Eagles bandwagon crowded, but NFC remains wide open

The Philadelphia Eagles’ bandwagon is starting to get crowded. 

Almost every major media outlet has the 8-1 Eagles ranked as the NFL’s top team. Entering the week, the Westgate had the Eagles as the betting favorite to win the Super Bowl.

But Chiefs linebacker Tamba Hali isn’t buying the hype. The five-time Pro Bowler called the Cowboys the best team in the league after Dallas crushed the Chiefs last week. Kansas City handed Philadelphia its only loss in Week 2.

Hali was impressed with the Cowboys’ offensive line, running game and the play of quarterback Dak Prescott.

Of course, Hali received plenty of backlash for his bold comments. But let’s analyze it. Or even better, let’s look at the entire NFC playoff landscape. The current top four seeds in the NFC didn’t make the playoffs a year ago.

Often getting the No. 1 seed isn’t enough to get to the Super Bowl. Just ask the 2016 Cowboys.

It’s all about defense, the ground game and playoff experience. The Eagles have two of three minus the postseason experience.

If the Eagles get in, it would be their first playoff game since the 2013 season. That same year was the last time the Saints, the NFC South leader, made the postseason. But that’s not an issue when Drew Brees is your quarterback and Sean Payton your coach. The Saints won it all in 2009.

The playoff drought is much longer for the Rams with their last appearance in 2004. Rams quarterback Jared Goff was 10 years old.

The Vikings, who are first in the NFC North, made the playoffs in 2015 and have arguably the best defense in the league. But their murky quarterback situation might eventually catch up.

So if you’re the Eagles, Saints, Rams and Vikings, you’ll want to avoid the Cowboys and the pesky Seattle Seahawks.

It doesn’t matter what seed the Seahawks draw. They’re always a tough out and have plenty of playoff experience. Would second-year quarterback Carson Wentz be able to handle the Legion of Boom?

And before we crown the Eagles, can they play the Cowboys first? They’ll meet for their first of two showdowns next week.

The Eagles are great. But let’s press on the breaks. This NFC race is wide open and will be fun to watch heading toward January with so many new faces.

Giants coach on hot seat

Ben McAdoo’s job is in jeopardy after the Giants gave up an embarrassing 51 points at home to the Rams last week.

If McAdoo loses his job, it wouldn’t be fair to keep general manager Jerry Reese. The longtime front office leader of the Giants has failed to fix the offensive line for years. Eli Manning has taken so many sacks over the years, he’s decided to flop instead of taking a hit.

Reese, who took over as general manager in 2007, also failed his aging quarterback by not giving him a reliable running game. Just think about all the productive rookie and sophomore running backs in the league. The Giants didn’t get one.

The Giants lost their two best wide receivers to injury. That’s not McAdoo’s fault. It’s time for a clean slate in New York.

Gilbert Manzano covers the NFL for the Review-Journal. He can be reached at gmanzano@reviewjournal.com. Follow @gmanzano24 on Twitter.

