NFC Hierarchy/Obituary: Week 5 edition


Week 4 of the NFL season is in the books, and the Philadelphia Eagles are the lone remaining undefeated team. Because there is so much mediocrity in the NFC so far this season, we still don’t have any obituaries yet. Soon. Let’s get to the Hierarchy.

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16) Panthers (1-3): It’s probably pretty safe to kill this team off, but they’re only one game behind in the NFC South, so we’ll exercise caution for one more week. Until then, the following stat seems bad:

 Last week: 15

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15) Commanders (1-3): We could very easily rail on Carson Wentz for his atrocious play the last couple of weeks, but I don’t think the stupid idiot Commanders as an organization are getting enough heat for the resources they coughed up to get him: 

  1. A 2022 third-round pick.
  2. A 2023 third-round pick that can become a second round pick if Wentz hits fairly attainable playing time benchmarks, as long as he doesn’t get benched.
  3. The Colts and Commanders swapped second round picks in 2022. (The Colts moved up from pick 47 to pick 42.)

The Commanders also took on Wentz’s salary in full, and in fact, he has the sixth-highest salary cap number in the NFL among quarterbacks in 2022 (not average annual salary, to be clear), at $28,295,118.

It’s a trade that was was laughably stupid then, and has turned out to be even worse after the first month of the season.

If he keeps playing the way he has the last two weeks, Wentz is going to get benched at some point soon (a) so that the Commanders won’t have to give away their 2023 second-round pick, (b) so that he won’t have to play in Philly Week 10, and (c) you know, because he sucks.

The calls for Wentz’s benching have already begun, by the way. Taylor Heinicke is 29, and Commanders fans already know that he has a rag arm, and no ceiling at all. And they’re like, “Yeah, we’d rather watch him.”

Will Carson Wentz play Week 10 in Philly?

Last week: 14

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14) Bears (2-2): Congratulations to Justin Fields, who completed more passes against the Giants (11) and threw for more yards (174) than he has in any game so far this season. 🍾

It’s very funny to me that this was one of his completions:

The play-by-play on that: 

(0:03 – 4th) (Shotgun) J.Fields pass short right to T.Ebner to CHI 35 for 2 yards. Lateral to E.St. Brown to CHI 44 for 9 yards. FUMBLES, touched at CHI 44, recovered by CHI-J.Fields at CHI 39. J.Fields to CHI 36 for -3 yards. Lateral to E.St. Brown to CHI 44 for 8 yards. Lateral to T.Ebner to NYG 44 for 12 yards (J.Ward). FUMBLES (J.Ward), recovered by CHI-L.Patrick at NYG 46. L.Patrick to CHI 48 for -6 yards. Lateral to J.Fields to CHI 49 for 1 yard. Lateral to T.Jenkins to CHI 46 for -3 yards (T.Crowder). FUMBLES (T.Crowder), touched at CHI 45, recovered by CHI-T.Ebner at CHI 41. T.Ebner to CHI 32 for -9 yards. FUMBLES, touched at CHI 32, RECOVERED by NYG-D.Belton at CHI 28.

Last week: 12

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13) Lions (1-3): The Lions still can’t win games, but at least they’re now fun to watch. They have the No. 1 offense in the NFL (both in terms of yards and points), and the No. 32 defense (again, both in yards and points). 

There have been 281 total points scored in Lions games this season, or 70.3 per game. The next closest team in terms of total points scored plus total points allowed is the Chiefs, at 225 (56.3 per game). There are two more touchdowns per game being scored in Lions games than in any other team’s games in the NFL.

Last week: 8

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12) Saints (1-3): The Saints have an NFL-worst turnover differential of -7. They also lead the league in giveaways, with 11. You know what the Saints didn’t do under Sean Payton? Turn the ball over. Payton’s last five years in New Orleans:

  1. 2021: +7
  2. 2020: +9
  3. 2019: +15
  4. 2018: +8
  5. 2017: +7

Out of curiosity, I looked up what Dennis Allen’s turnover differentials were when he was the head coach of the Raiders a decade ago:

  1. 2012: -7
  2. 2013: -9
  3. 2014: -15 (They were -4 when Allen was fired after Week 4.)

The Saints also have an NFL-worst 319 penalty yards against them, and they have a grand total of 3 first quarter points. This team is a sloppy mess. 

The head coach is kind of a big deal in the NFL, and it always seemed silly when people hand-waived away the loss of Payton, as if there weren’t going to be serious ripple effects.

Last week: 9

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11) Seahawks (2-2): Early candidate for NFL tweet of the year:

Poop is funny. #Analysis

Last week: 16

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10) Falcons (2-2): I can’t think of anything to write about the Falcons, so here are my bird team power rankings:

  1. Eagles
  2. Ravens
  3. Cardinals
  4. Falcons
  5. Seahawks

Last week: 13

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9) Cardinals (2-2): The Cardinals have been outscored 31-0 in the first quarter of games this season.

Last week: 11

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8) Giants (3-1): The Giants’ super easy stretch of their schedule is over, and good on them for capitalizing by winning three of their first four games. Their games will now get a hell of a lot harder, and they have quite a bit of travel in their future as well.

  1. Week 5: At Packers (in London)
  2. Week 6: Ravens
  3. Week 7: At Jaguars
  4. Week 8: At Seahawks

By my estimation, the Giants are going to fly 13,378 miles over the next four weeks.

Last week: 10

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7) Rams (2-2): Matthew Stafford has thrown 7 INTs, most in the NFL, and he has been sacked 16 times, tied for second-most in the NFL. The Rams’ offensive line is very banged up, buuuuuuut… he don’t look right.

Last week: 4

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6) 49ers (2-2): The Niners are becoming a DC-to-HC factory. Vic Fangio, Robert Saleh, and coming soon, DeMeco Ryans.

Last week: 6

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5) Cowboys (3-1): The Cowboys’ defense has been really good through the first four games of the season, and as such, by law, their fans must be fed overexaggerated delusions of grandeur.

Last week: 7

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4) Vikings (3-1): Credit where it’s due — Kirk Cousins threw a beauty to take down the Saints on Sunday.

On a side note, what in the hell are the Saints doing covering Justin Jefferson man-to-man with no safety help with the game on the line?

Last week: 5

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3) Buccaneers (2-2): I’m guessing this wasn’t the Bucs’ game plan against the Chiefs Sunday night:

100422BucsRushing

Last week: 3

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2) Packers (3-1): I would say you should just pencil in the Packers at 6-1 with the Giants, Jets, and Commanders on their schedule the next three weeks, but they almost lost to a bad Patri*ts team quarterbacked by Brian Hoyer and Bailey Zappe.

Last week: 2

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1) Eagles (4-0): The Eagles have the second ranked offense in the NFL, yardage-wise. They have the third ranked defense. Hmm, I wonder if that means that have a pretty good yardage differential.

Team  Yards gained  Yards allowed  Yardage differential 
Eagles  1742  1109  +633 
 49ers  1298  938  +360 
Packers  1510  1179  +331 
Saints  1457  1313  +144 
Cardinals  1398  1371  +27 
Cowboys  1251  1234  +17 
Giants  1328  1329  -1 
Buccaneers  1268  1284  -16 
Lions  1747  1779  -32 
Falcons  1396  1545  -149 
Commanders  1323  1487  -164 
Rams  1176  1366  -190 
Vikings  1376  1578  -202 
Seahawks  1444  1712  -268 
Bears  1099  1407  -308 
Panthers  1049  1384  -335 

Checks out. ✔️

Last week: 1


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