Monday, October 29, 2012
Breakfast links: Giants pulling away
By Dan Graziano
Good morning. As you've no doubt heard, we're having a pretty serious weather situation here in the northeast. So while I am hoping to populate the blog with much of the normal Monday stuff to which you're accustomed, I can't make any promises about how consistently I'll be able to update. It'll depend on when we lose power and for how long, and of course whether that's the worst thing that happens, which I currently hope it is. In the meantime, I hope you're all staying safe in the storm.
We do the links in standings order during the season, and Sunday's results did not change the order. The Giants' escape against the Cowboys in Dallas may have been shaky, but the result is that the Giants have a 2.5-game lead in the division with half of their schedule complete. The other three teams in the division are not playing like a real playoff contender right now, and if the Giants continue to win in the next couple of weeks they have a chance to put this thing away fairly soon. More on that and everyone else's issues in your morning links.
New York Giants (6-2)
Jason Pierre-Paul is so good it's ridiculous. His leaping interception and subsequent return for a touchdown in Sunday's victory gave the Giants' young superstar defensive end a chance to show off his basketball skills.
What Stevie Brown has given the Giants at safety since starter Kenny Phillips got hurt has been invaluable and completely unexpected. Brown collected two interceptions and recovered a fumble Sunday.
Philadelphia Eagles (3-4)
Phil Sheridan writes that Michael Vick sounds like a man defeated, based on the resigned way in which Vick reacted when it was suggested to him that Andy Reid might be thinking about changing quarterbacks. I admit to being surprised at the way Vick addressed that topic in his news conference. It was a weird afternoon in that locker room, and the tone of the interviews and conversations did little to shake my feeling that what's going on now is different from anything with which Reid has dealt in his career there.
There were issues early in the day too, including the brief benching of rookie linebacker Mychal Kendricks for missing a meeting. Kendricks' first four games of the season made him look like a defensive rookie of the year candidate. The last three have been nightmarish.
Dallas Cowboys (3-4)
The Cowboys fell behind 23-0 almost immediately Sunday, which made their comeback to take a 24-23 lead absolutely remarkable but also, to state the extremely obvious, made the game extremely difficult to win. Everybody from the quarterback to the owner heard the boos during the Cowboys' incomprehensibly bad start, and Tony Romo says he'd have booed too.
As disappointing as the loss was, Bryan Broaddus points out that Sunday featured several outstanding performances by Cowboys players -- none bigger than the 18-catch effort turned in by tight end Jason Witten.
Washington Redskins (3-5)
Sunday was not a great day for Robert Griffin III, as the Steelers' defense (and, in some cases, his own receivers) stymied him to an extent that he had not yet been stymied as a professional. But as the very wise Jason Reid writes, the story of this Redskins' season continues to be an undermanned defense that undermines everything Griffin might be able to do.
Rick Snider thinks it's time for the Redskins to change defensive coordinators. And it's not as though Rick doesn't make good points. I just question what the solution is. Do people really think it should be secondary coach Raheem Morris, when the secondary is the biggest problem? Whoever the Redskins brought in would surely find it impossible to succeed with the current defensive roster. Mike Shanahan brought in Jim Haslett because he was the guy he wanted to run his defense. And while it's possible he could rethink it, it's not the slam-dunk many seem to believe it is.