Saturday, September 19, 2009
What's in Mosley's Mailbag?
By Dan Graziano
Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley
Each week, thousands of readers leave questions in the NFC East mailbag. Let's take a look at what folks are talking about this weekend.
Don from Ohio writes: Has anyone ever lobbied to have the Skins and Cowboys play on Thanksgiving? I think it would be a great thing to see arguably the biggest rivalry in sports on Turkey Day. I'd much rather see that than meaningless matchups like the Raiders and Cowboys. They should at least have Dallas play an NFC East team every year. They could rotate it every season. Just a thought.Thanks for the great work.
Mosley: Thanks for checking in, Don. I couldn't agree with you more. Al Davis and Jerry Jones might be close friends, but that doesn't make for a great Thanksgiving game. If the league can make sure the Giants open the season in Jones' new stadium, then it could send a division rival to Arlington each Thanksgiving. I'm totally with you, Don. Always have been.
Jon from Westchester, N.Y.: Hey Matt, I'm a big fan of yours. I check your blogs a few times a day and I really have learned a lot from your blogs. Keep up the good work.I have a question regarding the Giants, but not something that I have heard a whole lot about. I am very happy with the defense. I feel that the secondary is very good but doesn't receive the respect it deserves. Kenny Phillips is going to be a top safety in the few years and Michael Johnson is underappreciated in the eyes of the league. The line is amazing and that's all I will say on that, but I am a little worried about the linebackers. I know Michael Boley was brought in and I am hoping he helps out a lot. But what about Pierce? He is a very smart player but he is getting up there in age. Are the Giants going to draft someone this year that can learn from Pierce? Also, I know we drafted Clint Stintim, but are the Giants going to upgrade that position also? I like Blackburn and the other guys, but I feel they are very good backups and not so much stater material.
Mosley: Jon, thanks for stopping by The Bag. Pierce will turn 31 in October, so you're right to a bit concerned about his age. But there are linebackers in this league still performing at a high level on the wrong side of 30. Obviously Ray Lewis comes to mind. Pierce is the backbone of this team. He's an inspirational leader and he still has plenty left in the tank. He looked really old last season because he got in one-on-one matchups with Brian Westbrook in December and January. That's why the Giants brought in Michael Boley, a guy who can help them stay in their base defense more often because of his cover skills. And don't worry too much about the depth. Chase Blackburn is a really good football player and I think he'd start for a lot of teams in this league. Throw in talented players such as Bryan Kehl and Gerris Wilkinson (injury prone) and I think you're doing OK with depth. Clint Sintim needs to get back on the field. He's got the long arms and size that Tom Coughlin loves in a linebacker. He just needs to get healthy.
Matt from Texas writes: Matt, I wanted to check to see if you have your bags packed? Come Monday, most of the media will be trying to jump off the extremely overrated Eli/Giants bandwagon and onto ours. I figured I would give you first dibs. Before you developed a giant-sized man crush on New York, you used to respect the Cowboys. See you on the 'Wagon!
Mosley: Matt, I actually picked the Cowboys to win this game, 28-24. Michael Boley is coming off a long layoff and the secondary's banged up. I think Tony Romo can make plays downfield against reserve corners Terrell Thomas and Bruce Johnson. But I'm still driving the Giants bandwagon. This loss won't knock them out of a Super Bowl trip.
Oscar in Dallas left this note: Some guys at Bloggingtheboys.com were passing this link around. Its a Mic'd up video of Tony Romo during the game last week. For those who think he can't be the leader, you need to watch this video.
Mosley: Oscar, thanks for sharing. Looks like Romo was having a lot of fun last Sunday. Loved the look on Jason Garrett's face when Romo offered to kiss him if he'd call a seam route.
John from Silver Spring, Md. is concerned with my Albert Haynesworth analysis: Mosley, I have to disagree with your statement that Albert Haynesworth is falling. He was personally responsible for both times the Redskins stuffed the Giants on 3rd and 1 and 4th and 1. He made the tackle on 4th and 1 and he blew up the middle so LaRon Landry could make the tackle on 4th and 1. Not to mention the fact that he ripped into the backfield and tore of the helmet of Ahmad Bradshaw as he threw him to the ground.Also, I'm not sure what game you were watching, but they kept showing replays and Troy Aikman kept talking about how Haynesworth was pushing Seibert all over the place.The mark of whether or not Haynesworth is having an impact will not always be found in the stat sheet. You will know if he's having the impact the Redskins expect if he is clogging up the middle, as he did on the two short yardage stuffs and if you see him pushing 1-2 guys into the backfield so the QB cannot step up to avoid a rush off the edge.For someone who covers football, I'm disappointed that you rely so heavily on stats to determine a players worth, especially a defensive tackle.
Mosley: John, I appreciate the note. I may be holding Haynesworth to a ridiculous standard ($41 mil guaranteed), but what I focused on was that he looked completely worn down at the most important juncture of the game. When the Skins were actually hanging around in the third quarter, Haynesworth had to keep making his way to the sideline to catch his breath. Yes, he made some plays in the game. But when Washington truly needed to clog the middle, Haynesworth was sucking wind. Was I too hard on him? Maybe so.
Mike from Atlanta is concerned about where the Eagles are ranked: OK, first off I am a full-on Eagles fan. So this may come off as a little homerish, but how can the Eagles be ranked below the Giants when we absolutely crushed a supposed NFC South power while the Giants let the Skins stay in the game a lot longer than they should have. As well, how in the world can anyone seriously allow the Cowboys to rise in the rankings after beating up on a team that until five minutes before the game even knew who their QB was going to be?! Granted, a bit of an exaggeration, but you get my point. And to top that off, the miserable Bucs manage to rack up over 450 yards of offense. Anyone with a reasonably decent offense then should be able to hit what, 600 yards and blow them away? And yes, I cannot wait to see us crush the Cowboys yet again. Come to think of it, I'm looking forward to the Giants doing it, too. The sooner we beat them both, the sooner no one can argue we are truly the Beast of the East!!
Mosley: I certainly didn't have the Panthers as an "NFC South power." I think the Redskins are better than Carolina. Jake Delhomme was just dreadful, and that's becoming a trend. We should let this quarterback situation settle down a little bit and then see where the Eagles are. I have them beating the Saints behind the strong arm of Kevin Kolb. Don't worry about where the Eagles are ranked right now. Let's see where they are at the end of November. OK, you guys have a great Saturday.