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September 30, 2019

NFC Hierarchy/Obituary: Week 5 edition, Washington is dead

Eagles NFL
093019DwayneHaskins Eric Hartline/USA TODAY Sports

Good luck, Dwayne.

Week 5 of the NFL season is in the books, and since we have a Bengals-Steelers Monday night game that nobody cares about, we'll publish this bad boy a day early. 

We have our first obituary of the 2019 regular season. And guess who? Yep, one of the worst franchises in professional sports.



Whenever Dwayne Haskins makes his first ever NFL start, maybe next Sunday at home against the Patri*ts (good luck, kid), he will be the 20th quarterback to start a game in the Dan Snyder era, which celebrated its 20th anniversary in May. Unsurprisingly, even against a trash defense, Haskins had a rough debut this past Sunday when 3 of his 17 pass attempts were caught by the Giants.

Realistically, it's not going to get much better. To begin, only four of the last 100 quarterbacks to be selected in the first round of the draft have had fewer than 15 collegiate starts, one of whom is Haskins. So right off the bat, he has a lack of experience working against him in a major way. On top of that, he's playing behind an offensive line that is missing star LT Trent Williams, and throwing to a group of skill position players that were bad to begin with, and are now also banged up.

When Washington is holding a top 5 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, they'll have an interesting decision. Do they take another quarterback prospect that they project to be better than Haskins, or do they ride with Haskins because they spent a first-round pick on him in the 2019 draft?

Ultimately, who cares? Haskins is a topic of interest today because he played in his first NFL game yesterday, but the real issues are at the very top of the franchise.

GM Bruce Allen was hired to be Washington's GM at the tail end of the 2009 season, and he has been the head personnel decision maker ever since, save for the short tenure of Scot McCloughan, who Allen helped oust after two seasons (2015-2016) with the team. In Allen's nine full seasons in Washington, plus the first four games of this season, the teams's record is 59-88-1. That's a winning percentage of 0.402. They'll dip below 0.400 after they lose to the Patri*ts next Sunday.

Above Allen is the clown-show owner. Maybe the worst current owner in American sports? I won't go through a timeline of Snyder's awful reign -- Washington City Paper did a fine job of that. Like we did in our Washington dumpster fire piece this past offseason, we'll just close their obituary by noting that fans of the three other NFC East teams celebrate Snyder, and his insistence on being an insurmountable obstacle to any possible long-term success:


Here's to another 20 years.





15) Cardinals (0-3-1): We could have easily also just killed off the Cardinals this week as well, but with hot garbage on their schedule the next three weeks (vs. the Bengals, Falcons, and Giants), we'll give them a chance to turn it around. 

Last week: 15


14) Falcons (1-3): Matt Ryan is on pace for 5300 passing yards this season, and yet, only two NFC teams -- the Bears and the Washington team -- have scored fewer points this season than Atlanta.

Last week: 11


13) Giants (2-2): Me, buying stock on Giants fans' false hopes:


Last week: 13


12) Panthers (2-2): Looking at the Panthers' schedule, they play the Jaguars next week, and it just dawned on me nearly 25 years later how lame it is that the NFL introduced two new teams in 1995 that basically have the same animal for a mascot. Like, couldn't the NFL have said to the Jaguars or Panthers, whoever thought of their team name second, "Sorry, the other expansion team already picked a predatory feline?"

Last week: 12


11) Buccaneers (2-2): What's crazy about the Buccaneers' 55-40 win over the Rams on Sunday was that there were only 7 points scored in the first 20 minutes of the game. The last 40 minutes produced 88 points. The Bucs and Rams averaged 2.2 points per minute in the last 40 minutes! 

The Bucs have to be encouraged that Jameis Winston has looked better each game under Bruce Arians:


At the same time, Tampa has to be more consistent before anyone will buy them as a legit contender. The win on the road in L.A. is great and all, but you can't lose at home to the Giants.

Last week: 14


10) Vikings (2-2): Remember last year when the Vikings needed a win to get into the playoffs over a Bears team that was locked into their playoff seed, and really didn't have anything to play for other than to knock a divisional rival out of playoff contention, and Kirk Cousins decided to teach Adam Thielen how to run his routes?

