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Division Links: BBV has mock drafts, BtB predicts 2021 record, BGN still talking Hurts & Wentz

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NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Arizona Cardinals Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Bleeding Green Nation

Eagles finish 2020 season with the lowest fan confidence rating in the entire NFL

It’s not hyperbole to say it feels like the Philadelphia Eagles have one of the bleakest outlooks in the NFL.

Coming off a 4-11-1 season. No changes at general manager or head coach. Uncertainty at quarterback. $70 million over the cap. Old, bad, expensive, and inflexible roster.

It’s hard to feel good about the state of this team.

And that sentiment is reflected in the latest SB Nation Reacts polling data, which shows Eagles fans having the league’s lowest confidence rating at the end of the 2020 regular season.

Here’s the entire bottom five:


Big Blue View

Todd McShay mock draft - Miami EDGE Gregory Rousseau to the Giants

McShay gives the Giants the pass rusher they need

ESPN’s Todd McShay released his first mock draft of 2021 (insider content) following the end of the regular season, and he has the Giants adding an edge rusher, Miami’s Gregory Rousseau [prospect profile]

11. New York Giants

Gregory Rousseau, DE/OLB, Miami-FL*

The Giants managed 40 sacks this season, thanks in large part to Leonard Williams bouncing back and getting 11.5 of them. But few would argue against the Giants needing edge-rushing help to take a much-improved defense to the next level, particularly if they don’t return Williams, who played this season on the franchise tag. Rousseau opted out this season, but he had 15.5 sacks for the Hurricanes in 2019 and has speed and power coming around the corner. Alternatively, offensive line, wide receiver or cornerback could be areas to keep an eye on for New York.

Raptor’s Thoughts:

McShay is absolutely right with the observation that the Giants need an EDGE rusher. Even counting the career year from Leonard Williams, it’s obvious from watching the Giants’ games that the team’s pass rush was almost entirely dependent on their coverage. The Giants simply lack the ability to generate pressure quickly, and with speed off the edge, without forcing quarterbacks to hold the ball for four or five seconds.

Rousseau could well be the top EDGE in the draft, but is he the right player for the pick? I’m not sure.

This mock actually shakes out somewhat similarly with the one I ran on The Draft Network on Monday. In that mock, each of the top four receiving threats — Ja’Marr Chase, Jaylen Waddle, Kyle Pitts, and DeVonta Smith — were drafted in the first ten picks. In this case, Smith, Chase, and Pitts were drafted in the top 10, with Waddle lasting all the way to the Las Vegas Raiders at 17th overall.

I can see the appeal of Rousseau. However, the Giants will need to significantly upgrade their offense if they want to win consistently. There’s also the fact that while Rousseau has very attractive physical traits, he is very raw and could well be poor value here. Drafting Rousseau would certainly be a vote of confidence in Patrick Graham and the Giants’ position coaches. If they can unlock his potential quickly, he could be an impact player, but that could also be easier said than done.

However, Given how badly the Giants need plays — playmakers — in their passing offense, I would have gone with Alabama receiver Jaylen Waddle.


Bleeding Green Nation

Jason Kelce speaks out on the Eagles’ decision to pull Jalen Hurts for Nate Sudfeld

Philadelphia center aims to “clear the air.”

Here’s Kelce’s explanation:

“Thought I would clear the air just to clarify and more accurately depict what happened during the game on Sunday. At the end of the third quarter I was told on the bench that Sudfeld was going in the game. I went up to Doug and asked him if he was taking Hurts out, he said “Yes, I think Nate’s earned the right to play,’ I said “everyone else is staying in?,” he said “Absolutely.” I then wen to find Suddy. Started taking snaps on the sideline with him, called the other [linemen] over and had them listen to his snap count to make sure everyone was on the rhythm of his cadence, and then went out for the next drive.

At no point was anything from me or anyone else confrontational. We all knew leading into the game that Sudfeld was told to be ready to play, and that Doug wanted to see what he could in a game situation. All of us during the week leading up were excited for Nate, a guy that has been with us for 4 years to get an opportunity in a real game to show the world what he can do. We all have complete confidence in Nate as a player, there’s a reason he’s been here this long, and a reason the team brought him back. And that’s because we feel like Nate is a guy we can win with.

