All Things NFC East 2005

The NFC East, as an NFL division, has risen from the dead. The Eagles were expected to make another trip to the Super Bowl this year, the Cowboys were expected to be perhaps a wildcard team, if they’re lucky, and the Giants and Redskins were “rebuilding” as people wondered whether the game has “passed by” Coach Gibbs.

Now, in Week 6, the Cowboys (4-2) are on top, the Eagles (3-2) are struggling but have a bye week to get McNabb some health points, and the Giants (3-2) and Redskins (3-2) are making it all very competitive.

Feel free to come in here and post your musings on the NFC East or any team in the division. For those who don’t know, that includes the following teams (in order from best to the others :wink: ):

Dallas Cowboys
New York Giants
Washington Redskins
Philadelphia Eagles

I am a Dallas fan and I am excited about this season so far for my Boys. However, given the competitiveness of the NFC East, I am also keenly interested in what the other teams are doing or thinking. This is where we can all gather to talk some smack, cheer and boo, make picks, share info, or whatever. For example, I never knew before this year that the Giants were crappy coming off the bye. Why?

I started a Cowboys thread in the Pit, but I didn’t want to pit them anymore (however, that may change). Plus, there seemed to be other NFC East fans coming in to comment, but they didn’t say too much because the thread was a Cowboys thread.

I was inspired by the following threads:
NFL Division Rankings '05
Third Annual Steelers March to the Super Bowl
Put Your 2005 NFL Predictions Here
NFL Predictions - Week 1 (the Reckoning)
NFL Predictions - Week 2 (the Reconciliation)
NFL Predictions - Week 3 (Clarity)
NFL Predictions - Week 4 (Resilience)
NFL Predictions - Week 5 (Bargaining)
NFL Predictions - Week 6 (Where Fred Smoot is Planning My Weekend)
2005 Dallas Cowboys - Tough Love

And I had such high hopes for a fabulous season out of the Redskins after an opening of having beaten the Cowboys.

Ah well, such is the life of a fan.

Based upon NFL rules, if the playoffs were decided after the Rams lose on Monday…


  1. TB 5-1
  2. DALLAS 4-2
  3. Sea 4-2
  4. Chi 2-3 (Beat Det)


  1. Atl 4-2 (Better Div record than Car)
  2. Car 4-2


  1. Wash 3-2 (Better Div record than NYG & Phil)
  2. NYG 3-2 (Better Conf record than Phil)
  3. Phil 3-2
  4. Det 2-3
  5. StL 2-4 (Better Conf record than NO)
  6. NO 2-4

13-16. GB, Min, Arz, SF 1-4*

  • I don’t have time to go thru the tie-breakers

Oh… and Dallas is ranked higher than Seattle based upon strength of victory.

I understand you are happy. So would I be had my team been on the winning end of that game. But that was one of the butt-ugliest games I’ve sat through in some time. Neither team wanted to win, but Li’l Blue was just a bit better at losing a game than the 'boys. Parcells was smiling over the win, but I bet when he’s done reviewing tape, he going to be yelling at quite a few people. Coughlin will probably demand a human sacrifice, probably someone’s firstborn (or in the case of Brandon Jacobs, a younger sibling).

Only thing worse than a Cowgirls fan, is a vocal Cowgirls fan.

I suspect the division will look different next week. And probably different the week after that. And…

None of the teams are showing any consistency, and if that continues to be the case, the NFC East will shortly return to form.

Agreed. Neither team should be happy with that performance. I am happy in a way though because if that game had happened last year, there’s no way Dallas would have been able to overcome themselves.

BTW… Next Week’s Games are:

San Diego at Philadelphia
San Francisco at Washington
Dallas at Seattle
Denver at N.Y. Giants

Wins by: SD, WAS, SEA & NYG.

Although I hope that somehow I’ll be wrong about the 'Skins.

Excellent…I’ve been torn about where I want to put my general football musings. This thread looks like home.

Parcells news conference is coming up in a matter of minutes on the Deuce. (ESPN2, 1:00pm Eastern / 12:00pm Central Monday afternoon)

Indeed, most of it was… Dallas commiting 4 turnovers and then NY trying to equal them, Dallas taking points off the board because of a penalty, Manning was pretty inept as a passer and their running game, especially in the first half, was dismal.

Still, if you look hard enough there were some things to get excited about. Shockey was a bad dude when they got him the ball. NY’s last drive to tie was impressive. Dallas’ D looked good stopping NY’s first 4 possessions, 2 starting in Dallas territory, to only 6 points of hurt.

It did look ugly but, fortunately, appeared at least able to cook and clean.

I’d go with SD, WAS and DEN next week. Denver’s on freakin’ fire now.

The Boys and Seahawk though… hmmm… that’s a toughie.

I have a question about timeouts, and it came up in the Pats game yesterday. It’s regarding when you should call them in relation to the 2:00 warning.

At 2:20, the first down conversion play ends, clock is running, do you take a time out now, or after the 2:00 warning? If you have three timeouts, it’s a moot point; you can call all three regardless. But if you only have one or two? The Patriots had only one left, and used it at the 2:20 mark.

I always felt this was an error, because the timeout only saved 20 seconds, whereas if you wait until after the 2:00 warning, you can save a full 40 seconds. Unfortunately, Jerry Glanville agrees with this thinking, which makes it wrong by default. But why is it wrong?

