The700Level

Around the NFC East: Washington may actually be ... good?

usatsi_11217694_138566172_lowres.jpg
USA Today Sports

Around the NFC East: Washington may actually be ... good?

Each week, we'll take a look at how the Eagles’ division rivals fared the previous weekend (SPOILER ALERT: the Eagles are the best) and what they have upcoming. In Week One of the NFL season, Washington’s offense was powered by a couple of 2012 Pro Bowlers, Dak Prescott looked like the same guy we knew (and loved) in 2017, and the Giants have a talented running back for the first time since Tiki Barber retired...which still wasn’t enough to keep Eli from throwing the game away.

Here’s what happened, and what’s happening, this week in the NFC East:

Washington (1-0)

ICYMI: The Birds hold sole possession of first no more. Powered by an impressive run game (as well as the ineptitude of Sam Bradford), Jay Gruden’s squad crushed the Cardinals in Arizona, cruising for an easy 24-6 victory.

Washington was up 21-0 at half, and that’s about as close as this one got. They held Bradford, the former Eagles savior, to eleven yards passing in the first half. ELEVEN! The question of whether that’s a product of the Washington D or the man throwing the ball is still up for debate (if you haven’t actually watched Bradford play since his infamous preseason game vs the Packers. What touch!).

The Washington running game was raucous, lead by 70-year-old Adrian Peterson (96 yards and a TD) and the Westbrook-esque Chris Thompson (65 on the ground, 63 in the air). GET YOUR THUNDER & LIGHTNING TAKES READY! Meanwhile, new quarterback Alex Smith played better for Washington than McNabb ever did, throwing for 255 yards and a pair of TDs, making him the most successful NFC East quarterback in the 2018 season. MVP! MVP!

All in all, it was a perfect opener for the team that has won just two playoff games since Jeff Lurie bought the Birds in 1995. 

Positive Spin: Since The Man is now telling Alex Ovechkin he can’t take keg stands out of Lord Stanley’s Cup, this is by far the most exciting thing going on in D.C., despite what Bob Woodward would have you believe. We’ve got that on deep background.

A year ago, the Washington Football Team was devastated by injuries and featured a quarterback who spent all his free-time real estate shopping in Minnesota. To call a franchise owned by Dan Snyder “dysfunctional” seems redundant, but that doesn’t change the reality that a lot of last years problems may now actually be behind them.

Smith provides a competent, if unexciting, option at QB. And AP probably isn’t even their best option at RB, with Thompson back and fully healthy. Jordan Reed is a top tight end if he can stay out of the tub, and Trent Williams will get to play this season with both of his legs fully functional. All in all, it’s a quality roster with some interesting weapons that should make for an exciting season in Washington… at least more exciting than the Nats.

Negative Spin: AP looking great for a game doesn’t mean jack; just ask the Cardinals, who watched him run out of gas in their colors just last season (the future Hall-of-Famer had a bad fumble in the 4th quarter when he was required to run for more than eight seconds, so let someone else make the mistake of snagging him in your fantasy football league). Also, it was Andy Reid who traded away Smith, and if there’s one thing Big Red is good at (that isn’t cheeseburger-related), it’s knowing when to bail on a veteran quarterback. 

Meanwhile, the Cardinals are hot garbage, a poorly-assembled squad just wasting David Johnson’s awesomeness and whatever’s left of Larry Fitzgerald before they inevitably hand the reins over to quarterback Josh Rosen. Based off of Bradford’s injury history, that should be in the next seventeen minutes. Even Danny Almonte would consider them undermatched. 

Washington is relying on injury-plagued question marks and rusty veterans to make this season worthwhile. They have the long-term thinking of a gerbil. This franchise is the antonym of Sam Hinkie.

