Monday, December 31, 2012
Breakfast links: Redskins carry the flag
By Dan Graziano
LANDOVER, Md. -- Another NFL season is over for three of the NFC East's teams, while the division-champion Redskins prepare for a playoff matchup Sunday against Seattle. The order of the breakfast links is now set for the remainder of the league year. Redskins fans who used to complain about always being listed last ... enjoy it.
Washington Redskins (10-6)
Dave Sheinin writes of the two rookies who led the Redskins to this division title and are probably too young to realize how much it means to the community in which the NFL fates have placed them. The fans came in chanting "RG III!" for Robert Griffin III and left chanting of "Alfred Morris" and his 200 rushing yards in a division title game.
Pretty sweet night, too, for Redskins veterans like Chris Cooley, who have slogged through some tough times and now see the reward. Cooley is especially appreciative, since he nearly didn't get to be a part of a team he thought could be special.
New York Giants (9-7)
Eli Manning got all the credit when the 9-7 Giants went on a roll last year and won the Super Bowl. Ian O'Connor thinks he needs to shoulder the blame for a 9-7 Giants team that missed the playoffs this year. I think Ian's right here. The defense was meh, but the defense was meh last year, too. The biggest difference in this season's Giants was a lack of big plays from Manning and the passing game. And, of course, the nettlesome fact that the same record they had last year just coincidentally wasn't good enough to get them into this season's playoff field.
Tom Rock lists five questions facing the Giants in an offseason that will require decisions on pass-rushers, wide receivers, running backs, linebackers ... Jeez. When you start putting it that way, 9-7 seems kind of impressive.
Dallas Cowboys (8-8)
The Cowboys were a banged-up bunch when the game started Sunday night. They were considerably more so when it ended, after injuries knocked Dez Bryant and Miles Austin out of the game and Tony Romo cracked a rib. I think they call that adding insult to injury. Or vice versa. And DeMarcus Ware needs a couple of surgeries. Anyway, the heartbroken Cowboys wish they didn't have so long to heal.
Charean Williams writes that the Cowboys could have withstood Romo's first two interceptions Sunday night but that the third was a killer. Romo threw six interceptions in his final nine games of the season, and five of those came in the two games against the Redskins. Sometimes, the story is pretty simple, isn't it?
Philadelphia Eagles (4-12)
While the news has been expected for some time, credit belongs where it's due, and I am fairly certain Bob Grotz was the first to report Andy Reid's firing Sunday as a fait accompli. So here's Bob's retrospective on Reid's Philadelphia career.
Phil Sheridan writes that the changes in Philadelphia need to be much more extensive than just the firing of the head coach. I think Phil will get his wish on that.