As noted yesterday, the NFC West appears to be a two team battle at the top and a two team battle for the bottom. Today, I thought I’d begin a meander around the league on the Outsider Magic Carpet and see what the other divisions are brewing for the 2010 season. For this particular jaunt, I’ll be counting on you readers not knowing much about these divisions because I won’t have a clue what I’m talking about. Hopefully, how will you know the difference? If you do, then maybe I’ll learn something without having to look it up.
The NFC East is always an interesting slug fest. Rarely does any team dominate this overrated, media-hyped foursome. The Giants had a nice little 5 year run in the late ’80s, after an extended stay in the doghouse that lasted 27 years. Then Bill Parcells and Bill Belichick went looking for new pastures and it was back to the doghouse for another 17 years. The fickle stars of the football heavens all aligned perfectly in 2007, aided by the vengeance seeking football gods, as this franchise won a SB over the evil Patriot empire. The Giants were selected for this task of punishing the cheating, poor sportsmanship Patriots because nothing causes more pain in Massachusetts than a New York team whipping one of theirs.
But that magical bit of destiny came crashing back to earth the following season and with last year’s ignominious collapse, the Giants are back to knocking around in the Non Factor League. The Eagles have been the dominant team in this division for the past decade but have nothing to show for it. After two straight years of wheezing out in the playoffs, they are now embarking on a new era with Donovan McNabb’s backup taking over the show that McNabb was never able to get across the finish line. The only ticket to the playoffs for these vomit-green fellows will be through the Wild Card, and that is not a sure thing.
Washington had a nice, if sporadic, run in the ’80s under Joe Gibbs, but for the most part this franchise is a lot like the city it gets its name from: they live in another state, make a lot of money, generate a ton of ink, and get nothing done. Since Dan Snyder became owner, the team is more noteworthy for jokes than victories. Bay Area fans have had more than a few laughs watching Snyder latch onto Vinny Cerrato and let him bungle up that franchise like he did when working for the 49ers in the 90’s during the ill-fated Carmen Policy/Dwight Clark era. Most of the positive press for this team has been during the Free Agency period each year, as Snyder tosses wads of dough at various big name loafers and watches the team continue its bottom feeder ways like nothing had happened.
Many 49er bloggers will have a keen interest in Washington this year because Mike Shanahan is the new exalted leader. Shanahan is near the top of the list of head coaches more preferable to fans critical of the 49ers hiring of Mike Singletary. Ergo, those who trumpet his tune look avidly forward to his success. Not because they care a turkey’s chin about the Redskins, but because their anti-Singletry bile would have fresh acidic input. On the other hand, those who don’t care much for these other thoses will hope for a Shanahan bellyflop, which would fill their salt shakers for sprinkling on the wounds of the those guys. Blog warfare in its intricate finest.
It is likely to be a tie game in the weapons gathering agenda, however, because the Skins ain’t going nowhere anyway. Which brings us to every 49er fan’s favorite franchise bugaboo, the hated Cowboys. Booooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Ahem. They’re the favorites in the East. No question. Hahaha. The awesome weight of an entire State inflated massively with its own self-anointed wonderfulness (i.e., super duper drawling gas bags) presses down upon the terrified Wade Phillips and the reconstructed androidian braggart Jerry Jones. The Cowboys certainly have the best talent in the division, maybe even in the entire NFC. But they have a soft spot for honking in the championship tournament. They beeped in Seattle, then at home against the Giants, then in the last regular season game against the Eagles (missing the playoffs), and last year took a serious gonging in Minnesota. Their QB, Tony Romo, has been accused of avoiding the grindstone of greatness, but this off season he has put his entire focus on … qualifying for the U.S. Open Golf Tournament!
The Cowboys will make the playoffs. But they are in the same hot spot this year as the 49ers, albeit at a bit loftier level. Both teams must win. The 49ers must go to the playoffs. But the Cowboys must go to the SB.