The Eagles didn't play this week of course, but that won't stop us from doling out 10 awards. Instead of handing out awards for an Eagles game, we'll hand out awards around the NFC East.
The 2-Horse Race Award: Eagles and Cowboys
With 7 losses each and bad divisional and conference records (for the purpose of tie-breakers), the Giants and Redskins are done. See you next year.
It is also important to note that if the season ended today, the Redskins' spot would be picking 6th in the draft... Ohhhhhh, but they don't have a #1 pick this year. Bummer. The Giants would be picking 8th, which should get them a good player, but should keep them out of the Jadeveon Clowney sweepstakes.
The Bad Side of the Tiebreaker Award: Eagles
If the Cowboys beat the Redskins Week 16, they clinch the tiebreaker over the Eagles on the strength of a 5-0 division record heading into Week 17. The Eagles already have 2 division losses. Therefore, the Eagles will need to go into their Week 17 showdown with Dallas with at least a tie for the division. And even if they are a game ahead heading into Week 17, they'll still need to beat the Cowboys to win the division. Therefore, the Eagles are likely going to have to win at least 3 of the next 5 games, which would get them to 9-7, and one of those wins will almost certainly have to be over the Cowboys in Dallas.
The Get Well Soon Award: Aaron Rodgers
One of the key games left on the Cowboys schedule is their Week 15 game at home against the Packers. Aaron Rodgers has been out with a fractured collarbone since Week 9, but should be back in time to face the Cowboys.
You don't need me to tell you that Aaron Rodgers is better than the Packers' backup QBs, but here's how much better he is:
No rush, Aaron. You come back when you're ready. But um, just make sure you're ready by Week 15. Thanks.
The "Wildcard, Bitches!" Award: The not-that-great 49ers, Cardinals, and NFC North
A few weeks ago, it looked like a near certainty that there would not be a wildcard team that would emerge from the NFC East. While it's still unlikely, it is not out of the question. Let's say for example that the Cowboys go on a crazy winning streak and the Eagles can't keep pace. They'll still have a realistic shot at a wildcard if they can get to 9-7. They would need to beat the "right" teams, and get some help, but it's possible. A look at the NFC Wildcard race:
A few notes:
• One of the NFC South teams has a wildcard berth on lockdown, whether that be the Panthers or Saints, so that leaves just one open spot.
• The Cardinals are currently the next team in line, but they'll be leapfrogged if the Niners win tonight. Obviously, if the Eagles were to be in wildcard contention, a win over the Cardinals next Sunday would be enormous.
• Just behind the Eagles are the Bears, who the Eagles play Week 16. That game will be big from the standpoint of fending them off, if need be. Not pictured above are the Lions, who are currently leading the crappy NFC North at 6-5. They could also factor into the wildcard race... and guess what? The Eagles play them Week 14.
• The Eagles would have the better conference record than almost all the other wildcard contenders, which is obviously a huge reason why the wildcard is a possibility.
• If the Eagles did indeed get a wildcard berth, they would have a bad opponent (by playoff standards) in the first round. It would either be the Cowboys or the winner of the equally bleh NFC North.
The New Friend Award: The Redskins
It behooves the Eagles for the Redskins to win a lot of games down the stretch. The Eagles will likely need to get to at least 9-7 to win the NFC East. Even if the Skins rattled off 6 straight wins to get to 9-7 (which won't happen because they're a bad football team), they would still lose out on a tie-breaker with the Eagles if the Eagles also get to 9-7. That makes them about as threatening to the Eagles as my cat Butters, pictured here:
The Skins play the 49ers tonight. It would help the Eagles if the Skins could steal that game somehow, although I'm not holding my breath. Washington also plays Dallas Week 16, which will be a HUGE game for the outcome of the NFC East.
The Bloom Off the Rose Award: Robert Griffin III
During NFL Network's pregame show on Sunday, Yahoo's Mike Silver reported that RG3 requested that the Redskins not show his bad plays during film review. The Redskins immediately denied it.
Whether it's true or not, it is interesting how quickly RG3 went from "unanimously well-liked guy" to a guy that has has been portrayed in a negative light quite a bit recently.
The Cowboys Are Stupid Award: LB Bruce Carter and S Jeff Heath
This ain't college, Bruce.
It's unacceptable for a rookie to make that mistake, much less a STARTING 3RD YEAR LINEBACKER whose primary job is to make tackles!!!
The Giants Are Stupid Award: Andre Brown
Andre Brown actually had a nice game, running for 127 yards, but it blows my mind how some players have virtually no situational awareness at all.
Facing 2nd and 30 (an extremely unlikely 1st down conversion rate) with less than 2 minutes to go in the half, Brown caught a short pass and actually made a beeline to get out of bounds to purposely stop the clock. OK, so that's bad, but it's not completely egregious. However, on the next play, with the Giants facing 3rd and 19, Brown caught another short pass, and he ran out of bounds again, waaaaay short of the first down. Tom Coughlin disapproves:
The "You Got Served" Award: Jason Pierre-Paul
It's ridiculous for a 4-6 team to be chirping, and the Cowboys let them know about it after the game:
Scandrick: "Jason Pierre-Paul was like, 'There will be bloodshed.' C'mon, man. Did he even have a stat on the final stat sheet?"— Bart Hubbuch (@HubbuchNYP) November 25, 2013
For the record, he had 1 tackle. JPP, you got served.
The Circle the Calendar Award: Eagles and Cowboys fans
Sunday, December 29, 2013. Eagles-Cowboys for a potential NFC East Championship Game. That will be awesome if that's what it comes down to.
In the last 5 years, Tony Romo and the Cowboys have played 4 "win and you're in, lose and you're out" games. They've lost 3 of them: