The 2009 NFC East Anomaly: The Sweep Triangle Affair

This is basically a ramble without any stats like Orange3b or someone like that.

If you paid attention to the NFC East last season, you may have noticed something strange.

Although the Cowboys won the Division at 11-5, they were swept by the third placed Giants at 8-8.

The Giants were swept by the Eagles also at 11-5 (in each contest giving up 40 or more points)

Yet the Eagles were swept by the Cowboys in all 3 matchups including a shutout.

All Three teams swept the Redskins that of course ended dead last in the division.  Yet the Redskins closest matchups came against the division winning Cowboys, including a 7-6 defeat IN DALLAS.

How can you explain this WEIRD phenom?

(Twilight Zone music plays)

Well first all we have to realize that a game can't be predicted on record and results alone.  As football pundits tell it.  It's all about Matchups, matchups of the teams strengths versus the other team's weakness.

Now I'm not football pundit per se, but here's how I see it.

The Giants finished the season giving up 40 plus points in about 4 out of 5 of their last their secondary was a major issue.  The Eagles were able to exploit this with their receivers of Desean Jackson, Avant and Maclin.  The Redskins had an anemic offense and couldn't.  The Cowboys...well they had Miles Austin, so why were they able to win?  Well the Cowboys did score on the Giants scoring 31 and 24 points.  But I think the difference was the Eagles Defense versus the Cowboys Defense.  The Giants weren't as good of a running team as they were in the past, so they relied on the passing game.  The Eagles had a better equipped secondary than the Cowboys which the Giants could exploit and stay in the game.  The Eagles made the Giants get out of their game plan and of course take over.

Now let's look at the Eagles:

They swept the Giants because they out matched them with their defense versus the Giants.  The Cowboys actually had a very similiar defense as the Giants, yet they couldn't score on them...why?  We have to look behind the lines.  Almost every primetime Eagles game I keep hearing Winston Justice's name their left tackle, in how he gets beat.  The Eagles had offensive line issues at times.  I'm sure this made McNabb gittery in the pocket (maybe the raiders did the same to them but I don't have the highlights of it) The Cowboys were known for their fierce pass rush in 2009.  (A reason the Saints lost to them with their high octane offense) The Giants O-Line was able to subtain the Cowboys rush, or maybe McNabb held the ball too long and Eli Manning had the receivers to get open more quickly to void the Cowboys pass rush.  The Eagles Offense was neutralized and in three games scored a total of 30 points.  I believe the Eagles weakness was run defense and the Cowboys three headed monster exploited that.  The Giants didn't have their pass rush for some reason (nor their running game) and the Eagles soared.

And Finally the Cowboys.

They were swept by the Giants.  They could pick up the pass rush and exploit the secondary issues the Cowboys have always had, and although the Cowboys also picked the Giants apart, they couldn't keep up, and perhaps penalities might have been an issue.


Basically that's what I think...but you are welcome to share your thoughts with me.  I don't expect any recs this time.

<em>This FanPost was written by one of The Falcoholic's talented readers. It does not necessarily reflect the views of The Falcoholic.</em>

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