So, NFC East teams combine to commit 10 turnovers in Week 5, which is pretty bad. But it's even worse when you realize that only two of the four teams played! What a fiasco. The best thing the 1-4 Eagles have going for them is that there doesn't appear to be a truly great team in this division to this point, and that it's not out of the realm of possibility for a 10-6 team or even a 9-7 team to win it. Of course, to get to 9-7, the Eagles would have to go 8-3 the rest of the way. You seen anything to make you think that's happening?
And to those who think I don't give the Giants enough credit, it's probably worth noting that I gave them too much this week. Good teams don't lose East Coast home games to the Charlie Whitehurst Seahawks, folks.
There's a lot of mediocrity in our fair division this year, and the teams that had the best weeks were the two that didn't play. Good thing we have the links to keep us all sane. As was the case last week, this week the links will be presented in order of the current standings.
Washington Redskins (3-1)
At the bye, Rich Campbell asks "Are the Redskins for real?" and offers three reasons why they might be and three why they might not. The latter three -- Rex Grossman's turnover problems, lack of depth in key areas and a tougher second-half schedule -- are all legit. But the former three are moreso, and the fact is the Redskins are 3-1 and got to sit and watch the Giants and Eagles suffer brutal losses while they rested up and got healthy. If they'd just beaten the Cowboys a couple of Monday nights ago, the Skins would be one Week 6 win away from total control of this division. And with that defense and running game, they're in this for the long run.
Is Mike Shanahan more relaxed in his second year as Washington's head coach? Probably. This year's roster more closely reflects the kind of team he wanted to coach than did the one he inherited a year ago, and the 3-1 start surely hasn't hurt. In general, the headache quotient has gone way down this year, and it seems as though Shanahan's demeanor reflects that.
New York Giants (3-2)
The Giants had been winning games with fourth-quarter magic, but that turned around on them big-time Sunday. Tom Coughlin says he'd rather not play that way every week, since eventually it comes back to bite you, according to Johnette Howard.
Dallas Cowboys (2-2)
Jerry Jones was a close friend of the late Al Davis and was affected by his death Saturday morning. Blogging the Boys looks at some of the similarities between the two.
Jason Garrett stresses situational football in practice. Has done so since the start of training camp. So it's got to be especially frustrating for him when the team doesn't execute in situations in the fourth quarters of games. They're working on it.
Philadelphia Eagles (1-4)
Asked directly about his job security after the Eagles' fourth-straight bitterly disappointing loss, Andy Reid said, "In the National Football League, your job is on the line every week, man." Thing is, that's clearly not true, or Reid would have been fired four times already this year and every coach in the league except Jim Schwartz and Mike McCarthy would have been gone by Week 5. I'm starting to think Reid doesn't take these postgame news conferences very seriously, and that he's determined not to say anything of real value in them. Shocking revelations, I know.
Oh, and Sheil Kapadia counts 13 missed tackles from this game alone, which seems like a lot. I also thought the stat we got from ESPN Stats & Info that said Fred Jackson got 59 of his 111 rush yards after the first contact by a defender was telling. Same problems every week. I guess what's Reid going to say that's new anyway?