- Dan Graziano, ESPN Staff Writer
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In spite of throwing four touchdown passes in his nationally televised victory over the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving, Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III did not win the NFC Offensive Player of the Week award for the second week in a row. That honor went instead to Carolina quarterback Cam Newton, who threw two touchdown passes and ran for two more touchdowns against the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday night.
Redskins fans are annoyed and think their guy should have won, but the fact is it was close and both performances were award-worthy, and in the end it doesn't really matter all that much. But I wanted to address it because of the critical thing Newton's Week 12 performance had in common with Griffin's award-winning Week 11 performance -- namely, that each came in a game against the Eagles. I think this is a strong omen in favor of Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, who gets to face the Eagles on Sunday night this week.
In "The Wedding Singer," Billy Idol tells an airplane full of people that, "We let our first-class passengers do pretty much anything they want." This is the policy the Eagles have been applying to opposing quarterbacks in recent weeks. In the five games since the Eagles fired defensive coordinator Juan Castillo and replaced him with secondary coach Todd Bowles, the Eagles' defense has been a candy store shopping spree for quarterbacks. Reuben Frank offers these frightening numbers in a column suggesting that the entire Philadelphia secondary be benched:
Five weeks in a row now, a quarterback has done this against the Eagles: Complete at least 64 percent of his passes, throw two or more touchdowns, throw zero interceptions and pass for 200 yards.
Five weeks in a row now, a quarterback has had a passer rating of 120 or higher against the Eagles.
Only one other NFL team in history – the 1984 Vikings – can claim those nightmarish accomplishments.
For context, the '84 Vikings were also 3-8 after 11 games. They lost their final five games to finish 3-13 in a season in which they allowed a staggering 484 points (the Eagles are on pace to give up "only" 410) and then selected defensive end Chris Doleman with the No. 4 pick in the 1985 draft. But again, I digress.
Point is, if you have Romo on your fantasy team and you're debating between him and some other quarterback this week, it might not be a bad idea to start him. At this point, the bar has been set. Anything less than an NFC Offensive Player of the Week-level performance against the Eagles almost has to qualify as a disappointment.