Happy Tuesday, everybody. Are you ready for some Power Rankings? Some knee-jerk reactions? A live chat? We've got it all, and it all starts, as ever, with links.
New York Giants
Michael Boley says the statement the Giants made Sunday was that they are a physical team. I think this is a very important specific point he makes, and worth focusing on. The Giants have not been, over the past couple of years, a consistently physical team week in and week out. But they have shown the ability, when adequately motivated by specific situations, to perform as a physically tough team. They have done so the past two times they've played in San Francisco, where if you don't you're cooked, and they've won both times. Knowing their team has the ability to play that way gives Tom Coughlin and the Giants' coaches something with which to work when they prepare for these huge games in which the Giants always seem to find themselves.
The return of defensive tackle Chris Canty from his knee injury would help the Giants maintain that physicality, and they believe Canty will be able to practice this week and possibly return from the PUP list for Sunday's game against the Redskins. I think it'd be surprising if Canty were ready for game action after only a week, but anything is possible.
Andy Reid says he's going to spend this bye week evaluating every aspect of his team to see if he can come up with solutions. I doubt that portends massive change at a position such as quarterback, and he did seem to back defensive coordinator Juan Castillo in terms of play-calling responsibilities, but I wonder if, two weeks from now, you'll see some subtle changes in places like the defensive line, which might could use a jolt from increased playing time for guys like Brandon Graham or even Vinny Curry.
The Eagles believe safety Nate Allen, who left Sunday's game with a hamstring injury, will be fine to go after the bye week. The defense did look different without him Sunday.
Pierre Garcon has something called an inflammed capsule under the second toe of his right foot, which sounds terribly painful to me even as I sit here on my couch typing. Can't imagine it'd be any fun to try to play wide receiver in the NFL with something like that going on. It seems as though Garcon's status is going to be a week-to-week deal, and the fact that they haven't been able to count on him makes their 29.3 points-per-game average even more impressive.
The Redskins know they have personnel issues on defense, and the way they're going to overcome that is by constantly changing schemes and personnel groupings. As Mark Maske writes, they did this Sunday to great effect.
Jason Garrett suggests that one way to get players to stop committing penalties is to tell them they will no longer be on the team if they don't stop. What's astounding is that one of their biggest offenders in this department is right tackle Doug Free, who got a really nice left-tackle contract prior to the 2011 season, but seems to have forgotten how to play.
The Cowboys will be without defensive lineman Sean Lissemore for a little while, as he has a high ankle sprain and should miss a few weeks. Tough break, as Lissemore has been one of their most consistent performers up front this season on defense, and that defensive end spot is not one at which they have much quality depth right now.