiler.

Before getting back on track against the Eagles, the Packers had lost four straight games and people were snickering at Aaron Rodgers for suggesting that the Packers could run the table. They have a huge hurdle this week at home against the Seahawks.


6) Giants (8-4)

After facing a lot of slop (the Rams, Eagles, Bengals, Bears and Browns), the Giants entered the difficult part of their schedule last week, beginning with the Steelers, who beat them easily. The rest of the way, the Giants have the 11-1 Cowboys, the 8-4 Lions, an Eagles team that has typically owned them, and the 6-5-1 Redskins, who could be fighting for their playoff lives.

I guess we'll see how legit that 8-3 record was.


5) Falcons (7-5)

This is such an insane way to lose:


4) Buccaneers (7-5)

The Bucs are good. They have four straight wins, three of which were against legitimate opponents (At Chiefs, Seahawks, At Chargers). This is one of those hot teams with a quarterback who seems to enjoy playing better competition that I would not want to face in the playoffs if I were an upper-tier team.


3) Lions (8-4)

Ever since (and including) the Lions' thrashing of the Eagles on Thanksgiving last year, Matthew Stafford has thrown 38 touchdowns and 6 interceptions.


2) Seahawks (8-3-1)

Help us, Obi Wilson Kenobi. You're our only hope.



1) Cowboys (11-1)

So this was my worst take of the year:


(Although to be fair, the Cowboys actively tried to get three other quarterbacks before settling on Dak, and they didn't exactly love their draft at the time either).

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