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Division Links: BGN disputes the notion that Wentz is a top-five NFL QB; BtB declares Cowboys to be “Super Bowl contending team” without needing Jamal Adams trade

NFL: DEC 09 Giants at Eagles
Bleeding Green Nation

Film breakdown makes the case for Carson Wentz as a top five NFL quarterback

Wentz really was on fire at the end of the regular season. His numbers from must-win games in Week 14 through Week 17: 117/173 (67.6% completion), 1,199 yards (6.9 average), 7 TD, 0 INT, 100.8 passer rating.

It undoubtedly helped that the Eagles played the New York Giants twice and Washington once in that stretch. Those were two of the NFL’s worst teams in 2019. But one must also acknowledge Wentz was leading the Eagles to victory while relying on practice squad promotions like Greg Ward, Boston Scott, Joshua Perkins, etc. With critical assistance from Doug Pederson’s scheming, Wentz got the most out of lesser talent.

That being said, I do think top five is a bit generous for Wentz. And I say that as one who’s far from being considered a skeptic. A “top 10” label is more appropriate.

There’s no doubt that Wentz has top five upside. The Eagles just need him to stay healthy and cut down on his fumbles. They also need to surround him with an adequate supporting cast, which is something they’ve failed to do in at least two out of his four seasons thus far. Hopefully they won’t let him down again in 2020.

Blogging the Boys

Trade for Jamal Adams? No thanks: The Cowboys are a Super Bowl contending team without him

First, Adams is going to be expensive real soon. The front office has to be smart about where they allocate their money. Can they afford him? Yes, but it’s a piece of the pie that won’t be available for someone else.

Second, those draft picks they’d be giving away for Adams are great ways to add quality players on cheap rookie deals. They’re equally important in keeping their finances together.

Finally, the Cowboys are a great drafting team. Do you really want to take the bat out of Will McClay’s hands? Trading a first and a third for Adams is the equivalent of trading away CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup and nobody would be willing to give that up for him.

There is no denying that adding Adams would make the Cowboys a better team, and they’d be an instant Super Bowl contender. But the largest part of that reason is because of the great front offices moves this team has done already. Don’t mess up a good thing by getting caught up in this “one player away” mentality. That’s how Jerry Jones has gotten in trouble in the past.

Stay the course. Do what you do. The Cowboys can still be a Super Bowl winning team without him.

Big Blue View

Will Hernandez film study: What went wrong, and right, for talented young guard in 2019?

Note from BiB: This is a very long and detailed film study of Hernandez; if you like film breakdowns on offensive linemen, you’ll likely enjoy this article.

Will Hernandez was the New York Giants’ second-round pick in 2018 out of UTEP. Ostensibly, Hernandez regressed in his second NFL season, after a promising rookie year. Nevertheless, it’s safe to say that Hernandez had a sophomore slump in 2019, but there were many variables that led to that decline.

Hernandez ranked 74th in offense, 33rd in pass blocking, and 117th as a run blocker in 2019, after finishing 26th in offense, 38th in pass blocking, and 42nd in run blocking (out of all guards) as a rookie. Obviously, that isn’t ideal, but doesn’t mean Hernandez was inept, either.

Hernandez didn’t progress as we hoped in 2019, but it’s difficult to maximize your talent when you’re surrounded by so much uncertainty. Halapio and Solder were both underwhelming starters in 2019 and the Giants offensive line was a mess as a whole, with a lot of coaching question marks.

The Giants offensive line seemed to be out-schemed far too often by defensive coordinators. I don’t believe many Giants’ fans are giving up on Hernandez. There is a ton to like about him as a player. He’s physical at the point of attack, a functional athlete for the position, and typically plays with good leverage, while showing a solid level of mental processing.

With that being said, he needs to be more consistent with his technique of establishing initial contact and not giving up his chest. If the Giants can find a solution at center and Andrew Thomas ends up being the player we all think he can be, then the Giants will be more than fine with Hernandez at guard.

Blogging the Boys

Historical data shows the Cowboys defense has come through when the offense has done their part

Over the last six years, the Cowboys defense has delivered a majority of the time. In fact, in that span they have a 44-4 (.916) record when the offense has scored more than 24 points in a game. That is substantially different than the 18-14 (.526) record they had in the previous four seasons. Here is a 10-year breakdown of how the team has performed when the offense eclipses the 24-point mark:

In 2015, the Cowboys only had three games where the offense scored more than 24 points because they were dreadful without Tony Romo. And in those three games, they lost two of them. And then in 2017, there was that two-game stretch where the defense surrendered the game-winning score in the final moments of the game (against the Rams, then Packers), squandering two straight 30+ performances by the offense. That proved costly as the team finished 9-7 that year and just barely missed the playoffs.

But outside of those two seasons, the Cowboys have had four years where they never lost a game when the offense scored more than 24 points with a collective record of 37-0. That’s a pretty good achievement for the defense.

The organization continues to strengthen the defense with nice free agent acquisitions like Gerald McCoy, Aldon Smith, Dontari Poe, and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. They also added a couple of great value draft picks in Trevon Diggs and Neville Gallimore. And All-Pro linebacker Leighton Vander Esch is expected back after missing nine games with a neck injury. They’re going to be better.