Happy New year! Let’s talk trash.

The NFC East has had some bad seasons in the past decade (Cases In Point!), but this might have been the most NFCEastest of them all. It is a miracle we didn’t end up with a 6-10 division winner because it certainly looked to be headed that way. Let’s recap!

EXPECTATIONS – The Skins came into the season as an underdog, mostly because they are the Skins, and suggesting they might be good is stupid. Dan Snyder owns the team, let’s not be dumb. However, just a year ago in 2018, the Skins were in clear control of the division until Alex Smith went down. They were getting their rookie RB Guice back from injury. They still had a decent O-line. They had a good draft and while Smith wasn’t coming back, Case Keenum could probably hold down the fort until Haskins was ready. Obviously, as the Skins (a Dan Snyder owned team I remind you) were nobody’s choice to do much but for the first time in a while, there was some inkling that the team might be headed in the right direction. They hadn’t gotten rid of Gruden yet. Maybe Snyder grew patience?
REALITY– A complete and total meltdown. Gruden was the first coach fired after opening the season 0-5. Keenum was terrible. He was benched for Haskins in week 4 during a pummeling by the Giants. Haskins promptly threw a pick-6. Haskins looked completely and utterly unprepared. All-star lineman Trent Williams got in a feud with management over medical concerns and didn’t play a game for the team. Guice got hurt in week one and then shortly after he came back late in the season he sprained his MCL. The team got swept by the Giants of all teams and ended the season with 3 wins. Fans came to the stadium by the few dozens and shouted SELL THE TEAM.
FUTURE- They hired Ron Rivera and are giving him a lot of control. They fired Bruce Allen, human taint residue. They likely won the Chase Young sweepstakes. All of these are good things. However, there remains one serious dilemma. This is a Dan Snyder owned team. Until the root of the cancer is eliminated, there is always significant reason to pause on giving the Skins any sort of credit.

EXPECTATIONS– Very low. After a disastrous 2018 attempt to ride Eli to the promised land one last time proved a foolish move, David Gettleman started stripping the car for parts. If we tend to crown offseason champions, the Giants were the Offseason tragedies. They traded away the best player on the team. They over-drafted a QB no one was particularly high on. They had Pat Shurmur as a coach. The Giants offseason was such a disaster they basically turned into a meme. It’s not good when you get trash-talked by Browns fans. Going into the season nobody expected much out of this mess.
REALITY– Not quite as bad as advertised, but still abysmal. Eli was swiftly benched as the season almost immediately went off the rails. Daniel Jones proved to be one of the actual bright spots all season, playing pretty good for a rookie football outside his propensity for fumbles. Saquon got hurt early and unfortunately wasn’t much of a factor until late season, but still reached 1000 yards in case people started to think he was bad. The Giants o-line was a rotating cast of injury. Golden Tate was okay. Shep spent half the season with a broken brain. Darrius Slayton, a 5th round WR, came out of nowhere to look like a solid future starter. This was a team with little-to-no talent, barely scraping by. However over the course of the season it became very clear that despite the bad situation the Giants were in, Pat Shurmur was not helping. His playcalls confounded. His adjustments did not exist. His face was perpetually sad. The Giants, as bad and as talentless as they were, could have won 6 games this year if the stupid coaching staff had made literally any good decisions. The Bears, Eagles-1, Lions, Jets, and Cardinals games were all winnable by a franchise less dedicated to eating paint.
FUTURE– Shurmur is gone and as of this writing Matt Rhule of Baylor (A former Giants assistant) has been the rumored #1 guy. Gettleman appears to have been given 1 more season. His drafts have largely been okay, but his free agency decisions (outside Tate) and trades have been mostly hot garbage. The Giants have freed themselves from Cap Hell and now have 70 million to work with. I do not anticipate it is used well. If this team has a bright future, it won’t show till 2021 at the earliest. There is also a chance they hire Jason Garrett. Please do not speak to me about this possibility.

EXPECTATIONS- Very high. The Cowboys came into 2019 looking like the favorites to win it all. They jettisoned Scott Linehan. This was Jason’s team now, sink or swim. Zeke wasn’t suspended for being a shit. Dak is good. The defense suddenly had a ton of stars. They swooped in after a slow start in 2018 to take the division and even got a playoff win. There was no reason to expect the team to regress too much. The Cowboys were finally gonna make a push.
REALITY– probably the funniest failure of this sorry group. They started strong as expected, then faced an actual good team and looked like chumps. This continued to be the trend. The Cowboys would look good in a game against inferior competition and suddenly appear to have life, only to roundly disappoint the next week. Despite all the fumbling and bumbling, they were still squarely in control of the division until week 16 when they couldn’t even score a touchdown against the rival Eagles, who by that point were basically graham crackers held together by duct tape instead of players. They sadly put themselves in a position where they had to rely on the Giants to win a game for them to have a chance to claim the divisional crown they so proudly vomited up. Spoiler alert, relying on the Giants to save your season is putting all your money on black but you are actually at the poker table.
FUTURE– The Clapper is finally getting released (as of this writing it seems certain but not yet official). 10 years and 3 playoff wins to show for it. Jason Garrett was routinely gifted exceptionally talented rosters and proceeded to chuck them into the bin of toxic waste he holds in his backyard for no reason other then he thinks it smells good. The Cowboys future is finally open, and they might finally make a good decision.

EXPECTATIONS– Reasonably high. Most Eagles fans I saw seemed to be in pretty good spirits about their future. They lost Foles, but most of the roster remained intact, they had faith in Doug, Wentz was back, this team seemed prime to spend a lot of the next half-decade being a championship threat. Despite a bit of a step back in 2018, they still squawked into the playoffs and won a game. This was a solid team.
REALITY– or was it? The offense suddenly sucked. Alshon Jeffrey was suddenly bad. DeSean Jackson’s mighty return was cut short by injury. Nelson Agholor returned swiftly to dropsies mcgee meme status. The playcalling seemed to indicate that Frank Reich may have been the true coaching hero of that 2017 championship franchise. Wentz was doing his damndest to try and win games but he had no protection and can’t do it on his own. I guess they had a defense on the field. It was present. It existed. It was fine. If you talked to any Eagles fan mid-season they were all over-reacting in spectacular fashion and I even saw calls for Pederson’s head. The guy who just led the team to their first ever championship 2 seasons ago was now getting calls to be fired. Personally I loved that. I was hoping they’d be that stupid. Pederson is a good coach and if anything the fact that he rallied this team to go on a 4-win streak over the rest of this sorry bunch in the process to claim the division title should mean something. They earned that right to have the Seahawks obliterate them this weekend. Power to ya, birds. Also at this point their entire starting offense is random guys they found at your uncle’s cookout. But hey! We finally get to see Carson Wentz play a playoff game. As of the time I’m writing this he hasn’t yet slipped in the shower and shattered his knee.
FUTURE– This team is still solid and still should have some hope. This is probably a lost season and a tanked draft position but as far as downturns go, they could have been worse. The real issue is that this team is going to need to restock some depth and soon or they will suffer the long decay into routine mediocrity that plagues most not-Patriots SB contenders.