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NFC East Week 9

After several years of submitting comments and e-mails, GiantsGab decided to invite me to share my thoughts and musings about the NFC East for the remainder of the season. So let me start this off by being very clear about who I am. I don’t have connections to the NFL, any ESPN reporters or some inside information on what goes on inside the locker rooms. I’m just your average law school student who crossed over from “fan” to “fanatic” a long time ago. I’m a staunch Giants fan and as such my opinion may be biased at times but I’ve done my best to present you with a fair and unbiased opinion. Just so we’re clear on my never wavering allegiance to Big Blue, the number one thing on my deal breakers for a wife is if she’s a Dallas Cowboys fan. But I digress. Time to talk football.

New York Giants

Starting first with the only team in the NFC East to earn a W this past Sunday; the Giants could not have asked for a better week. Despite failing to score a touchdown in their week 8 victory over the Eagles, the Giants were able to pull within two games of the division leading Dallas Cowboys. Clearly the offensive unit does not have the same cohesion as it had in years past and all it starts up front with the offensive line struggles, not to mention Peyton Hillis is the fifth running back to start a game this season for Big Blue. So it begs the question, what positives can you take from a game where the Giants settled for five field goals? For starters, Eli was able to post a donut in the interception column for only the second time this season. Coincidence the Giants are 2-0 when Eli doesn’t throw an INT? Not likely. The real takeaway from this game is the much improved play of the defense who has now failed to give up a touchdown in back to back weeks. Since arriving in NY, Jon Beason is playing back at the level that led him to three straight pro bowls with the Carolina Panthers (2008-2010). Although Beason only had 4 tackles in Sunday’s win, anyone who watched the game will attest to the impact he has had. Along with Beason, safety Will Hill has brought a level of physicality to the Giants secondary that was lacking in the first several weeks. Even JPP showed flashes of his pro bowl form on Sunday. Although still at 2-6, the Giants certainly have some things to feel good about heading into their week 9 bye.

Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles inconsistency all season is the reason they currently sit at 3-5. Starting with this past Sunday’s loss, Giants fans should be writing thank you notes to the Eagles coaching staff for the way they used LeSean McCoy. More importantly than the decision to only hand the ball to McCoy 15 times was the decision not to call his number on the goal line at the end of the first half. Instead, they elected to let Barkely try and make a play and he ended up getting sacked and turning the ball over. A huge stop by the Gaints defense before the half.

Much like the Giants, the Eagles offense has been plague by injuries but at times has still been productive. It’s hard to tell if Chip Kelly’s newly implemented system is paying dividends. On the defensive side of the ball, the Eagles have handled the run extremely well allowing a shade under 100 yards a game. Their Achilles heel so far has been their abysmal secondary, allowing 300 yards through the air per game; good enough for 31st in the league. The Eagles go on the road next week to face the Oakland Raiders who will be riding high after knocking off the Steelers last week. This is a very winnable game for the Eagles, it just depends on which Philly team shows up to play.

Washington Redskins

The Washington Redskins are 2-5 thus far, mostly because of the horrific play by their defense. The Redskins currently rank 28th and 29th in the league in passing and rushing defense respectively. They were exposed in the second half of last week’s game after allowing 38 points to Peyton Manning and the Broncos. (That game was actually tied 7-7 at the half). While there are not many good things to say about this Redskins defense, the more concerning questions are those surrounding RG3. It seems the knee brace he is wearing has thrown off his game. In their last three games, RG3 has completed just 53% of his passes with a 3-4 TD/INT ratio.

The emergence of rookie tight end Jordan Reed gave Washington the flexibility to try to aggressively shop Fred Davis before last Tuesday’s four o’clock deadline; there were no takers. The Redskins get the San Diego Chargers at home this Sunday in a must win game for them. The Chargers rode a two game win streak into their week 8 so expect them to come out feeling good. The Redskins secondary gets Brandon Meriweather back from his one game suspension and will need slow down Rivers and the Chargers air attack to have a chance this Sunday.

Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys suffered a gut-wrenching last second loss to the Detroit Lions last week when Matthew Stafford faked the spike and plunged over his offensive line to win the game in the remaining seconds. I dare you to tell me as a Giants fan that didn’t make you stand up and cheer; both out of pure hatred for Jerry Jones’ toon squad and because of the ramifications that it had on the NFC East. The icing on the cake had to be the monster performance by Calvin Johnson who tore up the Dallas secondary for 329 yards on 14 receptions; just 7 yards shy of the NFL single game record. All giddiness aside, and I cannot believe I’m about to admit this, but the Cowboys are the front runner for the NFC East title right now. (I’ll give everyone a moment to regain their composure after that). But sadly, as upsetting as it is the Cowboys have been impressive on the offensive side of the ball in almost every game this season. That includes going toe to toe with the high powered machine running out west in Denver. The loss of right guard Brian Waters for the rest of the season could potentially slow down what has been the most consistent offense in the division. Their woes have been on the defensive side of the ball. While giving up more receiving yards to one player than several teams had total in week 8 certainly doesn’t help, the Cowboys rank dead last in passing defense. Things need to change quickly in Big D if they look to keep their position atop the NFC East.

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2 Responses to “NFC East Week 9”

  1. Love me some Cowboys, but there is some really bad football being played in the NFC East this year. Looks like the winner of that division is only going to need 7 or 8 wins.

  2. Robert Milo says:

    Good article on target and well written. Look forward to your next weeks review.

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