Raiders Videos
Las Vegas Morning Update — Sunday, July 8
The Raiders team is secretive about tickets, and the new Miss Nevada is Alexis Hilts.
Vegas Nation Stadium Show: Analysis of Raiders Stadium Construction Site
Review-Journal sports reporter Ed Graney and business reporter Rick Velotta go over the recent updates on the Raiders stadium and owner Mark Davis serving food to construction workers.
Las Vegas Morning Update - Friday, June 29, 2018
The Resort on Mount Charleston has sold, Raiders owner Mark Davis throws a barbecue, and a Las Vegas woman found dead was a police informant.
Vegas Nation: Gruden Gives "Final Exams"
Vegas Nation host Bryan Salmond and Raiders beat writer Michael Gehlken go over the Raiders improvement throughout training and how Gruden has been pushing the Raiders.
Vegas Nation: Raiders Deciding On Opening Day Kicker
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken and Review-Journal sports columnist Ed Graney go over he Raiders choosing an opening day kicker and Doug Martin's potential.
Vegas Nation: Mandatory Mini Camp
Vegas Nation host Bryan Salmond, Raiders beat writer Micheal Gehlken and Review-Journal sports writer Ed Graney go over day one of the Raiders mini camp.
Vegas Nation: Derrick Johnson standing out at OTAs
Vegas Nation host Bryan Salmond and Raiders beat writer Michael Gehlken go over the Raiders OTAs and how the team is adjusting to new coaching style of head coach Jon Gruden.
Vegas Nation: Week Two Of OTA's
Vegas Nation host Bryan Salmond and Raiders beat writer Michael Gehlken go over the start of week two of the Raiders OTA's.
Vegas Nation: NFL Owners Meeting Day 2
Vegas Nation host Bryan Salmond and Review-Journal sports writer Gilbert Manzano go over the NFL owners meeting.
Las Vegas Stadium construction site drone footage
The Raiders set up a drone at the Las Vegas Stadium construction site on May 20, 2018.
Las Vegas Stadium Milestones
Las Vegas Stadium Milestones as of May 16, 2018.
Vegas Nation: NFL Owners Meeting Day 1
Vegas Nation host Bryan Salmond and Review-Journal sports writer Gilbert Manzano go over the NFL owners meeting.
Vegas Nation: Raiders Participate In First Day Of Practice
Vegas Nation host Bryan Salmond and Raiders beat writer Michael Gehlken go over the Raiders first day of practice.
Vegas Nation: Raiders Minicamp
Raiders beat writer Michael Gehlken goes over the Raiders minicamp and questions surrounding the Raiders picking defensive lineman Maurice Hurst from Michigan.
P.J. Hall, Maurice Hurst and Jon Gruden Talk About Mini Camp
P.J. Hall, Maurice Hurst and Jon Gruden go over the Raiders Mini camp.
Reggie McKenzie On Final Day Of NFL Draft
Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie talks about the Raiders final draft picks.
Vegas Nation: Raiders Final Draft Picks
Vegas Nation host Bryan Salmond, Raiders beat writer Michael Gehlken and Review-Journal reporter Gilbert Manzano go over the last day of the draft pick for the Raiders.
Gruden On Day Two Of Nfl Draft Picks
Raiders head coach Jon Gruden discusses the teams second day draft picks.
Raiders trade again, draft DT P.J. Hall and OT Brandon Parker
Raiders trade again and draft DT P.J. Hall and OT Brandon Parker. The team moved back again Friday, this time exchanging the No. 41 overall pick for the No. 57 selection. It then selected former Sam Houston State defensive tackle P.J. Hall. The Raiders parted with No. 75, trading up 10 spots to select former North Carolina A&T offensive tackle Brandon Parker.
Gruden On Bryant Joining Raiders, Bryant On What He Has Left To Prove
Raiders head coach Jon Gruden talks about what Bryant will bring to the Raiders and Bryant talks about what he has left to prove.
Gruden, Miller On First Round Pick
Raiders head coach Jon Gruden and first round pick Kolton Miller talk about the NFL draft first round pick for the Raiders.
Las Vegas Raiders Stadium can help economic boom, expert says
Study after study has concluded that stadiums aren’t effective economic development drivers. But a leading urban growth researcher says Orlando and Las Vegas are exceptions because of the strength of their regions’ tourism economies. The Raiders are building a 65,000-seat, $1.8 billion indoor stadium at Interstate 15 and Russell Road using $750 million of public money authorized by the Nevada Legislature. Las Vegas has a leg up on many cities, because it has an airport at which business people can catch a nonstop flight to virtually any domestic destination. Panelist Cathy Tull, chief marketing officer of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, said the presence of out-of-town media for playoff games featuring the Vegas Golden Knights has given the city media mentions that money can’t buy. Another issue receiving the panel’s attention is the need for mass transit with all the teams, venues and anticipated visitation they will generate. Panelists also discussed the prospect of attracting big events like the Super Bowl, the NFL draft and NCAA tournaments.
Reggie Mckenzie On Raiders First Draft Pick
Raiders general manager Reggie Mckenzie on Raiders first draft pick.
Vegas Nation: First Round NFL Draft Pick
Vegas Nation host Bryan Salmond, Review-Journal writer Gilbert Manzano and Raiders beat writer Michael Gelhken go over the first round of the NFL draft picks and the Raiders choices.
Vegas Nation: NFL Draft preview
Bryan Salmond and Michael Gehlken breakdown the Raiders offseason moves as well as what they could be looking at in the upcoming NFL Draft.
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like