How I see it: Stock Watch

September, 22, 2009
9/22/09
11:00
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley


NFC Stock Watch: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

Falling

Newman
1. Terence Newman, Cowboys CB: This one could go to Newman or the other "starter" Orlando Scandrick. Eli Manning and the Giants went after both cornerbacks in Sunday's 33-31 win over the Cowboys -- with a lot of success. Scandrick's a second-year player, so he deserves a little grace. Newman looked completely turned around on several routes and just sort of wandered around the field. No excuse for how he played in a big game for the organization. By the way, let's go ahead and throw in outside linebacker Anthony Spencer, who's still not helping DeMarcus Ware in the pass-rush. Kudos to Spencer for being decent against the run -- but that's not why he was drafted in the first round.

2. The Skins' red-zone offense: How awful was that? The Redskins moved the ball up and down the field, but they kept settling for short field goals. They're very lucky the Rams had a turnover in the fourth quarter -- or they probably lose that game. Coach Jim Zorn tried to show confidence in his offense by going for it on fourth-and-1 late in the game. They rewarded him by getting stuffed. And don't blame this one on Jason Campbell. There were two touchdowns dropped in the end zone. You have to put points on the board to beat most of the teams in the league. Good thing the Redskins were playing the Rams.

3. The Eagles' D: It's tough to single out an individual when an entire unit plays so poorly. You knew Drew Brees was going to live off the three-step drop -- yet there was almost no resistance offered. A week after causing seven turnovers by the Panthers, the Eagles' defense didn't have a chance against the Saints. This was a really big spot for the defense, too, because of the loss of Donovan McNabb. Just a poor overall effort. And let's give the special teams a mention for its horrid play. The Ellis Hobbs fumble at the start of the second half on a kickoff return pretty much set the tone.

Rising

Manningham
Smith
1. Mario Manningham and Steve Smith: Where are all the folks who pined away for Anquan Boldin and Braylon Edwards this past offseason? I'm not hearing from you guys anymore. I'm not saying both of these guys are going to the Pro Bowl, but they're both off to a fantastic start. Orlando Scandrick and Terence Newman didn't have a chance of covering either player. And the fact that Manningham can beat you deep has added another dimension to this offense. Smith was already a very reliable third-down receiver. He still has that going for him, but now he's also a threat on the other two downs. What an unbelievable night for these two on a huge stage.

Barber
Jones
2. Marion Barber and Felix Jones: Still don't know why Jason Garrett was throwing the ball when the Cowboys were up 24-20 late in the third quarter. At that point, Barber and Jones were poised to slam the door on the Giants. Of course, Tony Romo threw the interception and the rest is history. But the offensive line controlled the Giants' front seven, and Barber and Jones did anything they wanted. It's a nice combination, and Tashard Choice is an excellent third option. If the Cowboys can build around this running game, they can win a lot of games.

Tynes
3. Lawrence Tynes: I have respect for a guy who nails the game-winning field goal -- twice. Wade Phillips pulled the ol' last-second timeout move, forcing Tynes to reload from 37 yards out. He'd missed a short one in the third quarter, but he atoned for it by hitting the game-winner. Some of you've wondered by Tom Coughlin would stick with Tynes after the injury issues and some of the inconsistency. Hey, the guy makes big field goals. And that's why he's on the "Rising" list this week.

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