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Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Breakfast links: Skins' offensive woes

By Dan Graziano
ESPN.com

Ah, Wednesday. The day when we might finally be able to answer the most popular Monday and Tuesday question: "What's the latest on ______'s injury and status for Sunday?" Give it a few hours and we'll see what we see. Meantime, you know... links.

New York Giants

If Michael Vick's not playing Sunday, the Giants are going to have to see it to believe it. The players on New York's defense say their plan this week is to prepare as if Vick's playing, and if his broken ribs keep him out, then they're happy to adjust down to Vince Young or whomever.

Giants.com breaks down some Eli Manning numbers and assesses his place among other current quarterbacks and some others throughout history. Five more starts in a row and he'll have the third-longest consecutive-starts streak of any quarterback in history, behind only his big brother and Brett Favre.

Dallas Cowboys

It took a while, but it seems folks in Dallas have woken up to the idea that the Cowboys have a good chance to make the playoffs. Tim MacMahon writes that it's theirs for the taking, given the schedule and their two remaining head-to-head matchups with the Giants. If Tony Romo can be as effective and as responsible with the ball the rest of the way as he was Sunday, they should win a lot more games.

Felix Jones says he wants to make sure he's healthy before he worries about whether he's the "starting" running back anymore. We could all learn a lesson about priorities from ol' Felix, who will share carries with DeMarco Murray and is willing to wait and see how it all breaks down rather than worry about it ahead of time.

Philadelphia Eagles

Well, the whole DeSean Jackson thing doesn't seem to exactly be ending. Jackson gave an interview in which he says he'd never seen Andy Reid bench a player for missing a meeting before. Of course, he didn't say how often he's seen guys miss meetings, or the extent to which he's kept track of other people's attendance or punishments. But the way things are going in Philly, the one quote will get pulled out and hammered into the ground, context or no.

One interesting thing about this is that it doesn't seem to be bothering Jackson's teammates. Jackson addressed his team Monday and apologized, and it doesn't surprise me to know that it's a non-issue in the locker room. I imagine it will linger between Jackson and the team, but the Eagles' locker room has not endured much infighting in spite of all that's gone wrong this season. There's a real sense in that room that they're all in this together. The problem is that "this" is a season-long crapfest of underachievement and fourth-quarter gag jobs.

Washington Redskins

Mike Shanahan says to make sure and blame the running game, too, for the Redskins' offensive struggles. Which is fine. I'm sure we're all happy to spread blame around. Upshot of that link, for me, is that Shanahan sees the running game as something with which he can tinker (unlike quarterback, where he's got nothing), and all of you foolish folk who have Redskins running backs on your fantasy teams will continue to be frustrated. Tashard Choice hasn't even entered the picture yet!

Speaking of the offense, Rich Campbell has his game review, and he awards no "game balls" at all to anyone on the offense. Especially interesting up high is the stuff about what a dropoff Fred Davis has been from Chris Cooley as a blocker. They have a lot of problems, and most don't seem fixable in the short term. Next year, folks. Next year.