Figurative wet blankets are no fun. Now, literal wet blankets are not, either, but figurative ones — the kind that dampen conversations with their sour takes and annoying logic — are truly the worst.
With that being said, this story is going to act as a wet blanket for Washington fans who are feeling themselves after the team's recent NFC East title.
Thanks to that crown, the Eagles sitting in a spot where they're coach-less and money-strapped, the Cowboys needing to figure things out with Dak Prescott and having lost both games to the Burgundy and Gold in 2020 and the Giants fresh off their fourth-straight losing season, the idea that Ron Rivera's club will control the NFC East for the next few years is gaining popularity.
But let's cool it a bit there.
The most obvious reason to hold the ol' horses is because of the way this race consistently plays out. There hasn't been a repeat champ since 2004. That's a seriously long time!
Combine that with the fact that Washington finished first at 7-9 — yes, they closed at 5-2 and deserve legitimate credit for some of the things they overcame, but still, it's not like they're a class above their rivals — and the image of them cruising to a couple more banners already suffers a hit.
Now, take a look at Philadelphia, Dallas and New York.
The Birds aren't in an enviable spot. Duh. Doug Pederson is out, and whoever replaces him will have to choose between Carson Wentz and Jalen Hurts (or, perhaps that choice has already been made) as well as navigate a nasty salary cap situation. They could be in for a lean stretch here, but if they nail a hire — like the Browns did with Kevin Stefanski — things can turn around quickly.
As for Dallas, sure, it's entertaining to picture Jerry Jones somehow letting Prescott walk, yet odds are that he'll wise up and give the QB the kind of contract he deserves. Assuming that happens, it wouldn't be a surprise at all to see them bounce back right away in the next campaign, seeing as they scratched out a 6-10 mark without their cornerstone piece.
And in New York, when he's not childishly complaining about the world being against him, Joe Judge does appear to be on the right track with Big Blue. He'll also get Saquon Barkley back from injury in 2021.Yeah, Daniel Jones is Daniel Jones, but that defense is no joke.
On top of all that, the Eagles (No. 6), the Cowboys (No. 10) and the Giants (No. 11) all have superior draft picks in the first round compared to Washington (No. 19). They'll be able to address whatever needs they want with what should be a premium prospect.
As already hinted, Washington also isn't bulletproof. None of the signal callers on the roster are grade-A starting material, or even grade-B — where will they find that guy, and who will he be? — and they're in the middle of a GM search. Plus, well, no one needs a reminder of how this franchise is always one report away from high drama.
Again, putting these words down in the aftermath of what was a mega-enjoyable season for the organization isn't going to make many happy. They also temporarily take the focus away from all that's good in Washington, from Rivera to Chase Young to Antonio Gibson to Terry McLaurin to Jack Del Rio to Kam Curl.
They do feel necessary, though. Football is a fickle sport, and the NFC East is its most fickle division. Go ahead and celebrate where the Football Team is headed, but don't be surprised if the road ahead isn't as clear as it currently seems.