Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Breakfast links: Asante's bruised ego
By Dan Graziano
Wednesday in the East, and five days left until the big Cowboys-Eagles showdown Sunday night in Philly. I think it's a game that could help decide the division, but the Redskins and Giants are playing games they absolutely have to have Sunday as well. Lots to do between now and then, for them and for us, so let's make sure you get your links.
New York Giants
Somebody asked me on Twitter on Tuesday whether or not the Giants would be better off resting guys like Justin Tuck and Brandon Jacobs one more week, since they're playing a Dolphins team that isn't trying to win and they're going to need to be at full strength for their brutal second-half schedule. I think it's quite the opposite, in fact. The loss to Seattle a few weeks back showed the Giants that there are no givens, and they absolutely have to beat the Dolphins. It's the lone "easy" game left on their schedule. Ohm Youngmisuk agrees.
Looks as though Chris Snee is recovered from his concussion and ready to go Sunday. Considering the way the run game performed in the last game with its star guard sidelined, hopes are high for Ahmad Bradshaw and an encore performance this week with Snee back in the mix.
DeMarco Murray fever may be sweeping the nation, but Brandon George says not to expect Murray to see that many carries in a game again. I've long felt the Cowboys would be better off rotating their backs and finding the best situations in which each can succeed, and I expect that to happen with Murray once Felix Jones is healthy again and maybe even before. Tashard Choice is still on the team, after all.
Oh, and that Tony Romo works fast. I feel like it was just yesterday we were filling long, dull lockout days with posts about his wedding. Now it appears he and his wife are expecting their first child. And I had to link it, because I know how you guys love to keep up with Romo's non-football activities.
Deron Snyder is saying the Redskins' 3-1 start was a mirage and got expectations up too high. Maybe, but does anybody else get tired of all of this week-to-week recalibrating? They're still 3-3. Their schedule is still favorable. Their defense still has a ton of good players on it. Do I think they'll make the playoffs? No, I don't, and I never did. But it's not impossible and shouldn't be ruled out after two straight losses. Big picture, folks. The division is down this year and there are competent replacements for Tim Hightower and Chris Cooley. It's not ridiculous to think these Redskins have better times ahead than those they've endured these past two weeks.
Sunday was really the first poor game the Redskins' defense has played this year, and Mike Shanahan said he didn't think they were prepared for what the Panthers threw at them. He says that's his fault, and I imagine that means he'll work the defense a little bit harder this week as it gets ready for Buffalo. He'd better, since their hopes really do rest on that side of the ball.
I got another interesting question on Twitter on Tuesday -- one that wondered if the Eagles would consider playing Brandon Graham at linebacker now that he's healthy. They're so deep on the defensive line and so weak at linebacker, the idea was that maybe they could do something along the lines of what the Giants have done with Mathias Kiwanuka. Of course, it remains to be seen whether Graham is healthy or willing enough to do such a thing, but in the meantime he's back and healthy and eager to play whenever it is that theyr'e ready to put him out there.
Phil Sheridan thinks the Eagles bear a large portion of the responsibility for Asante Samuel's unhappiness because they kicked him where it hurts -- right in the ego. And since the Eagles know Samuel, they should have known better and expected this reaction.
OK, off to finish up this week's All-Division Team. Wonder if there are any changes this week. Wonder who'll be the first to ask, "No DeMarco Murray? Are you serious???? Your out of you're mind!!!?"