'Skins Win to Take NFC East Lead, and We All Lose - Rolling Stone
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‘Skins Win to Take NFC East Lead, and We All Lose

Washington beats the Giants to climb atop the dreadful NFC East, but really – there are no winners here

Kirk Cousins; NFC East; 1st place; Giants; NFL; Football; Redskins; Washington

Kirk Cousins of the first place Washington Redskins.

Mark Tenally/AP

Of all the big games in all the NFL cities in Week 12, the New York Giants at the Washington Redskins – well, it wasn’t one of them. And yet…

“The stars have aligned for the New York Giants,” began the game preview on the blog Big Blue View. “The dominoes have fallen just right. The table has been set. Put it any way you want, opportunity is knocking – loudly – for the Giants. The football gods have dropped the NFC East into the Giants’ laps.”

Hey, BBV isn’t the only one that can sling clichés like wayward Eli Manning passes. We’ve got a few of our own after the Redskins’ 20-14 victory, only ours are far more accurate.

The Giants fucking suck. The Redskins do, too. Opportunity has long since pissed on the graves of these 2015 pretenders. The whole NFC East is nothing more than a heaping, steaming shit-pile.

What, those aren’t clichés? They might as well be.

Washington and New York now are tied atop the worst division in the NFL with not-so-robust records of 5-6. The Redskins, who are technically leading the way due to some cockamamie tiebreaker rule or another, are so good, so Super Bowl-dangerous, they’ve yet to win consecutive games this season and are a scintillating 0-5 away from FedEx Field.

That’ll throw a scare into whatever teams hosts them in January.

For the sixth straight season, the NFC East will send a single team to the playoffs; it’s the only division with such a drought. Combined, the other seven divisions have sent multiple teams to the postseason 17 times in that span. The NFC North has sent two teams four times. The AFC North sent three teams twice, in 2014 and 2011, and the AFC West sent three in 2013.

Are you digging what we’re saying here? The NFC East – home to four iconic NFL franchises – is the league’s worst clown act.

Take the division’s 9-19 record against opponents from outside the NFC East. Even the shit-show AFC South, at 12-20, has been more successful than that. Fans of the vaunted Giants, Redskins, Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles don’t want to hear it, but a division containing teams from Houston, Jacksonville and Nashville is just plain better at football.

“We sleptwalked – whatever the word is,” Giants coach Tom Coughlin said of the epically bad effort it required for his team to fall behind 20-0 on Sunday, three interceptions into Manning’s performance.

But that’s far too flattering a word for what the Giants and their division mates are doing in 2015. They’re squeezing the life out of the game, stamping the fun out of everything and royally fucking up at every opportunity. Don’t they know that’s Roger Goodell’s job?

Week 12 was almost unimaginably inglorious for the NFC East. It started on Thanksgiving with the Eagles getting deep-fried by 31 points by an awful Detroit Lions team. Too bad there’s no genius bar for “genius” coaches whose brilliance suddenly goes kablooey. Chip Kelly’s record is now 24-19 in Philly, where he’ll miss the playoffs for the second year in a row. Kelly’s offense is beyond broken, and we’ll see if the college game calls him home. Perhaps it would be best for all involved if it did.

And how ’bout them 3-8 Cowboys? They were destroyed on their home field by the Carolina Panthers on Turkey Day, with quarterback Tony Romo’s wishbone-flimsy clavicle snapping again. It’s sad and all, but let’s be real – Romo’s team is 0-7 without him, an indictment of the Jason Garrett-led coaching staff and the Joneses to whom they answer. By the way: Garrett, in his sixth season, is all of five games over .500 and has one playoff victory. Want to bet he won’t survive the remaining four years on his contract?

Redskins coach Jay Gruden is off to an 9-18 start. Giants counterpart Tom Coughlin certainly stands apart from Gruden and the others in this division, with two Super Bowl wins under his belt, including the one that came in the 2011 season, when the G-Men entered the playoffs at 9-7. But for the record, that was also the last time Big Blue made it to the postseason.

Washington had lost five straight to the Giants before Sunday. Quarterback Kirk Cousins was 0-3, with two touchdown passes and eight interceptions, against them. Cousins was outstanding this time, throwing for 302 yards – the big strike, a 63-yard TD to DeSean Jackson – and sneaking in a score.

But think of Cousins as you would a guest on Thanksgiving weekend. This season, he’s 5-0 – a favorite cousin – when he doesn’t throw a pick. And he’s 0-6 – an abject embarrassment to the family – when he does.

So, great, the Redskins have their first lead in the division since 2012. That means every NFC East team has had the lead at some point this season. And that, in 2015, means precisely…nothing.

In This Article: Football, NFL, sports


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