All-NFC East Team: Week 6 update

October, 17, 2012
10/17/12
10:04
AM ET
Well, the call at quarterback was tough again this week. Our two-man race tightened back up as Robert Griffin III burnished his young legend with another eye-popper in Washington while Eli Manning's numbers dipped a bit because the Giants used their ground attack so well in San Francisco. For the season so far, Griffin has the higher passer rating, the higher completion percentage, more yards per attempt and fewer interceptions. Manning has the higher Total QBR, more passing yards (on more attempts), fewer sacks, fewer fumbles, more touchdown passes and one more win. If you add in their rushing stats, Griffin ties Manning in touchdowns and narrows the yardage gap to 60.

This isn't about pedigree or resume, or about comparing the historical worth of a player who's played six games to one who's won two Super Bowl MVP awards. Everyone who reads this blog knows how I feel about Manning. This exercise is strictly about who's having the better year, and between Manning and Griffin that is extremely close. You could more or less flip a coin to decide. But we don't flip coins here at the NFC East blog. We make the tough calls. And while Sunday's game between these two teams at MetLife Stadium offers Manning and Griffin a chance to settle this on the field (at least until their next game), I have picked one to head this week's edition of the All-NFC East Team in the meantime.

But before I tell you which one I picked, I offer the disclaimer that no one ever reads: This is an all-division team based on overall season performance to date. It is not -- repeat, NOT -- simply a rundown of the best performances from Week 6. That's why Jeremy Maclin isn't on it.

That out of the way, I present this week's team for your amusement and aggravation.

Quarterback: Robert Griffin III, Washington Redskins (Last week: Eli Manning)

Running back: Alfred Morris, Redskins (Morris)

Wide receiver: Victor Cruz, New York Giants; DeSean Jackson, Philadelphia Eagles (Cruz, Jackson)

Tight end: Brent Celek, Eagles (Celek)

Fullback: Henry Hynoski, Giants (Darrel Young)

Left tackle: Trent Williams, Redskins (Williams)

Left guard: Evan Mathis, Eagles (Mathis)

Center: Will Montgomery, Redskins (Montgomery)

Right guard: Chris Snee, Giants (Snee)

Right tackle: Todd Herremans, Eagles (Herremans)

Defensive end: Jason Pierre-Paul, Giants; Jason Hatcher, Dallas Cowboys (Pierre-Paul, Jason Babin)

Defensive tackle: Cullen Jenkins, Eagles; Linval Joseph, Giants (Jenkins, Joseph)

Outside linebacker: Ryan Kerrigan, Redskins; DeMarcus Ware, Cowboys (Kerrigan, Ware)

Inside linebacker: Sean Lee, Cowboys; DeMeco Ryans, Eagles (Lee, Ryans)

Cornerback: Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Eagles, Josh Wilson, Redskins (Rodgers-Cromartie, Brandon Carr)

Safety: Antrel Rolle and Stevie Brown, Giants (Rolle, Nate Allen)

Kicker: Lawrence Tynes, Giants (Tynes)

Punter: Sav Rocca, Redskins (Rocca)

Kick returner: David Wilson, Giants (Wilson)

Punt returner: Rueben Randle, Giants (Randle)
  • Yeah, yeah, I know. The Eagles' offensive line is playing lousy and the Giants' line is playing great, so how do the Eagles have two linemen and the Giants only one? It's a really good question, and the answer is that Mathis and Herremans play the two positions at which the Giants' line is the weakest. I gave really long looks this week to Will Beatty at left tackle and David Baas at center, but the Redskins' linemen are playing well enough to hold off both, and neither Kevin Boothe nor Sean Locklear is outplaying Mathis or Herremans. If the spot were for "team offensive line," the Giants would edge out the Redskins at this point. And maybe they can all take pride in helping Hynoski overtake Young at fullback.
  • Speaking of Giants knocking on the door, cornerback Prince Amukamara deserves recognition for his performance since coming back from injury. He's as fundamentally sound a corner as I see every week, and now that he's healthy he's playing extremely well. He was probably the No. 3 guy on the list this week.
  • The Eagles' pass-rushers have been disappointing, and Hatcher has played well up front for the Cowboys, so he makes a rare appearance as a 3-4 end.
  • The inside linebacker making a push is not London Fletcher, but rather Fletcher understudy Perry Riley, who's been very disruptive both up front and in coverage. Fletcher's played well, and neither Lee nor Ryans has done anything to deserve to have his spot threatened, but Riley is worth a mention as he blossoms in Washington.
  • Tynes has just made a lot more kicks than anyone else has, and Wilson is a difference-making return man. Still haven't seen a kick or punt returned for a touchdown in this division since Jackson ran back a game-winner against the Giants in December 2010, but Wilson looks like he's close to breaking one, doesn't he?

Okay, time for your thoughts.

Dan Graziano

ESPN New York Giants reporter

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