Wednesday, November 17, 2010
How I See It: NFC East Stock Watch
By Matt Mosley
1. Jim Haslett, Washington Redskins defensive coordinator: So he had an extra week to prepare for Michael Vick, and that's what he put on the field? I know Vick was brilliant in that game, but it never looked like the Skins had a chance against the Eagles' offense. The transition to the 3-4 hasn't gone smoothly. Haslett's group had an embarrassing performance. That was a failure to compete on every level. You can't just hang what happened on the offense turning the ball over several times.
2. The New York Giants' secondary: I started to pick on Terrell Thomas and Corey Webster, but you can't let the safeties off the hook. Cowboys quarterback Jon Kitna and rookie wide receiver Dez Bryant embarrassed the Giants throughout the game. And I'm not sure where celebrated safeties Antrel Rolle and Kenny Phillips were Sunday. They did not do a good job of adjusting to the Cowboys' scheme. It looked like Jason Garrett caught Giants coordinator Perry Fewell flat-footed Sunday in the Meadowlands. Now, the Giants have to play against Vick and his talented group of wide receivers. If the Giants lose in Philly, we'll be making comparisons to last season's collapse in the second half of the season. Bryant was simply too athletic for Thomas and Webster to handle. And then the safeties made mistakes that led to touchdowns as well.
3. Donovan McNabb, Redskins quarterback: He's believed to be the first player to end up on the "Falling" list two days after signing a $78 million contract extension. McNabb was in a funk from the opening drive. He struck back for a few moments in the second quarter, but for the most part, he didn't give his offense a chance to succeed. McNabb finished with three interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown. Eagles cornerback Dimitri Patterson read McNabb's eyes throughout the game and had an easy time breaking on the ball. Should a 33-year-old quarterback who's had a lot of success in this league be telegraphing so many of his passes? It was a sad performance on what should've been a great evening for him. Now, we'll see if he can bounce back.
Donovan McNabb and Michael Vick are moving in different directions on the Stock Watch.
1. Michael Vick, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback: I'm not sure there's anything left to be said. The man had one of the greatest nights in NFL history for a quarterback. He toyed with the Skins' defense throughout the evening while throwing for four touchdowns and running for two more. I believe Vick is the best player in the NFL right now. He'll face a frustrated Giants team that has a history of knocking out quarterbacks. Vick refuses to slide, but he may want to step out of bounds occasionally against the Giants because they'll be gunning for him.
2. Bryan McCann, Dallas Cowboys cornerback: He made the play of the game against the Giants when he picked off an Eli Manning pass and raced 101 yards to give the Cowboys a 16-3 lead in the first half. The Cowboys were sick when they weren't able to sneak him onto the practice squad before the season. Now, the Baltimore Ravens have to have a similar feeling after giving up on him so quickly. SMU is starting to crank out NFL talent again. And I think McCann's going places.
3. Jon Kitna, Cowboys quarterback: Dez Bryant is getting a lot of the credit for the Cowboys' stunning 33-20 win in the Meadowlands on Sunday, but it was Kitna pulling the trigger on those passes. He executed the game plan brilliantly in throwing for 327 yards and three touchdowns. He averaged 14.9 yards per completion, which is pretty remarkable for a guy who was checking everything down when he first took the field last month.