Monday, November 8, 2010
Monday Afternoon Blitz Package
By Dan Graziano
As we hold vigil over Wade Phillips' career, let's take a spin around the NFC East and talk about Sunday's games. Michael Vick's talking about a Super Bowl, but the New York Giants might have something to say about that. Welcome back to our weekly Blitz Package:
- There's no point discussing anything that happened in that 45-7 loss to the Packers. The Dallas Cowboys were never in the game and they couldn't even challenge a call late in the first half because Wade Phillips had already squandered his timeouts on foolish decisions.
- I just flew back to Dallas from Philadelphia, but I was able to hear Wade Phillips' comments followed by Jerry Jones' thoughts. I know what Phillips was trying to say when he said he didn't know who the Cowboys are playing this week, but it just made him look even more clueless. At this point, it would cruel for Jones to leave Phillips in his current role. And to hint that Phillips' job status is somehow related to a potential lockout next season is just a joke on Jones' part. If you can cough up $750 mil for a stadium, I'm thinking you can pay Phillips to sit around and not coach. [insert joke].
- Packers safety Nick Collins' helmet-to-helmet hit on Roy Williams in the third quarter is being reviewed by the league and I'm sure he'll receive a fine. Collins was flagged for unnecessary roughness on a hit that totally could've been avoided. It wasn't even close.
- As I've been saying since last week, I think defensive line coach Paul Pasqualoni will replace Wade Phillips as the Cowboys' interim coach. There's nothing Pasqualoni can do to earn the full-time job, but he can certainly try to light a fire into this lifeless team. Wouldn't you love to be a fly on the wall as Jones is meeting with his coaching staff today. There's really no way in the world he can stick with Phillips at this point.
- Michael Vick and DeSean Jackson made some huge plays in Sunday's 26-24 win against the Indianapolis Colts, but the defense won this game in my mind. I was really impressed with the way cornerback Dimitri Patterson played in his first start of the season. Peyton Manning tried to go at him constantly in the first half, but Patterson was up to the task. Reggie Wayne simply couldn't get much separation from Patterson, who replaced Ellis Hobbs in the lineup. "They wanted to be productive on my side," Patterson said per the Daily News. "They wanted to see results. I was excited about that. I was looking forward to that. I'm looking forward to it the rest of the year." There's no way Reid can put Hobbs back in the starting lineup after that performance.
- And rookie safety Kurt Coleman also deserves a ton of credit for how he played when Nate Allen was knocked out of the game in the second quarter with a neck strain. Coleman admitted to being nervous at first, but he quickly calmed down and played really well. I was in San Diego last season when the secondary had a meltdown because of injuries and poor play. But against the great Peyton Manning, the secondary held up well.
- Vick hasn't thrown an interception in his past 154 passing attempts. He made a couple questionable throws Sunday, but for the most part, he has made wise decisions with the ball. The Eagles should ask the Phillies to work with Vick on sliding, though. The man refuses to shy away from contact for the most part, but he did race out of bounds in the second half, much to the delight of coach Andy Reid.
- I think Reid and offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg are doing an excellent job scripting plays at the start of games. The Eagles have scored touchdowns on their first possession in three of the past four games. This team places a ton of emphasis on scoring early in games. And that camera shot of Manning following the Eagles' quick touchdown said it all. He had this disgusted look on his face, which I took to mean, "Thanks a lot, fellas."
- It's unlikely that Allen will play next Monday against the Skins, so Coleman will get his first chance to start. Judging by his performance Sunday, I think he'll be ready to go. Nick Cole did a pretty nice job filling in for Max Jean-Gilles (consussion) at right guard, although his false start in the fourth quarter prevented the Eagles from being able to seal the win on offense. The Eagles had to overcome 14 penalties in this game.
- Sorry I took up so much space on the blog talking about the Seahawks' home-field advantage. It didn't mean anything in the Giants' 41-7 win at Qwest Field. With apologies to Falcons and Packers fans, I think the Giants are the best team in the NFC right now. Here's what Barry Cofield said about his team per ESPNNewYork.com's Ohm Youngmisuk: "I feel like if we play our best football and we don't make mistakes, we can beat anyone in the NFC," said Cofield. "I am not saying we are the best team, we haven't always played the best. But if we play our best football at those times, I think we are the best."
- Tom Coughlin had so much confidence in former Eagles Pro Bowler Shawn Andrews that he let him start at left tackle in perhaps the loudest stadium in the league. Andrews was thrilled to get his first start and he played well in the game.
- The Giants have one of the most balanced offenses in the league right now. Eli Manning threw for 290 yards and three touchdowns and three running backs combined for 197 yards. The Seahawks hadn't lost a game at home before the Giants rolled into town. Now, the Giants will host the 1-7 Cowboys. Tom Coughlin will spend the entire week talking about how much talent the Cowboys have on the roster. Hakeem Nicks is a top-five receiver in this league. There, I said it.