Last weekend was a rough time for the Dallas Cowboys and the rest of the NFC East didn't fare any better. All four division teams went down to defeat. Even though it is still early in the 2013 season, each team has some clear trends that are beginning to emerge and once again this division has the potential to be decided in a week 17 showdown again this year. Let's take a look.
New York Giants
Denver Broncos 41
New York Giants 23
- While the home folks in Dallas are bemoaning the lack of a running game in the Metroplex, the folks in the Big Apple are dealing with the same issues. Even with the return of center David Baas, a healthier Henry Hynoski, and a re-signed Brandon Jacobs; the Giants are struggling to get their ground game going.
"Obviously we're not doing something right," said Kevin Boothe. "We gotta figure it out because you can't be one-dimensional in this league."
- Eli Manning continues to spread the ball around in the Giants passing game; receiver, tight end, defensive back, the younger Manning doesn't care, he'll throw you the ball. In an effort to be more generous to his brother's team than he was to Dallas, Eli served up four interceptions to Denver on Sunday. Clearly taken out of context here, but I could not resist adding this quote from the Giants QB:
Every interception has its own story - Eli Manning
- Against a prolific passer like Peyton Manning, a strong pass rush is vital. On Sunday the vaunted front four of the Giants failed to make an appearance. On the night, they recorded no sacks and only hurried the elder Manning on two occasions.
- Ernie Palladino of CBS New York summed the Giants situation up perfectly. Right now the Giants are a bad team and they are experiencing the type of issues that generally define bad teams. The team cannot buy a break, the football does not bounce their way, and even when something positive happens the Giants find a way to turn it into a negative.
- This weekend the Giants will try to right the ship when they visit the Carolina Panthers.
Washington Redskins 20
Green Bay Packers 38
- There is no beating around the bush regarding the issue; Robert Griffin III is not right. The Redskins offense is not the explosive threat that it was in Bobby Trey's rookie season, primarily because he has turned into a one-dimensional threat, and as a pocket passer, RGIII has yet to prove he can lead Washington to a competitive season.
”[Defenses] don’t fear the read-option. They’re playing a lot more man-to-man coverage, they’re blitzing him, because they’re not afraid that he’s going to take the ball and run. Even when the wide receivers are open, he’s overthrowing the guys….He’s not playing with a lot of confidence…. - Rodney Harrison
”He’s got to start playing better; otherwise, they’ve got to go to Kirk Cousins.” - Tony Dungy
- Our friends over at Hogs Haven referred to the Redskins visit to Lambeau Field as "one of the worst performances in Mike Shanahan's tenure" in DC. Aaron Rodgers was able to throw the ball at will, by halftime he was 26 for 31, with 334 yards and three touchdowns. The Pack held a 24-0 lead at that point. In the end, Rodgers tied Matt Flynn for the Packers single game passing record with 480 yards total.
- Redskins safety Brandon Meriweather made his long awaited return to the Washington secondary on Sunday and he readily accomplished two things. First, he managed to earn himself a significant fine from the NFL for a helmet-to-helmet blow that sent Packers running back Eddie Lacy to the locker room with a concussion. Second, in what may be poetic justice, Meriweather suffered a concussion himself as part of another helmet-to-helmet contact with Lacy's replacement, James Starks. He achieved all of this in just over one quarter of play.
- Like to rest of the NFC East, the Washington Redskins find themselves in an early rut. In the words of Washington Post reporter Tracee Hamilton, the Redskins have gone from the 2012 playoff team to the unwatchable mess of 2011.
At 0-2, it’s certainly on life support. And as bad as that record looks, it pales in comparison to the realization that this team probably does not have the tools to radically improve.
- Washington will play host to the Detroit Lions this coming Sunday.
San Diego Chargers 33
Philadelphia Eagles 30
- The Eagles under Chip Kelly have shown that they can put points on the board, and that they cannot keep their opponents from doing the same. Over at Bleeding Green Nation they might have seen this coming as they asked in the offseason how much defense was necessary.
Too many times during Sunday's game, the Eagles offense would respond to a Chargers strike, only for the defense to give up another good drive to the Bolts.
- Eagles quarterback Michael Vick had a career day against the San Diego Chargers, as did his primary target, DeSean Jackson. Vick passed for 428 yards while going 24 for 37. He threw for two touchdowns. Jackson had a career high nine receptions and accounted for nearly 200 of Vick's passing yards.
- Penalties for mental errors hindered the Eagles offense. Twice rookie Lane Johnson was flagged for illegal formation when he lined up too far off the line of scrimmage. The rookie was trying to gain any possible advantage as he faced veteran pass rusher Dwight Freeney. In addition, DeSean Jackson drew a 15 yard flag for unnecessary roughness on a Michael Vick rushing touchdown. The penalty gave San Diego good starting position from which to answer the Eagles score.
"I just turned around and pushed him back as a reaction thing ... a lot of times guys see how little I am and try to be over-aggressive. That kind of gets the best out of me ... I kind of lost my emotions a little bit." - DeSean Jackson
- Next up for the Eagles will be a visit from former head coach Andy Reid and the Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday night.