The 2015 NFC East reminds me of American Idol’s heyday back in the early 2000s. I was never one to watch those types of award shows, especially growing up, but for whatever reason, there was something about American Idol that I just couldn’t take my eyes off. No, I didn’t necessarily watch week in and week out while people got voted off. I much preferred the auditions. Simon, Randy, and Paula traveled around the country seemingly trying to find the next “American Idol,” while a large majority of their viewers were just watching to see people who have 0 singing ability go on national television and sing their hearts out with no shame. Of course, this provided the television audience with countless opportunities to mock the contestants and laugh at their uncomfortable interactions with Simon Cowell. My fellow viewers and I didn’t watch to see who won, but rather to see who we could rip on endlessly to feel better about ourselves.
That’s the 2015 NFC East.
No one really cares who wins this division. People outside the metropolitan areas of Dallas, Washington, New York City, and Philadelphia didn’t watch on Monday Night to see which team proved victorious. Instead, they wanted to watch a trainwreck. Trainwrecks are awful, but people just can’t seem to take their eyes off of them. Viewers watched for the inevitable “NotTop Ten play” of the week that would head watercooler discussion on Tuesday morning (Washington Wide Receiver Desean Jackson provided that late in the fourth quarter). The Washington/Dallas Monday matchup was just like every awful American Idol audition in history people watched because they wanted to laugh and feel better about themselves, not because they actually cared who won the football game.
However, on American Idol, none of the putrid auditioners received a spot in Hollywood. The NFC East, much to the chagrin of football fans everywhere, will have one team reach the playoffs and receive a first round home game. That’s like sending the guy who sang “Let my people go”back in 2009 to Hollywood. It’s asinine and makes absolutely no sense, but until the NFL decides to move on from the divisional system, this situation will happen every few years.
Buffalo Bills (6-6) vs. Philadelphia Eagles (5-7)
As Lesean McCoy returns to the city that drafted him, both Buffalo and Philadelphia look to keep pace in their respective playoff hunts.
Matchups to watch:
1) In recent games, Buffalo QB Tyrod Taylor has been taking more shots down the field to his explosive Wide Receiver Sammy Watkins. Last week, Eagles’ rookie Defensive Back Eric Rowe got his first start of the year (starting DB Nolan Carroll III is out for the year with a broken ankle), and did a more than respectable job against New England’s depleted receiving core. On Sunday, because the Eagles generally don’t shadow #1 wide receivers with Byron Maxwell, Rowe will see a fair share of reps against Watkins. Look for Tyrod to try and abuse the rookie in one-on-one coverage. Eagles Defensive Coordinator Billy Davis may want to be careful with his rookie and get him away from Watkins when possible, but definitely give him safety help over the top.
2) It’s Shady McCoy’s return to Philly and it’ll be interesting to see how the fans greet him. McCoy was traded in the offseason for linebacker Kiko Alonso (who has struggled), and with the ineffectiveness of free agent signing Demarco Murray, Eagles fans probably miss Shady a little bit. Look for Rex Ryan to pound the Eagles with a heavy dose of McCoy early and often. The Eagles must contain Shady and keep the Bills at 3rd and long behind the chains.