1st down conversion: 2:20, call a timeout
After 1st down: 2:00 warning
After 2nd down: 1:20 left
After 3rd down: :40 left
Punt: 30 seconds left for comeback

1st down conversion: 2:00 warning
After 1st down: 1:54, call a timeout
After 2nd down: 1:14 left
After 3rd down: :34 left
Punt: 24 seconds left for comeback

What’s going on? Where are the 20 extra seconds that should have been saved? The timeout only saved 20 seconds before the 2:00, and a full 40 seconds after. Why then does the latter show less time for the comeback?

The 'Skins are only a half-game out of 1st place, they lost to respectable teams on the road, the season isn’t even half over, and they are doing much better than predicted. Don’t quit now!

Here are my picks in bold:
San Diego at Philadelphia
San Francisco at Washington
Dallas at Seattle
Denver at N.Y. Giants

Judging by last year, when the Cowboys weren’t nearly as good, Dallas “had Seattle’s number” and clobbered the Seahawks in Seattle by a score of 43-39, but the game wasn’t even that close. It kept the Seahawks out of the playoffs. I’m betting on another Dallas win despite the Seahawks’ desire for revenge.

Also, the 'Skins, hosting the 49ers, have the easiest game of Week 7 in the NFC East. If the 'Skins win and the rest of the division loses, guess who’s back in 1st place?

I think the missing time is to be found after the first down TO. In your example you still have them running 40 seconds off the clock.

There’s only 6 seconds after the first down TO. (6 seconds to run up the middle, call a timeout, clock stops at 1:54.) We don’t reach 1:14 until after second down is run.

It may help if you visualize the period of time from 2:40 to 2:00 as the “Magic Window” or a block of time that consts of 40-seconds of time regardless of which exact second on the clock your opponent gets a 1st down during that window of time (2:39, 2:23, 2:07, it doesn’t matter).

Assume you only have 1 TO and your opponent is trying to kill the clock. Your opponent can waste up to :40 per play, without penalty, by neglecting to run a play.

If your opponent gets a 1st down at ANY TIME on the game clock during the Magic Window, you will want to call time out. Otherwise, your opponent is able to control/waste the ENTIRE Magic Window of :40, plus several seconds after the 2:00 warning.

By calling a TO upon your opponent’s securing a 1st down at any time during the Magic Window, your force your opponent to run a 1st down play during the Magic Window.

That means, if you call TO at any time BEFORE the 2:00 warning, then the most time your opponent can waste AFTER the 2:00 warning is :40 for 2nd down, :40 for 3rd down, plus the time it takes to punt.

That’s 2 full plays and a punt… about :90 total, leaving you with :30 to make a comeback. The key to maximizing your time for a comeback is to get your opponent to begin 2nd down at the 2:00 warning.

If you allow your opponent to squander away the Magic Window without forcing them to run a 1st down play during the Magic Window, then your opponent has not only killed all of whatever time remained in the Magic Window, but AFTER the 2:00 warning, your opponent can now take two full plays, a punt, PLUS one shortened down… about :95 total, leaving you less time for a comeback had you called your TO before the 2:00 warning.

The fewer plays your opponent can make after the 2:00 warning, the sooner you get the ball back. By calling TO immediately after a 1st down conversion made at any time during the Magic Window, you force your opponent to play 1st down before the 2:00 warning, getting you the ball back sooner.

For example, if your opponent gets a 1st down conversion at 2:39 and you fail to call TO, then your opponent can waste all of the time from 2:39 to 2:00, then run 4 plays after the 2:00 warning instead of just 3, giving you less time after the 2:00 warning than you would have had if you called your TO before the 2:00 warning. If you had called TO at 2:39, then your opponent would be forced to run a 1st down play before 2:00, leaving your opponent only 3 plays after the 2:00 warning.

The same is true even if your opponent had gotten a 1st down conversion at 2:05 instead of 2:39. You should call TO at 2:05 and force them to run a 1st down play before the 2:00 warning, only allowing them to run 3 plays after the 2:00 warning instead of 4.

In a nutshell, if you only have 1 TO, and your opponent gets a 1st down conversion at any time during the Magic Window, and if you fail to call your TO before the 2:00 warning, then you have allowed your opponent to kill the entire Magic Window (which is 40 seconds even if your opponent gets their 1st down at 2:05). You have also allowed them to kill an additional :05 or so after the 2:00 warning that they would not have otherwise had.

I’m tired and I hope this makes sense.

Okay, yeah, that does help.

Basically, when killing the clock, plays have clock killing potential, which is normally 40 seconds potentially killed. Plays between 2:40 and 2:00, however, have reduced potential. In my original example, the play called at 2:20 has only 20 seconds of potential.

By taking the timeout at 2:20, we killed a play, similar to killing a penalty in hockey. If we waited until after the 2:00 minute warning, then we would indeed save 40 seconds instead of 20, but we have also simultaneously increased the first down play’s clock killing potential from 20 seconds up to the full 40, because we’ve moved it from the Magic Window into regular time, so there ended up being more potential time to be killed. That’s the piece I was missing that balances the scales.

I think I got it. Thanks much.

Sorry to hear about Adams, Bearflag70. Football players are getting too strong and too good. There are too many injuries out there.

<snif snif>

(looks across the room to eye his Redskins jacket)

Well, okay…

Aww… by Wednesday, I’m back to being the biggest-(only?)-Redskins-fan-in-Cleveland anyway.

You called a timeout after first down, so during second down they should only be able to run off another 6 or so seconds for the actual play, because they start second down with the clock stopped.

The way I’m seeing it is:

1st down conversion: 2:00 warning, clock stops
Run play on first down: 1:54, call a timeout, clock stops
Run play on second down: 1:48 left, clock runs
Run play on third down: 1:08 left
Punt: :58 left