Normally when a divisional opponent calls you the best team in the division, you take it as a compliment, because it usually indicates that you are cruising to the playoffs. That isn’t the case for the Eagles. And normally when a divisional opponent backhandedly discredits the fact that you look like the best team in the NFC East by essentially saying that the division is a joke, you take offense to that. This isn’t a normal situation. Hell, normally you don’t give credit to a team and discredit their division all in one quote. But a Redskin did that today.
Redskin’s middle linebacker London Fletcher, who will play the Eagles this Sunday in his 250th NFL game, managed to do just that today.
“The Eagles are playing really good football right now,” he said. “They’re probably the top team in our division right now. The Cowboys really struggled the other night against the Saints (losing 49-17). Based off who’s hot right now, you’d probably have to go Eagles — if I was to rank them.”
“The great thing about this year is that the NFC East has been so terrible, so to speak,” he said. “You look at it, we’re at Week 10 and our leader is 5-5. So even at 3-6, we are conceivably still in this thing.”
Maybe it is because I have a ton of respect for Fletcher, despite the fact that he has spent the second half of his career in a Redskins uniform, but these quotes don’t bother me. There is absolutely nothing that Fletcher said that isn’t true.
The Eagles are playing really good football now, behind Nick Foles, Riley Cooper, LeSean McCoy, and an improving defense. The Cowboys did get slaughtered last Sunday night. As much as it pains me to say, I think the Cowboys are still the best team in the division, but I certainly see Fletcher’s point about the Eagles being the hottest.
I’m not sure the Redskins do have a chance this year because they haven’t shown any consistency, but as a captain of the Redskins, Fletcher should make quotes like this. The team was 3-6 last year, and then rattled off seven straight wins to steal the NFC East from the Cowboys. Fletcher and the Redskins should feel like that has a chance of happening again this season.
Fletcher went on to discuss how the Redskins can’t get caught up in trying to duplicate last years game, because it takes away focus from Sunday’s must-win divisional showdown.
“I know a lot of talk has been said about what we were able to accomplish last year and things like that. It’s one thing to have that experience, but it’s another thing to know that we still have to go out and win a ballgame Sunday. This is going to be a tough game.”
DeMeco Ryans has brought the first aspect of leadership at the Middle Linebacker spot since Jerimiah Trotter manned the spot for the Birds. But damn, I would do anything to have a leader like Fletcher who can come out and potentially get in the other team’s head, while reminding his team of the importance of this game. That lack of that type of leadership is one of the reasons why the Eagles haven’t been to the playoffs the last two seasons.