What’s Next: Super Bowl 52 Champion Frank Reich and the Indianapolis Colts, who are probably not very good this season. This should have been a battle between the Top Two picks of the 2012 NFL Draft, but instead it’ll just be an easy way for Snyder’s club to get to 2-0 right before the Nats fire another manager. But if Foles looks like canned tuna again this weekend and the Birds drop to 1-1 as a result, just remember the tale of RG3 (or more appropriately, the ACL of RG3) and that Good Franchises Protect Their Quarterbacks.

More fun this week in the NFC East:

Tim Jernigan rocks Tim Jernigan jersey in Tim Jernigan rap video

Tim Jernigan rocks Tim Jernigan jersey in Tim Jernigan rap video

Back in April, Eagles defensive tackle Tim Jernigan began a rap career with Good Boyz Music and now he’s back with another track and video. 

In this one, entitled “Come Thru” Jernigan is wearing his No. 93 Eagles jersey for his verse, which he drops under the name Stud Muffin (h/t PhillyVoice). At one point, Jernigan is holding a black umbrella in one hand and a wad of cash in the other. 

OK then. 

Check it out, but be warned: There’s some NSFW lyrics in there. Jernigan’s verse starts around the 38-second mark. 

As PhillyVoice pointed out, Jernigan does drop a David Akers lyric in the song — “like my name David Akers or I play rugby.” That seems to be a reference to the previous line when Jernigan mentioned kicking and punting. 

While Jernigan rocked his own jersey in the latest video, back in April, in “Hustle Harder” Jernigan was wearing an old-school Grant Hill Pistons jersey. Here’s that track: 

Believe it or not, his budding rap career wasn’t one of the topics of conversation when a few reporters caught up with Jernigan back in May.

Jernigan signed a one-year, $1.25 million deal to return to Philadelphia this past offseason. That came after what has been a wild couple years for Jernigan in Philadelphia. He was traded here, became a big part of the defense, signed a huge contract, suffered a mysterious injury and then the Eagles declined his option this offseason before he returned at an extremely discounted rate. 

The Eagles this offseason also brought in Malik Jackson, who will likely take over as the starting defensive tackle next to Fletcher Cox. That, of course, was Jernigan’s old position. 

“I don’t care,” Jernigan said in May. “I believe in me. I believe in Timmy. Straight up. I believe in Timmy. I hope nobody take that the wrong way.”

He even believes enough in Timmy to wear his jersey in his rap video. 

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Eagles

Bryce Harper meets some Philly sports legends at the Sixers game

Bryce Harper meets some Philly sports legends at the Sixers game

The new big man in town, Bryce Harper, went to the Wells Fargo Center on Thursday night to take in the Sixers game against the Milwaukee Bucks. He rubbed shoulders with some of the previous biggest (little) men in town.

Harper was in attendance and rang the bell prior to tip-off — something he'll surely do many times during Phillies games across the street this summer.

When Harper made his way to his seat in a suite, he was seated alongside Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz. Rhys Hoskins was also in the suite as were all of the aforementioned players' significant others. Talk about some serious Philly sports firepower right there.

And then later in the game, the Sixers shared an image of a couple of legendary No. 3s meeting in the bowels of the Center. I'd love to hear the conversation between Allen Iverson and Harper.

Eagles wide receiver Alshon Jeffery was also in the building, sitting a bit closer to the court. Rapper Meek Mill was also in the building and took a photo with A.I. Which got me wondering: What's the perfect storm of Philly sports stardom in a Rat Pack sort of way? Obviously you had Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid on the court last night. In terms of the Flyers, aside from Gritty, you'd have to go Claude Giroux or maybe a fun-loving guy like Scott Hartnell from years past? Recently retired players that could fit the bill from other teams would have to include Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins and maybe Pat Burrell just for fun. Is anyone in recent Eagles memory a bigger name than Brian Dawkins? He'd fill the fedora quotient. Nick Foles could be fun in a clean and wholesome sort of way.

My Philly sports Rat Pack would consist of A.I., Simmons, Embiid, Kendall Jenner, Wentz, Jason Kelce and Gritty. We got a good portion of that in the building last night.

Who is in your Philly sports Rat Pack?

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Phillies