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How Did The Rest Of The Division Fare While Dallas Was Off?

Depending on the color of your football blood, you might consider last week as the best of the season for the NFC East.

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

New York Giants (3-7)

San Francisco 49ers     16
New York Giants     10

  • The Giants extended their losing streak to five consecutive games. Quarterback Eli Manning started the game out strong, hitting TE Larry Donnell for a 19 yard touchdown on New York's first possession.  At that point, Good Eli decided to join the Dallas Cowboys in taking a bye week. Enter bad Eli for Tom Coughlin's floundering team. Archie's youngest boy promptly lived up to his reputation for not discriminating with his passes. Manning completed 22 of his 45 passes to teammates. He completed five more to 49 San Francisco defenders. The most critical was Chris Borland's second pick of the game. With the Giants driving for a potential game winning score, the rookie linebacker incercepted Manning at the San Francisco 2 yard line to put an end to the Giants hopes.

"I have to make better throws. It's no one else's fault. I've got to protect the ball and not turn it over. I turned it over close a couple of times and that can't happen." - Eli Manning

  • One of the few bright spots for the Giants this season has been the play of rookie wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. The LSU product spent his career dreaming of catching passes from either of the Manning brothers. After all, he graduated from the same high school as the two famous quarterbacks. This year he is living the dream. Beckham has proved himself worthy of the first round pick that New York invested in him; on Sunday he turned in a 93 yard receiving effort for Manning, and it was his punt return in the fourth quarter that put his team in position for Manning to throw the goal line interception that sealed the Giants' fate. Along the way he has earned the respect of safety Antrell Rolle, a man known for being openly critical of his teammates' drive to win.

"I love him. I wish I had more years to play with this guy. He wants to be the best. He wants to win." - Antrell Rolle on Odell Beckham, Jr.

  • Head coach Tom Coughlin has experienced the best that pro football has to offer during his tenure with the Giants. For that he will always hold a special place in team history. On the other hand, for the Giants under Coughlin it is either feast or famine. His performance as the coach of the last two seasons is also carving out a special place in the hearts and minds of Giants fans, and it is not a place any coach wants to be. There are calls for him to be fired, or to ride off into the sunset via retirement. With the Giants in need of a multi-season overhaul effort, it is clear that the aging Coughlin is not the man for the job. Unfortunately for New York fans, the 68 year old coach does not see it that way. He does not appear to be willing to leave on his own terms. If a change is to be made, Jerry Reese or John Mara will have to fire the coach who brought two Lombardi Trophies home to the Big Apple.
  • The Giants will welcome the Dallas Cowboys to MetLife Stadium this coming weekend. The best that New York can hope for is to spoil the Cowboys dreams of returning to the playoffs for the first time in the Jason Garrett era. The Boys should expect a hostile greeting when they go on the road, but then too they are undefeated away from AT&T Stadium.

Washington Redskins (3-7)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers     27
Washington Redskins     7

  • I have been saying for the past two seasons that there were some serious locker room issues that needed to be worked out in Washington before the team could hope to round the corner. There is a lot of finger pointing in the locker room, and much of that is taking place in the public eye. The latest player to call out his teammates in a public forum is none other than RGIII. That's no surprise;  last year he was all but putting the blame on the coaching staff. This time around Bob is blaming his fellow Redskins. It seems that he has never heard of the we concept.

"If you want to look at the good teams in this league and the great quarterbacks, the Aaron Rodgers or Peyton Mannings, those guys don't play well if their guys don't play well. I need every guy in that locker room and I know they are looking at me saying the same thing." - Robert Griffin, III

  • Griffin's outburst drew the immediate ire of head coach Jay Gruden. He made it abundantly clear that there is a quarterback in Washington and there is a head coach and that they are not one and the same. This is something that I have felt that Mike Shanahan should have done early on during the Griffin era. Gruden drew a line in the sand with his passer, and now the ball is in RGIII's court. It will be interesting to see how this one plays out over the next few weeks. If the Redskins hadn't invested so much in Griffin, I would speculate that Bob was on his way out.