I understand the optics of how it looked, and I’d be lying if I wasn’t a little surprised given the circumstances that the move happened when it did, but every one of us did our best, and all of us believe we can win with Nate Sudfeld. It was a difficult situation to be put into, especially when you have a 10 year veteran center who doesn’t snap the ball to you accurately on your second drive of the game. I know we can win games with Nate, because I know Suddy can play, it didn’t work out Sunday, but as always, that’s not just on him.”


Blogging the Boys

What can you expect from a 6-10 NFL team the following year?

If the last 30 NFL seasons are any indication, anything is possible for a team that went 6-10 the previous season. Well, almost anything.

what does the historical record tell us about the performance of 6-10 teams the following season? Between 1990 (when the league moved to a 12-team playoff format) and 2019, 87 teams finished with a 6-10 record. Here’s a topline view of how they followed up that 6-10 season

  • 63 of the 87 teams (63%) improved on their record the following year.
  • Seven teams (8%) repeated their 6-10 record from the previous year.
  • 25 teams (29%) finished the following season with an even worse record.
  • Six teams (7%) followed up their 6-10 effort with a season of such historical ineptitude that it earned them the No. 1 overall pick in the following year’s draft ( ‘92 Patriots, ‘95 Jets, ‘02 Bengals, ‘07 Dolphins, ‘19 Bengals, ‘20 Jaguars).
  • 26 teams (30%) made the playoffs the season after finishing 6-10.
  • One team (‘96 Patriots) made the Super Bowl but lost.

Here’s the full data set.

But we can take this analysis one step further and look at the historical record of teams with a similar trajectory to the Cowboys and look at what happened to teams that followed up an 8-8 season with a 6-10 season.

Since 1990, seven teams have had that specific combination of records in consecutive years, and here’s an overview of how they fared in Year 3:


Bleeding Green Nation

Adam Schefter doesn’t believe Carson Wentz will be back with the Eagles

NFL insider says Philadelphia’s quarterback “wants to be traded.”

The latest on Wentz comes from NFL insider Adam Schefter making a Wednesday morning appearance on 97.5 The Fanatic’s new morning program, The John Kincade Show. I transcribed the relevant portions.

ADAM SCHEFTER: Well, I’ve said all year long, I think we’ve talked about this. You always start with the coach and quarterback, right? So, yesterday, at least Doug Pederson was scheduled to meet with Jeffrey Lurie. […] So they were supposed to meet yesterday, I never heard anything amidst the Browns [COVID-19 situation], Nick Caserio [to the Houston Texans], and everything else going on. But I assume [since] we heard nothing, everything went as well as you could hope it to go. The expectation was that Doug was going to be back. OK, so that answers that question. And now we go to the quarterback. And friend of the station Rob Maadi reported on it yesterday. I believe what Rob says. That … how did he depict it exactly in the AP story?

BOB COONEY: It’s not exact but it was ‘I’m going to take a break for a little bit, and then come back and talk and I hope it doesn’t end in divorce.’

SCHEFTER: I would just say this, again. All year long, we talk about it, it comes back to the coach and the quarterback. And an organization that had the kind of year that the Eagles did, are we going to believe that everybody is going to be back? We know Jim Schwartz won’t be back, so there will be a shakeup on the defensive side of the football.

And I think the real question involves Carson Wentz. Now, my opinion — my opinion, I want to be very clear about this because, again, sometimes you say things and they wind up as reports. I don’t believe Carson Wentz will be back. That’s my opinion. Again, today. I reserve the right to change that opinion based on the events that transpire over the next month or two. But I believe that they’ll look to move on from him. I believe he wants to be traded. I believe what my work partner Chris Mortensen reported on Sunday, that the relations is “fractured beyond repair.” When he said those words, I went, ‘What?’ Like that was my reaction. I was … ‘Whoa! Mort. OK.’ And I think when you hear that, I think it speaks to the level of frustration that has been built up. I don’t think that that is easily wiped away. And I do think, ultimately, they’re going to have to look to trade him.

Now, when Howie Roseman spoke to the media this week, I think his message was, and correct me if I’m wrong, we’re not talking about that right now. We’re not looking into it. We’re not going to talk about that right now.

But they’ve got a problem. The quarterback is going to want to be traded. He hasn’t said it yet. But he does. And he hasn’t complained about it publicly. But he wants to be traded.