New York Giants (3-4)
- The 2014 New York Giants entered the bye week in much better position that they did last year. They are still under .500, but the team was 0-6 during their 2013 bye. In this case better is not good enough and the Giants front office is not happy. GM Jerry Reese invested heavily in the future of the G-men during the off-season, and through seven games he is getting a less than favorable return on his investment.
... what the Giants have done through seven games is not good enough and they know it. When he wasn't criticizing his quarterback, GM Jerry Reese said as much during his midseason address, admitting that the team didn't hand out more than $100 million on contracts to be 3-4. They're not out of this race, no, but seven games in, they look less like a contender and more like proof that free agent money doesn't buy playoff happiness.
- Speaking of Reese, there might be a riff between the team's GM and its head coach, Tom Coughlin. During his mid-season progress report on the Giants, Reese was openly critical of many things including the way the coaching staff has managed their in-game decision making this season. He expects the team to be more aggressive on game day.
"I think at times we're a little bit almost too cautious with what we're doing offensively. I appreciate Eli taking care of the ball and not turning it over because that correlates to wins a lot of the time, but you can't be too cautious. You have to throw the ball down the field and you have to score points in this league to win." - Jerry Reese
- Week 9 will see the Giants return to action when they host the Indianapolis Colts on Monday night. The game will mark the return of two former players who played key roles in the Giants' last Super Bowl win. Ahmad Bradshaw and Hakeem Nicks are now the "enemy" in New York. Bradshaw is experiencing a revitalization as the Colts go-to guy in the backfield, but Nicks is not the impact player that he once was. He is on the verge of losing his role as the team's WR3 to a rookie. Still both players are determined to show their former teammates, coaches, and fans that they are still able to get the job done.
"That was family to me at one time and that was like home to me. To be able to go back home and play in front of old fans of mine and be in that atmosphere ... it makes me anxious just to be ready for this game and be ready to go.'' - Ahmad Bradshaw
Washington Redskins (3-5)
Washington Redskins - 20
Dallas Cowboys - 17 OT
- One of the biggest things that the Skins had going for them is that Jim Haslett's defense was getting pressure on the passer at will. For some reason, Haslett has always been able to get inside the Dallas offensive gameplan and cause disruptions. On Monday night those disruptions led to five sacks. ESPN writer John Keim considers this performance to be more impressive than the early season dominating effort that Washington turned in against Jacksonville.
... their five sacks were probably more impressive than the 10 they had against Jacksonville considering the line and the quarterback they were facing. The Redskins did not overwhelm Dallas with power, rather with good timing and execution.
- Falling into the "no good deed goes unpunished" column, Colt McCoy has learned that he will be rewarded for leading the Redskins to a pair of victories over a total of six quarters of play by being "promoted" to the position of first-string clipboard carrier. Robert Griffin III will return to the starting lineup when Washington next takes the field. Sure McCoy showed signs of rust in his first start since leaving Cleveland, but he also did something that no Washington passer has done since the end of 2012: he won back to back games. Sure Dan Snyder has a fortune tied up in RGIII, but you have to wonder if Washington might have more faith in the guy who is getting it done than they do in a guy who has been out of action since week 2 of the season.
- The Redskins and this week's opposition, the Minnesota Vikings, sport identical 3-5 records. Both squads are coming off of road wins and are looking to take a step forward in the quest to return to the top tier of NFL teams when the teams face off at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.
Philadelphia Eagles (5-2)
Philadelphia Eagles - 20
Arizona Cardinals - 24
- Nick Foles continues to prove that last season was an anomaly rather than the norm. Against the Cards' defense, which specializes in shutting down the run, Foles threw the ball 62 times. As Comcast Sportsnet Philadelphia remarked, throwing is fine but when you to the air that much the door is opened for bad decisions and mistakes.
Foles had one of each against the Cardinals. The first interception was a poor decision. The Eagles had 1st-and-10 from the Arizona 25 midway through the second quarter when Foles uncorked an off-balance throw into the end zone. Cardinals cornerback Antonio Cromatrie was happy to pluck it out of the air without any trouble and return it to the Arizona 38-yard line.
The second interception was a mistake. It was a bad pass. Cromartie picked off another ball in the fourth quarter when Foles misfired and threw behind Riley Cooper.
- A battle-scarred Philadelphia offensive line took another blow this week, but it got some good news as well. Right guard Todd Herremans tore his left bicep in the loss to Arizona, but he returned to the game after setting out a few plays. The veteran offensive lineman is going to attempt to play through the injury and he has been working in practice. The big questions yet to be answered are how effective he will be and how long he can manage the pain. Only game action will answer those questions. The good news for the feathered flock is that center Jason Kelce has returned and he has been taking the first team reps during practice this week. They could get another boost when left guard Evan Mathis returns from IR following week 10.
- The Eagles will make their first Texas visit this weekend when they come to Houston to do battle against the Texans. To win the Eagles will have to stop J. J. Watt from impacting the Chip Kelly offense and also find a way to limit Arian Foster on the ground. Both are easier said than done,