NFC East Week 5 Recap

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My Thoughts

Washington Football Team vs. New Orleans Saints:

In another battle between the NFC East vs. the NFC South, we seemed to have a close game early. The Washington Football Team did let a big play go past them, as QB Jameis Winston was able to record a 72-yard pass TD to WR Deonte Harris. Though the scores were level at 13 for most of the second quarter (with 10:50 left), it was the Saints who scored one more TD than Washington (two to one), with Washington’s only score coming from RB Antonio Gibson (a five-yard rush). K Cody Parkey missed the PAT on the second TD, which kept the game tied instead. That scoreline stayed the same until the very last play of the first half, where Winston was able to pass for a 49–yard TD to WR Marquez Callaway. Going into the half, the Saints were leading 20–13.

https://www.canalstreetchronicles.com/2021/10/10/22719397/new-orleans-saints-washington-football-team-final-score-taylor-heinicke-jameis-winston-nfl-2021

The third quarter was a slow one, as Washington was the only team to walk away with a score: a 24–yard FG by K Dustin Hopkins. It wasn’t until the fourth quarter when things began to fire up. After QB Taylor Heinicke threw his second interception of the day, each team traded TDs in succession. Winston found Callaway once again for 12 yards, Gibson walked away with a one-yard rushing TD in his series (Heinicke missed the two-point conversion to RB J.D. McKissic), and then Winston found RB Alvin Kamara for 19 yards to make the score 33–22 with the Saints leading. On a weird weekend across the league, we had yet another kicker miss a FG and/or extra point in Parkey. After one final drive by Washington (which resulted in a turnover on downs), the Saints were able to run out the clock and secure themselves a win. The final score stayed the same as it was before, a 33-22 Saints win.

My Key WFT Player(s): This wasn’t a game to count solo statistics, as no one from either  team had one player go over 100 yards rushing or receiving. For this reason, I will have two key players from Washington, one on offense and the other on defense:

  • RB Antonio Gibson (20 rushes for 60 yards and two TDs, two receptions for 12 yards). While WR Adam Humphries (73 receiving) and WR/RS DeAndre Carter (73 offensive yards and 58 return yards) may have combined for more yards than Gibson, he was the only one to score a TD for Washington (in fact, he got all of WFT’s TDs).
  • LB Cole Holcomb (seven total tackles, one INT, one PD). In Abs’ opinion, he was the one defensive player who just did the most out on the field in this game, leading the team in tackles and intercepting Winston on the first drive of the game as well.
https://dknation.draftkings.com/2021/10/14/22726470/antonio-gibson-injury-week-6-nfl-2021-washington-vs-chiefs-fantasy-football-jd-mckissic

 

https://riggosrag.com/2021/10/11/washington-football-team-studs-duds-week-4-2/2/

 

 

 

 

 

Special shout-out to WR Marquez Callaway (four receptions, 85 yards, two TDs), who is my Player of the Game. Even though Jameis Winston had four TDs of his own, he only had a completion rate of 50%. Callaway contributed to this game really well, just like Alvin Kamara’s running.

Philadelphia Eagles @ Carolina Panthers:

The Panthers jumped to an early lead into this game with a 48-yard FG by K Zane Gonzalez. However, the Eagles were able to come back with a FG of their own (30 yards) after a turnover the previous possession by Carolina and two punts on their two previous drives before that.

After the 10-3 start to the first quarter (Panthers leading), both teams combined for five punts in a row for the majority of the remainder of the half, and this lasted until there was only 5:58 left. That was when the Panthers were able to get a 43-yard FG from Gonzalez and, almost immediately after, QB Jalen Hurts fumbled the ball that went out of bounds in the end zone. This resulted in a safety, which was two extra points, and the Panthers would be able to get the ball back again. While this was officially ruled a safety after a fumble by Hurts, it was actually a snap that went over Hurts’ head that almost became a TD in the end zone as Hurts was not able to swat it away properly on his first few attempts before it was eventually knocked out of bounds. The Eagles were able to get the ball one last time and were able to score off of a 58–yard FG from K Jake Elliott. Going into halftime, the Panthers led 15–6.

https://www.bleedinggreennation.com/2021/10/13/22725150/eagles-all-22-film-review-observations-win-over-panthers-philadelphia-carolina-jalen-hurts-slay-bgn

To start the second half, the Eagles had another notable fumble, this time from rookie WR DeVonta Smith. The teams traded interceptions back-to-back after a Carolina punt, then traded punts with each other in their next series. It was not until the end of the third quarter that another TD was scored, as QB Jalen Hurts rushed up the middle for one yard. This made the score closer, with the Panthers only leading 15–13. They did get a 50-yard FG to start the fourth quarter, which pushed their lead to 18-13.

