Monday, December 24, 2012
Breakfast links: Redskins-Cowboys for it all
By Dan Graziano
One week to go in the NFC East, and for the second year in a row we will have a Week 17 division title game. Sunday's game between the Redskins and the Cowboys at FedEx Field will determine the 2012 NFC East champion, The Redskins can still get in as a wild card if they lose. The Cowboys cannot. The Giants can still make the playoffs as a wild card if they win and get help, but they will not defend their division title. The Eagles have one game left to play. It's the NFC East, and it's Week 17, which means it's crazy. Links.
Washington Redskins (9-6)
How exciting is Sunday in Washington? It's the first time the Redskins have hosted a winner-take-all game with these kinds of implications in... well, forever.
Robert Griffin III had four yards on two carries in his first game back from a knee injury, so if you were wondering whether the Redskins would hold him back at all, the answer is clearly "yes." But Griffin made enough throws and enough plays to beat the Eagles and deliver a sixth straight win for the Redskins, who are one of the hottest teams in the entire league right now.
Dallas Cowboys (8-7)
You knew the Cowboys' defense would struggle to stop the Saints. It was inevitable. Would have been a bad matchup for them even if they had all 11 defensive starters healthy, and they had six. But Jean-Jacques Taylor thinks what cost the Cowboys on Sunday was their offense's inability to deliver when it counted. Especially on third down.
Jerry Jones continues to offer no indication whatsoever that he's interested in making a head-coaching change. Insists exactly the opposite, in fact. There is no evidence whatsoever that Jones is thinking about replacing Jason Garrett, who's done a very good job with this year's team in spite of a myriad of issues that could have pushed it well below .500. And yet, this keeps coming up.
New York Giants (8-7)
I did not expect the Giants to win the two road games in Atlanta and Baltimore. But I thought that they might win one. And if you'd told me they'd be outscored 67-14 in the two games, I'd have thought you were nuts. But in the wake of Sunday's blowout loss in Baltimore, this is a championship team that looks completely spent. And in a lot of ways, as Ian O'Connor writes, it's kind of to be expected.
And yes, the defense has been ineffective and the pass rush absent, and much of the focus falls on that. But the extent to which the Giants' offense has fallen apart is simply astounding.
Jeff McLane writes that, this time next week, the Eagles will have a sufficient sample size of Nick Foles to allow them to evaluate whether to move forward with him as their starter. I'm not sure I agree, and even if Jeff's right, I'm not sure what they've seen to make them think they don't have to address the position at some level this coming offseason.
If Sunday was Andy Reid's final home game as Eagles coach, as everyone assumes it was, there was very little that went on to indicate anybody was experiencing anything out of the ordinary.