Friday, September 16, 2011
Final Word: NFC East
By Dan Graziano
Five nuggets of knowledge about Week 2:
Dallas QB Tony Romo is on the cusp of an impressive milestone.
Romo seeking Cowboys history. He's taken a lot of abuse this week, so here are a couple of nice things to say about Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo. He's thrown at least one touchdown pass in 19 straight games, and no quarterback in Cowboys history has had a streak of 20 such games. Also, he has 19 career games with at least three touchdown passes, one short of the team record held by Danny White. With the 49ers likely to focus on stopping the run, Romo should get a chance to reach both of those 20s, although a healthy Dez Bryant would surely help.
Eagles in a rush. The Philadelphia Eagles' 237 rushing yards in their season opener against the Rams was the fifth-highest single-game rushing total by the Eagles since Andy Reid became their coach. They averaged 7.6 yards per carry in the game, making it the first time since a Week 9, 2001, game against the Vikings that they ran for at least 237 yards at an average of 7.5 yards or better per carry. What will be interesting Sunday night in Atlanta, though, is whether quarterback Michael Vick can get the passing game going. His 43.8 completion percentage in the opener was the lowest by an Eagles quarterback with at least 30 attempts since Mike McMahon was taking snaps in 2005.
We're No. 2. The winner of Sunday's Washington Redskins-Arizona Cardinals game will have done something its franchise hasn't done much lately -- start a season 2-0. For the Redskins, it would be their first 2-0 start since 2007, which also was the last season in which they reached the postseason. For the Cardinals, a 2-0 start would be only their second in the past 20 years. The other came in 2008, the season they eventually advanced to and lost the Super Bowl. The Cardinals have lost seven straight games to the Redskins since 2000, when the Cardinals were still in the NFC East.
Giants' injuries showing. Last season, New York Giants opponents completed 56.7 percent of their passes for 6.4 yards per attempt when the Giants had at least five defensive backs on the field. The Giants' opponents Total QBR was 28.7 when they were in nickel or dime packages, the lowest such figure in the league. In the season opener against the Redskins, Rex Grossman completed 63.2 percent of his passes for an average of 9.4 yards per attempt and a Total QBR of 86.9 when the Giants had extra defensive backs on the field. The Giants have suffered quite a few injuries on defense, particularly in the secondary, since the start of training camp, and it seems to show up when they have to dip into their bench for defensive backs.
Something's got to give. Since the start of the 2010 season, Giants quarterback Eli Manning has thrown 15 interceptions on passes of 10 or fewer yards -- the most of any quarterback in the league. But over that same time period, the Rams have intercepted only one pass of 10 or fewer yards. So either Eli is safer at short range in Monday night's game than he usually is or the Rams are going to get a good chance to get the kinds of turnovers they don't usually get.