After the Eagles could not complete a pass on fourth down after that Panthers FG, the Panthers went three-and-out and had their punt attempt blocked. This resulted in a short six-yard TD run again by Hurts. They also successfully converted their two-point attempt to Smith, giving the Eagles a 21-18 lead (their first in the game).

In one last glimpse of hope, the Panthers began their final drive with two incomplete passes. QB Sam Darnold was intercepted to end the drive, which basically sealed the game. The Eagles came away with a win in an exciting game after running out the clock in their next possession. The final score remained the same as it was after that Eagles TD, a 21–18 win for the Eagles.

My Key Player: LB T.J. Edwards (One blocked punt, five total tackles). This had to be the play of the game. Though Jalen Hurts would be our runner-up, we have to admit that this play put them back into the game with little time left in the fourth quarter and ultimately led them to victory. As we have seen across the league this week, special teams helped win or lose games. Abs would also like to give a shout-out to his key playerCB Darius Slay, for being the second CB in two weeks to get two INTs on Sam Darnold. Additionally, he also had three total tackles, one TFL, and two PDs.

https://www.inquirer.com/eagles/eagles-panthers-tj-edwards-blocked-punt-special-teams-20211010.html
https://theeagleswire.usatoday.com/lists/eagles-darius-slay-steven-nelson-sam-darnold-3-interceptions/

 

 

 

 

 

Dallas Cowboys vs. New York Giants:

After Dallas decided to go for it on fourth down of their opening drive, the Giants’ defense made a big play to start the game off with an interception. However, even with excellent field position, they were unable to capitalize with any points, as K Graham Gano missed a 54-yard FG. Still, it seemed like the Giants’ defense came to play, as they held the Cowboys’ offense to just a 31–yard FG. The score would remain an early 3–0 Cowboys lead in the first quarter.

After a scary ankle roll for RB Saquon Barkley (which swelled up to the size of a baseball), the Cowboys drove the ball all the way down to their own red zone. QB Dak Prescott had another turnover, this time a fumble off of the snap, which meant that the Giants’ defense was again keeping their team in the game. Once the Cowboys got the ball again after a Giants punt, Prescott threw a 49–yard bomb to WR CeeDee Lamb for a TD, thus making it a 10–0 lead for them. We will have to say that the Cowboys’ offense does not look the same as it has been in previous weeks.

QB Daniel Jones also looks like a much-improved QB, completing a 38-yard pass to WR Kadarius Toney, which led to a 51–yard FG by Gano. After stopping the Cowboys’ offense once again by forcing them to punt, the Giants got the ball very close to their own end zone. They drove the ball all the way to the Cowboys’ 1-yard line. After a strong stand by the Dallas defense, and also knocking Jones out of the game, RB Devontae Booker scored on a fourth-and-goal to even the score at 10–10. Things finally looked back to the new normal for Dallas after the two-minute warning. Their last drive of the half resulted in a 24–yard TD to WR Amari Cooper, giving the Cowboys a 17–10 lead going into the half.

https://giantswire.usatoday.com/2021/06/27/new-york-giants-xavier-mckinney-takes-it-personal-when-playing-dallas-cowboys/

Here’s a special halftime note regarding the Giants’ injuries: a) QB Daniel Jones- Out for the rest of the game (concussion), b) RB Saquon Barkley- Out for the rest of the game (ankle), c) WR Kenny Golladay- Out for the rest of the game (knee)… What a grim day for their major players being bitten by the injury bug…

Coming out of the half, the Giants still managed to convert a 51–yard FG by Gano, making it a 17-13 game. After what seemed like an injury, QB Dak Prescott threw a four-yard TD on a designed option-fake to RB Ezekiel Elliott. Almost right after, QB Mike Glennon tested the deep ball, which was intercepted by CB Trevon Diggs. Diggs keeps his streak alive having an interception in every game that he has played this season! What a key player for this new and improved Dallas defense! It’s almost as if he’s leading the way for this team.

