The NFC East will be won and lost in the final five weeks of the season.
For the Washington Football Team, it has divisional contests in each week remaining before the NFL Playoffs get underway. Entering the weekend with six wins and losses equally, and two games behind the 8-4 Dallas Cowboys.
Those Cowboys play four divisional rivals in the next five weeks, including this weekend, in Washington.
By now you’ve likely heard what Dallas head coach Mike McCarthy had to say about his team winning the pivotal matchup in FedEx Field.
And Washington head coach Ron Rivera has been steadfast in his comments that McCarthy’s words are interesting, even though they don’t truly matter in the grand scheme of things.
“At the end of the day we don’t line up and play,” Rivera said about McCarthy’s comments. “So, as far as I’m concerned, I just try to stay out of that portion of it…”
It’s true. Rivera and McCarthy have combined to play as many snaps this NFL season as I have, and most likely, as many as you have.
Still, their individual impacts on how the season has gone for their squads, are undeniable.
While the Cowboys’ head coach prefers to state absolutes and rely on his players to prove him right, Rivera knows it’s up to the players to make the statements themselves, on the field of play.
“We’ll just show up, we’ll play football, we’ll play hard, and see how things go,” Rivera told media on Thursday. He later continued his comments on the topic, saying, “The biggest thing that I look at…is what happens on Sundays. All this other stuff is interesting (until) you play the game. That’s the thing that matters.”
No matter which coaching approach to rivalry games any of us prefers, we can all agree to the play on the field ultimately deciding which side defeats the other.
And the results of those actions, not coach speak, will have a much bigger impact regarding which team walks out of 2021 as the NFC East Division Champion.