Week 3 in the NFC East had teams facing early season gut checks that a couple teams came through with flying colors and one team totally scratching it’s head. Alright, whenever our CEO sees a team that makes a high signing of free agents he always asks the same question: “Are they going to be the 1994 San Francisco 49ers or the 1995 Miami Dolphins?” The two teams contrasted by one becoming a powerful world champion and the other being a talented team with no chemistry, who exited the playoffs in an inglorious fashion. Well with the acquisition of Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Namedi Asoumgha, and several others, this Philadelphia Eagles team was to be the team to beat in the NFC.
Right now they are a 1-2 football team that is struggling to score in the red zone and Michael Vick has taken a pounding. Vick, stay away from comments about the refs in press conferences please. Just not manly. To reach the promised land they have to show up better than with the 24th ranked defense in the NFL and they should be embarrassed by their inability to tackle. Did you see the 4 missed tackles on Victor Cruz’s (who) 70 yard touchdown reception against the Giants? In fact Cruz went for 3 rec. 110 yards and his second touchdown he out jumped two Eagle defenders for it. Cruz and the Giants played last weeks game like they wanted it. Teams seem to be ready to defend Michael Vick this year by blitzing and putting hits on him. It’s like they watched the old how to defense John Elway tapes where use of the delayed blitz is getting there just as he’s making the decision to scramble for more time to pass, or decide to run. Reid had better put Vick on some rollouts and fire deep passes to Jackson to back off defenses or he won’t last the season. Now with a hurt non throwing hand could possibly be out 4 weeks?? Vick can’t miss more than 1 more game or they’ll be relegated to winning a wildcard at best. They get a San Francisco team this week that is playing spirited football. A 1-3 record looms if they look past them. Careful Philadelphia.
Speaking of the Giants….sigh Just when you count against Eli Manning he comes through with a 4TD passing day. Before we go onto the enigmatic Giants lets take a look at the standings.
|NFC EAST||W||L||T||PCT||NFC E||NFC N||NFC S||NFC W||AFC E||AFC N||AFC S||AFC W|
The Giants seem to find their formula whenever they need it, in fact this was the best they looked this season. They were after Michael Vick from the word go and on offense they ran steady and kept the Eagle defense honest. So honest they slipped heavyweight Brandon Jacobs out for a surprising 40 yard touchdown pass. Taylor Blitz Times was unsure Jacobs could even run that far, but the big man snatched the pass and scooted into the endzone. Eagle Defensive Co-ordinator Juan Castillo is still steaming over that play. However the Giants secondary was active and picked off Eagle quarterbacks 3 times. Should bode well this week when they take on Kevin Kolb and the Arizona Cardinals out in the desert.
How ’bout them Cowboys?? After Dallas fans have roasted Tony Romo over the last couple of weeks they were silenced by a possibly career defining game. With a punctured lung and broken rib protected by a flak jacket he was hit several times by a Redskin pass rush that was averaging 3.5 sacks per game coming in. For the first time this season the Cowboys showed signs of life rushing the football with Felix Jones 1st 100 yard game of the season. Yet this game marked the first time Romo didn’t let his teammates ineptitude derail the Cowboys train. Due to injuries to Miles Austin and Dez Bryant for a period, he had to direct traffic just to get them to line up properly and know what they were doing. He had to get on receivers for running the wrong routes and even had to jump on his center’s ass for a 4th bad snap late in the 4th quarter. Instead of throwing an ill conceived pass, on 3rd and 21, he bought time and ad libbed a rollout, and threw to Dez Bryant for the first down. That wasn’t the Cowboy playbook, that was a quarterback NOT letting his team lose even though they tried for much of the night. This is the growth that we felt Romo needed to do and his locker room and huddle will be better for it. He’s earned league wide respect during these last two weeks and look who is in 1st place all of a sudden. Diminishing returns with Romo at the healm?? Not hardly, a leader is developing.
As for the Redskins, they just came up short in a defensive struggle. Hightower ran well and Rex Grossman performed admirably. Grossman was just a victim of a Cowboy pass rush that fed off the crowd and that last drive was swamped.They lost a tough, tough divisional game 18-16 and they sure we saw some Grossman throws that reminded us of his Chicago days but for the night he was 22 of 37 for a modest 233 yards. He kept his mistakes to a modest 1 interception and didn’t have that nervous Rex look until the final drive. Yet he was draped by a DeMarcus Ware coat for much of it. So modest diminishing returns for the Redskins this week. However if you told a Redskin fan three weeks ago that they would be a solid 2-1 after 3 weeks, trust me they would have said we’ll take it. So this week they get the St. Louis Rams and if they make it to 3-1, this could prove to be a season of vindication for Coach Shanahan.
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Obviously a between the 20s type of game, which begs the question Is it just the games that I’ve watched or are more teams having trouble in the Red Zone than in seasons past?
Absolutely…teams are not practicing goal line offense.