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Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Breakfast links: Well, ain't this a mess?

By Dan Graziano

Yeah, "Monday Night Football" produced what we were talking about yesterday, didn't it? A three-way race in the NFC East with four games to play. Your standings-order links, fresh, hot and kind of tough to believe:

New York Giants (7-5)

I'll have extended thoughts on the Giants' loss and their significant missed opportunity later today. But there were several uncharacteristic aspects of Monday night's loss, and among those was the overabundance of penalties they committed.

No one's saying right tackle Sean Locklear is out for the year with a knee injury, but they're saying all the things teams and teammates say when a guy's out for the year with a knee injury and they don't want to announce it yet. The loss of Locklear means more playing time for David Diehl, who stepped up in the stretch run last year but has struggled this season, and no safety net.

Washington Redskins (6-6)

I was a baseball fan as a kid. Still am, really. But as a kid I was an aspiring baseball writer, and one of my idols was Thomas Boswell. He was at the game Monday night, writing football, and he wrote that Robert Griffin III "inspires his teammates to play up to the level of their hopes, not down to the depths of their fears." And I was reminded how great Thomas Boswell is. Which was cool.

Many things about the Redskins' victory Monday night were remarkable an unusual (just as were those many things about the Giants' loss, see what I did there?). One of those things was that the Redskins managed to beat the Super Bowl champs without forcing a turnover.

Dallas Cowboys (6-6)

In case folks haven't noticed, Tony Romo's last five games have been very, very good. "Vintage" Romo, as Todd Archer writes.

A big part of the reason Romo's been so good is the outstanding play of wide receiver Dez Bryant, who welcomes the challenge of helping lead a Cowboys playoff run.

Philadelphia Eagles (3-9)

Andy Reid's been on the hot seat for so long this year that speculation has begun to swing the other way. John Smallwood wonders whether Reid might actually be able to hold onto his job next year in spite of the miserable fiasco that this season has become. I think John's reaching a bit. While anything's possible and no one but Jeffrey Lurie knows for sure, Reid returning for 2013 would rank among the biggest shockers in recent NFL history.

On the topic of firings that have already happened, Reid now seems to be saying that he should have fired defensive line coach Jim Washburn, not defensive coordinator Juan Castillo, after the Week 6 loss to Detroit. Which I'm sure makes Castillo feel better.