Final Word: NFC East
Five nuggets of knowledge about Week 4:
Look out for an air show: The odds favor a lot of passing yards in Sunday's game between the Washington Redskins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The teams rank as the two worst pass defenses in the league this season. Washington is giving up 9.1 yards per pass attempt, tied with the Saints for second-worst in the league, better than only the Giants (9.3 yards a pass). The Bucs are allowing 8.9 yards per attempt, fourth-worst. The Redskins rank 31st in the league in passing yards allowed per game, and the Buccaneers rank 32nd. So although Washington and Tampa Bay rank only 22nd and 30th, respectively, in passing offense so far this season, it wouldn't be a surprise to see both passing games get on track Sunday afternoon.
Jennifer Stewart/US PresswireTo win Sunday, Michael Vick and the Eagles must avoid turnovers against the opportunistic Giants.
Something's got to give: According to ESPN Stats & Information's "Next Level" numbers, the Eagles' pass defense has allowed only five completions on throws more than 10 yards downfield so far this season. Giants quarterback Eli Manning has averaged seven such completions per game. Manning's completion percentage when throwing the ball more than 10 yards downfield this season is 60.0. The Eagles' defense is allowing a completion percentage of just 18.5 on such throws. Manning is the toughest test yet for an Eagles pass defense that has made its bones against Brandon Weeden, Joe Flacco and Kevin Kolb. But on the flip side, Manning hasn't faced a tough pass defense since the Cowboys in Week 1. He's put up huge numbers the past two weeks against Tampa Bay and Carolina.
Romo on the run: According to our "Next Level" stats, the Chicago Bears lead the NFL with 14 sacks in spite of sending four or fewer rushers on 77.5 percent of opponents' dropbacks. Especially against the Dallas Cowboys' porous offensive line, the Bears are likely to generate considerable pressure on quarterback Tony Romo in the "Monday Night Football" matchup. If Romo can avoid sacks, however, this could be a good thing for Dallas. Since 2010, Romo has thrown 12 touchdown passes without an interception when throwing from outside the pocket. That's the highest total in the NFL over that time.
Defensive struggle: Unlike that Bucs-Redskins game on Sunday, Monday night's game looks as though it could be a low-scoring affair. The Cowboys are allowing an NFL-low 250 yards per game this season. The Bears' average is sixth-best in the league at 279 yards allowed per game. If someone can get on the scoreboard early, it could have a distinct advantage the rest of the way.
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Play Podcast Todd Archer joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss the latest Tony Romo news and what he will be watching for in OTAs.
Play Podcast Nate Newton joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss his comments on how Jason Garrett should handle being on the hot seat and not let Jerry Jones get in the way.
Play Podcast Cowboys safety Barry Church joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss the new defensive scheme and the impact it will have on him, how much more intense he expects practice to be with Monte Kiffin and his expectations.
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Play Podcast Todd Archer joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss what he took away from the Dallas Cowboys' rookie minicamp.