Friday, September 28, 2012
Breakfast links: Eagles to stay aggressive
By Dan Graziano
Mike Jenkins has wisely left his contract and trade-demand gripes behind now that the season has begun. Jenkins has determined that the best way to get the new deal he's looking for in free agency is to play as well as he can in whatever cornerback snaps the Cowboys will give him. And injuries in the secondary may be opening up more opportunity than he anticipated.
The first three games of this season have formed one of the lowest-scoring stretches of Cowboys football in the Tony Romo era. But head coach Jason Garrett, who runs the offense, says he remains confident that things will get turned around.
Playing more conservatively on offense and/or calling more run plays. These would be ways to combat a crippling turnover problem. But the Eagles, who have turned the ball over 12 times in their first three games, do not intend to change their ways. Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg says they plan to remain aggressive and believe that's the best way to approach things given their personnel. Got to admire his resolve, I guess.
Don't expect to see the Eagles blitz Eli Manning a lot Sunday night. They blitzed just five times last year in their Week 11 victory at MetLife Stadium, and they believe the formula for beating Manning is to generate pressure with the front four (as they did) and drop seven into coverage. The game could turn on the ability of the Giants' offensive line to slow down the Eagles' defensive line.
New York Giants
Being a first-round pick hasn't helped David Wilson get on the field in his rookie season. With the Giants, you have to perform if you want to play. When given his chances this year, Andre Brown has and Wilson has not. So Wilson, for whom the Giants still expect big things, will have to wait for his next opportunity.
Cornerback Prince Amukamara will get his first NFL start Sunday night as the banged-up Giants secondary looks for a jolt. Corey Webster, the other starting corner, is playing with a broken hand. And safety Antrel Rolle may have to miss the game with a knee injury.
That triple-option look the Redskins ran Sunday with Brandon Banks as the halfback? Banks thinks they'll be able to have success with it all year, even after teams start seeing it on film. And in theory, he's right. The whole thing works on the premise that, at some point, a defender will have to make a choice between two offensive players. As long as quarterback Robert Griffin III stays patient and makes his decision based on where the defender commits, they should be able to gain positive yards with it. The issue is that it exposes Griffin to too much contact.
On the flip side, the Redskins' defense is giving up a league-worst 8.8 yards per pass attempt, and the secondary is currently the biggest problem the team has. They believe the return of safety Brandon Meriweather from his knee injury would help, but the way they have him play the position won't necessarily address their vulnerability on big plays down the field.