After some surprise plays in the fourth quarter by both sides (a Kadarius Toney run and a pass from WR Cedrick Wilson to fellow WR Noah Brown), Elliott was able to get his chance on the scoreboard yet again, as he was able to get a 13-yard run into the end zone. The score was 34–13 with the Cowboys leading it. After some emotional exchanges between the rival teams, Booker was able to score a three-yard receiving TD on what originally was not ruled a TD. Just when it seemed like this game was over, CB Anthony Brown returned an interception 45–yards for a touchdown, delivering the finishing blow and ending the game with a final score of 44–20 and a Dallas win.

https://www.bloggingtheboys.com/2021/10/10/22719247/cowboys-vs-giants-2021-week-5-game-day-live-discussion-iv

My Key Giants: The Giants coaching staff. Yes, you read that right. Not only is it a coaching staff, but it is the entire coaching staff of the losing team! This is why I didn’t write ‘my key Giants player’, as my choice was to credit the coaches. Before I reached this decision, it was supposed to be WR Kadarius Toney, who had 10 receptions for 189 yards. He managed to achieve this stat line with two different QBs! However, throwing a punch out of frustration in the fourth quarter, right after a big play, is just plain out the wrong move. Nevertheless, he is also the player Abs is choosing to give a shout-out to as his key player.

https://giantswire.usatoday.com/2021/10/11/new-york-giants-mike-glennon-kadarius-toney-special-talent-dallas-cowboys-agree/

Back to it, this staff seemed to keep the Cowboys out of rhythm for the majority of the game. Even after falling behind with several injuries, this staff kept their team playing with heart! They may have exposed the Cowboys, showing that they do have some weaknesses to address. This was not a pretty game overall by the Cowboys, despite the final score.

https://www.giants.com/news/joe-judge-coaching-staff-jason-garrett-patrick-graham
https://www.giants.com/news/joe-judge-coaching-staff-jason-garrett-patrick-graham

 

 

 

 

 

My Key Cowboy: CBs coach Al Harris. Okay, let’s keep it rolling by talking about more coaches! There was one highlight for the Cowboys: cornerbacks coach Al Harris. He has his CBs simply playing on another level, especially Diggs with his INT streak! If he can get his CBs to continue playing at this level, I believe this team will get far!

https://www.si.com/nfl/cowboys/news/cowboys-assistant-al-harris-finalizes-plan-to-enter-packers-hall-of-fame

For Abs, he simply could not decide one key player to give a shout-out to, as he saw so many options. This is why he’ll give a joint shout-out to his two main guys: RB Ezekiel Elliot (21 rushes for 110 yards and one TD, two catches for two yards and one TD) and RB Tony Pollard (14 rushes for 75 yards, four catches for 28 yards). He thought that the RBs together both deserved this shout-out ahead of Prescott, Lamb, or Diggs because both RBs managed to surpass 100 offensive yards, and you know that’s a dominant game when you have two RBs breaking the 100-yard mark!

https://insidethestar.com/ezekiel-elliott-looking-to-improve-his-1-2-record-against-the-giants/
https://theathletic.com/2884295/2021/10/12/no-defense-for-giants-lackluster-play-10-takeaways-from-loss-to-the-cowboys/

 

 

 

 

 

NFC East Standings

Dallas Cowboys (4–1)

Washington Football Team (2–3)

Philadelphia Eagles (2–3)

New York Giants (1–4)

 

Sources

  1. Cover Picture: https://studentunionsports.com/what-is-wrong-with-the-nfc-east/
  2. Statistics: Yahoo Sports: a) https://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/new-orleans-saints-washington-football-team-20211010028/?section=stats, b) https://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/philadelphia-eagles-carolina-panthers-20211010029/, c) https://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/new-york-giants-dallas-cowboys-20211010006/
  3. Statistics: ESPN.com: a) https://www.espn.com/nfl/game/_/gameId/401326403, b) https://www.espn.com/nfl/game/_/gameId/401326403, c) https://www.espn.com/nfl/game/_/gameId/401326407
  4. News: https://www.profootballrumors.com/: a) https://www.profootballrumors.com/washington-football-team-news-rumors, b) https://www.profootballrumors.com/philadelphia-eagles-rumors-news, c) https://www.profootballrumors.com/dallas-cowboys-news-rumors, d) https://www.profootballrumors.com/new-york-giants-rumors-news
  5. Injuries: a) https://www.cbssports.com/nfl/teams/WAS/washington-football-team/injuries/, b) https://www.cbssports.com/nfl/teams/PHI/philadelphia-eagles/injuries/, c) https://www.cbssports.com/nfl/teams/DAL/dallas-cowboys/injuries/, d) https://www.cbssports.com/nfl/teams/NYG/new-york-giants/injuries/

 

Edited By: Isaac Dirrim and Rupayan “Abs” Samanta.

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