Monday, December 10, 2012
Breakfast links: Undefeated!
By Dan Graziano
On Sunday, Oct. 26, 2008, the Cowboys beat the Buccaneers, the Redskins beat the Lions, the Eagles beat the Falcons and the Giants beat the Steelers. All four teams in the NFC East played and won on the same day. A 4-0 day for the division whose fans like to call it "The Beast."
Then, four years, one month and 12 days went by.
Then, on Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012, the Cowboys beat the Bengals, the Redskins beat the Ravens, the Eagles beat the Buccaneers and the Giants beat the Saints. Yes, all four of our division's teams won Sunday, and based on my own postgame research it's the first time that's happened since Week 8 of 2008. We've come a long way since Week 9, just five short weeks ago, when all four teams in the division played and lost. And the result of Sunday's somewhat breathtaking sweep is that the division standings remain unchanged, as do the order in which you receive your links.
New York Giants (8-5)
Everybody in the Giants' locker room Sunday night was talking about the amazing performance by rookie running back David Wilson, who set a team record for all-purpose yards in a game. A new weapon emerging for the Giants' offense at just the right time? Or a fluke performance against a terrible defense? Time will tell, but for now Wilson is a superstar threat on kick returns, as he has been all season.
It does not sound as though the injuries to Ahmad Bradshaw or Prince Amukamara are threats to keep them out of next week's game in Atlanta, but you never know.
Washington Redskins (7-6)
Dave Sheinin reports on Robert Griffin III's anxious day, and his story includes a text message from Griffin's father (or "RG2") that says Griffin's knee is "better than yours and mine." I don't know anything about the condition of Dave's knee or RG2's, but my sense is that the text was meant to convey an encouraging positive sentiment about the knee about which Redskins fans are holding their breath this morning.
Dan Daly, who has seen some Redskins football, writes that "You won't come across a stranger, more glorious victory" than the one the Redskins rose from the ashes to take from the Ravens on Sunday. Four in a row for the Redskins, and if they keep it up, greater glory may well await, and not too far down the road.
Dallas Cowboys (7-6)
You can say what you want about Jason Garrett, and most Cowboys fans don't need to be told not to hold back. The fact is that he's still a young coach who's learning and making mistakes. He's also shown some pretty strong leadership qualities, and as Jean-Jacques Taylor writes, those were on display this weekend in the wake of the Josh Brent/Jerry Brown tragedy.
The Cowboys designated Anthony Spencer as their franchise player in the offseason in the hope that he would have a big season in response. He has done just that, and whether he gets the long-term deal he seeks this coming offseason or not, he's cemented his status as a part of the Cowboys' future.
Philadelphia Eagles (4-9)
Reuben Frank has for a while now been of the mind that Nick Foles was ready to play quarterback at the NFL level for the Eagles, and so in the wake of Foles' best game, Reuben is permitted to gush a bit. There is no question that Foles' comeback performance against the Buccaneers showed very good signs of the third-round pick's ability to manage and win an NFL game. He was far from perfect, and his success did come against the No. 32-ranked pass defense in the league. But that doesn't change the fact that Foles came up big in a big spot, and it offers him something on which to build as he works over this final month to convince the Eagles he can handle the job in 2013.
Jeff McLane wrote Sunday of Oregon's Chip Kelly, the man whose name is likely to come up the most in the coming weeks as the potential replacement for Andy Reid. Worth a look at Jeff's examination of the issues involved in a potential Kelly hiring.