Ah, good times. Well, there's fresh new Cousins-Thielen drama this morning, after Thielen honestly pointed out that Cousins missed some throws in the Vikings' loss to the Bears on Sunday, via Chad Graff of The Athletic.

“At some point, you’re not going to be able to run the ball for 180 yards, even with the best running back in the NFL,” Thielen said. “That’s when you have to be able to throw the ball. You have to be able to make plays. You have to be able to hit the deep balls. You have to do that.”

20 games down in the Cousins era, only 28 to go. 


Hang in there, Minny.

Last week: 7


9) Lions (2-1-1): I'm sure you've seen the replay of this already, but this is one of the worst 14-point swings you'll see all season:

The Lions went toe-to-toe with the Chiefs on Sunday, they beat the Eagles on the road, and they beat a talented Chargers team. It's probably time to begin to take them seriously, and yet, I still somehow can't justify putting them any higher yet.

Last week: 9


8) Bears (3-1): The bad news: Mitchell Trubisky in injured, and could be out a while.

The good news: Chase Daniel might be better than Trubisky?

The bad news: Chase Daniel might be better than Trubisky.

Last week: 8


7) Eagles (2-2): What a difference one week in the NFL can make. Before the week began, the Eagles were staring a 1-3 start in the face, and it looked like the Cowboys might get to 4-0 and just run away with the NFC East. Now... the Eagles are only one game behind them, they have something of a mini-bye to get healthy-ish, and they'll be something close to two-touchdown favorites over the Jets next Sunday, who may or may not have their starting quarterback.

Last week: 10


6) Packers (3-1): Yeah, the run doesn't matter in the NFL anymore. Unless, you know, you can't stop it. The Packers' run defense the last three weeks:

Opponent Rushes Yards YPC TD 
 Vikings27 198 7.3 
 Broncos38 149 3.9 
 Eagles33 176 5.3 
 TOTAL98 523 5.3 

On Saturday, we published something of a highlight reel of Dallas Goedert dominating Packers defenders in the run game.

While the purpose of that thread was to praise Goedert, there's all kinds of alarming awfulness from Green Bay's run defense. Yes, they're 3-1, but they have to fix that.

Last week: 3


5) Cowboys (3-1): The Cowboys had the Saints right where they wanted them. No Drew Brees, and a backup who did not look good at all in his first start with the team Week 3. And then...

With 1:39 left in the fourth quarter, down 2, the Cowboys only needed to get into field goal range to get the win. All the way from New Jersey, I could already hear people typing up stories glorifying Dak Prescott for his 15th fourth-quarter "game winning drive," many of which looked exactly like what last night might have been, where the team wouldn't have needed a comeback had the offense actually done something the rest of the night.

Anyway, one play all but killed that, when Prescott was sacked for a loss of 11 on the first play of the drive, and Tyron Smith, who may be out for a while, was injured.

Last week: 2


4) 49ers (3-0): So, uh, who had the Niners as the last undefeated team in the NFC?

Last week: 6


3) Seahawks (3-1): The Seahawks are 3-1, which is fine, but the teams they have defeated have a combined zero wins this season. Their schedule gets harder with the Rams, Browns and Ravens on the horizon.

Last week: 5


2) Rams (3-1): Yes, they gave up double nickels to the Bucs, and obviously, the defense should be embarrassed. But, the Rams are still very talented, and that felt like one crazy game that just went a little off the rails. They'll be fine.

Last week: 1


1) Saints (3-1): Teddy Bridgewater isn't good, and yet somehow the Saints are 2-0 with him as their starter, against a pair of teams that are 6-0 against their non-Saints competition. In Week 3 against the Seahawks, they made big plays on defense and on special teams. In Week 4 against the Cowboys, they allowed just 257 yards and forced three turnovers.

During the Saints' Sunday Night Football matchup, "doctor from afar" Dr. David Chao was pleased with the way Drew Brees was moving his thumb while watching the game from the sideline.

Brees should be back soon enough, and the Saints are going to cruise to an NFC South title. It's only a matter of whether or not they get home field advantage throughout the playoffs or not.

Last week: 4

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