"It's his job to worry about his position, his footwork, his fundamentals, his reads, his progressions, his job at the quarterback position. It's my job to worry about everybody else. And, yes, everybody else needs to improve. There's no question about it. But it's not his place. His place is to talk about himself and he knows that. He just elaborated a little bit too much." - Jay Gruden

  • Finger pointing was not the only thing going on in the nation's capitol this weekend. The floundering Redskins hosted the even more hapless Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The only problem was that someone forgot to inform Lovie Smith's crew of pirates that they were supposed to be even more hapless. With two weeks to get ready for this game, the Redskins came out flat against a one win team that had struggled to get anything right. Mike Jones of the Washington Post did not pull any punches in his observations from the Sunday afternoon massacre. His whole piece is blunt and to the point, but one statement sums it up perfectly.

These aren't mistakes that grown men who practice every day should be making. Players on my 8-U flag football team forget assignments on plays designed for them, but they're little kids with short attention spans. Adults shouldn't make these types of mistakes over and over again.

  • Next on the schedule for the Redskins will be a visit to the San Francisco 49ers. It is unlikely that Coach Harbaugh and his home standing 49ers will turn in another dismal performance like the one that they had against the New York Football Giants, so Gruden, Griffin,& Co. have a Herculean task ahead of them if they expect to have a respectable showing in California.

Philadelphia Eagles (7-3)

Philadelphia Eagles     20
Green Bay Packers     53

  • FIFTY THREE week ago the Eagles defense was on top of the world after turning in their most impressive performance of the season. Defensive coordinator Bill Davis' charges completely dominated and dictated to Cam Newton and the Panthers. On Sunday the tables were turned and the Eagles D was scorched. Aaron Rodger and the Pack put up 475 yards of offense while scoring on six of their first seven possessions. The Philly defense could not get out of their own way, let alone do anything to slow down the opposition. Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb lit up the Eagles corners for 14 catches and 238 yards. When they were not giving up yards in chunks to that tandem, the defense was whiffing when they attempted to tackle Eddie Lacy. It was a humbling experience for the Eagles.

"It's a combination. All we can look at is ourselves and we'll fix what was wrong out there today and we'll work hard at it. We've got a confident group of guys that hang together and we know that every now and then you have days like this. You don't want them, but they happen in the NFL. I think most of the big teams, even Green Bay, had one of these earlier in the season. We have to respond now. We have to work our tails off and get back and learn from what happened out there today and give them the credit where it's due." - Bill Davis

  • Chip Kelly has a big task ahead of him this week. The Eagles, for the first time since finding their footing in Kelly's system, found themselves being bullied by an opponent. It is usually the Kelly way that he and his team prefer to operate. Now the football wizard is going to have to prove that he can work magic by looking a group of professional football players in the eye and convincing them that they are not nearly as bad as they looked on Sunday. Forget the wonder smoothies, forget the up-tempo style of play, it is time for the coach do do some coaching. He has to find a way to make a team led by a back up quarterback believe that they are still a playoff contender. In short, now we see if he can coach at the game's highest level.

"Now we're going to find out who we are. It's easy when you're on the other end of this thing like we were last week. You're on national TV and everything's going great and you can't miss and you score a lot of points and defense and special teams scored. That's fun and it's easy - but now it's tough. This is going to be a really good test for this team. I'm excited because I think we have the type of players that can bounce back from this." - Chip Kelly

  • On Sunday afternoon Mark Sanchez looked like, well, Mark Sanchez. Throughout his career Sanchez has but together a few flashes that were enough to convince some that he had the ability to be a decent to good NFL starter, but that is all they are. Just when the team starts to think that maybe he is reaching that point, he pulls a Sanchez. He just cannot escape his history as his outing at Lambeau Field proved. Two interceptions and two lost fumbles (one of each resulting in a defensive score for the Packers) will not get it done for a team looking to be a play off contender. Unfortunately for the Eagles, that is what you get with Mark Sanchez.
  • The Eagles will attempt to recover from their worst outing of the Kelly era when they host the Tennessee Titans at Lincoln Financial Fied this weekend. With the most critical portion of their schedule coming up (including two contests with co-division leader Dallas) Philadelphia faces several critical questions.

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