New York Giants (2-0)
New Orleans Saints - 13
New York Giants - 16
Next up: Washington Redskins
The addition of newcomer Sterling Shepard and the return of Victor Cruz will not only give Eli Manning more tools to work with, but it will also free up Odell Beckham, Jr. when the other two receivers start doing damage. That much is obvious. Another reason for the team getting off to a fast start is the revitalized defense. When Big Blue wins, it all starts on that side of the ball.
There are still some issues in the Big Apple, but there is also plenty to lead fans to think that this year's squad will be much improved from the one that took the field last season.
Power rankings; we all love to check out where our favorite team stacks up each week, and with a 2-0 start you know that Giants fans can't wait for them to come out. Sure it is mostly subjective but they are also addictive. Outside of CBS it seems like there is a consensus building that right now the rising Giants are on the verge of breaking in to the top ten.
Odell Beckham likes to talk smack; Josh Norman likes to sling around the trash as well. With the Giants and Redskins slated to meet on the gridiron in week three it stands to reason that the beat writers in both camps are sharpening up their pencils in anticipation, right? Not if the Giants quarterback has anything to say about the matter. His advice to the young wide receiver?
"We've got a job to do and everybody is trying to do their assignment and do their job at a high level. That's goes for him. That goes for Victor [Cruz]. That goes for me. That goes for the offensive line. We've all got to play at a high level and worry about just doing our job." - Eli Manning
The two time Super Bowl winner knows that two wins do not make a season, and he is making sure that those around him are fully aware that there is a lot of work left to be done in order to win the division. None of that work involves gum-flapping.
Washington Redskins (0-2)
Dallas Cowboys - 27
Washington Redskins - 23
Next Up: @ New York Giants
A 0-2 start after winning the division last season is not the start that Jay Gruden and his team had hoped for. To compound matters they have lost both games in the supposedly friendly confines of FedEx Field. It is still early but the fact that the team has started out at 0-2 now has their playoff chances at a dismal 10%. Greenburg looks at where the team has its greatest opportunities to turn around a dreadful start. He summarizes that they are still a legitimate 10-6 club if they can work on three key things - red zone scoring, third down defense, and keep protecting the quarterback.
HMMM. I have heard this before, but I thought that with both Coach Shanahan and that quarterback who wound up in Cleveland out of the picture things might be different. It seems that I might have been wrong.
"For the Redskins, all I saw was not the right way to handle it. They didn't handle it the right way when I was there. They may handle it different now, but when I was there they started pointing fingers, people started talking, that's how you get dissension in the locker room." - Keenan Robinson
Sour grapes, perhaps. Then too it can be hard to change a culture of negativity once it takes hold. Either way I am glad to see that it is Robinson, and not Alfred Morris, who is making these statements.
Over the last ten games of the 2015 season Kirk Cousins was far and away the outstanding quarterback of the NFC East. There is no question about that. The problem is that the Redskins don't have that guy on their roster right now. There is a passer wearing his jersey, but he more closely reflects the Cousins of years past. He is missing throws, and that game changing interception against the Cowboys was a complete disaster. For Washington to emerge from their funk the change is going to have to begin with Cousins.
Philadelphia Eagles (2-0)
Philadelphia Eagles - 29
Chicago Bears - 14
Next Up: Pittsburgh Steelers
Carson Wentz is looking to be the real deal, like many of us thought he would. It is becoming easy to see why the Eagles decided to abandon any thought of 'redshirting' the passer and let him take the helm to start the season.
"I'm feeling really good. I usually feel good even when bad plays happen. I've just got to keep plugging away. I feel confident." - Carson Wentz
A 2-0 start to a pro career will do that for you. Granted, Philly has yet to face the league's elite, but the rookie is impressing those who thought that he would take his lumps early on. He is playing within himself. He is not trying to do too much. More importantly, Wentz is not making rookie mistakes.
Ten Games. That will be the time that the Eagles starting right tackle will serve in the NFL's version of purgatory for another violation of the league's substance abuse policy. Johnson has stated publicly that he expects the banishment to stick even though he stated that he took 'supplements' on an approved list provided to players by the league. His loss will be a blow to the team as it looks to maintain what has been a solid start to the season.
The Eagles have had a couple months to experiment with options to fill Johnson's void.
Philadelphia prepared for Johnson's likely absence this preseason by moving starting left guard Allen Barbre over to right tackle for several weeks of training camp and the preseason. Third-round rookie Isaac Seumalo and veteran Stefen Wisniewski each spent time rounding out the starting offensive line by filling in at left guard.
Regardless, his ability to stay clean has made the job difficult for those he works along side.
I have commented on this previously, but it bears mentioning again. The Philadelphia defense should be much improved simply because Doug Pederson's philosophy will allow them to be much more rested. The past two weeks have seen the Eagles D take fewer snaps than at any time before Chip Kelly arrived in the City of Brotherly Love. Less snaps means fresher legs and less opportunity for a player to suffer an injury. Without changing a single piece the team got stronger when Kelly was sent packing after his failure to revolutionize professional football in Philadelphia.