NFC East: 2010 Week 3 Rapid Reaction

Rapid Reaction: Cowboys 27, Texans 13

September, 26, 2010
HOUSTON -- Quick observations on the Cowboys’ 27-13 victory over the Texans at Reliant Stadium.

What it means: The Cowboys saved their season with a 27-13 win in Houston. With a bye coming, Dallas now has a chance to build on the momentum of this game and feel good about itself heading into a home game against Tennessee in Week 5. More importantly, the win gave some needed confidence to kicker David Buehler, who made a 49-yarder at the end of the first half to push his team ahead 10-3. Dallas also established the running game, something it hadn’t done the first two weeks of the season. The Cowboys rushed 27 times for 101 yards on the day.

Tomorrow's talker: The Cowboys are back ... we think. Instead of a close game, where many could have questioned just how good they really are, the Cowboys beat up the Texans. Wade Phillips had a great defensive game plan, being selective with his blitzes and making sure the secondary kept Andre Johnson and Jacoby Jones in front of them. Offensive coordinator Jason Garrett finally figured out how to run the ball and challenge defenses with deep passes.

Injury of note: Houston's Johnson was hampered by a right ankle injury the entire game, especially after Orlando Scandrick brought him down in the first half. Kyle Kosier left with 11:41 left in the fourth quarter with a right leg injury.

Heroes: Roy Williams had his second 100-yard game with the Cowboys. He finished with five catches for 117 yards and two touchdowns. It’s also the 15th 100-yard receiving game of his career. Keith Brooking is one of the heart-and-soul leaders of not only the defense but this team. He came on an inside blitz and smashed Houston quarterback Matt Schaub on a third-and-goal from the 3-yard line to force a Texans field goal in the fourth quarter.

What's next: Rest. Kosier gets another week to recover from his leg injury.

Rapid Reaction: Titans 29, Giants 10

September, 26, 2010
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New York Giants lost a game and their composure Sunday afternoon at New Meadowlands Stadium. Let's take a quick look at the highlights and the many lowlights from a 29-10 loss that will leave a mark.

What it means: This was a game the Giants had to have at home. Even in the watered-down NFC East, a 1-2 start will be difficult to overcome. New York didn't have any trouble moving the ball, but two turnovers in the red zone were killers. You can understand losing on the road to a desperate Colts team, but this loss was unacceptable.

Critical play: Quarterback Eli Manning had an excellent day from a statistical standpoint but he set the tone for the Giants' red-zone failures when he inexplicably threw the ball toward the end zone with his left hand in the first quarter. The Giants were trailing 3-0 in the first quarter and obviously needed the points.

Critical play II: I could go on and on (and I will in a postgame column), but Ahmad Bradshaw's fumble at the Titans' 5-yard line in the third quarter pretty much ended this game. From that point on, the Giants lost their composure and acted like a bunch of clowns. Offensive linemen David Diehl and Kareem McKenizie were both hit with 15-yard penalties and then safety Antrel Rolle joined the action by slapping a Titans player late in the fourth quarter. Tom Coughlin was so angry with McKenzie that he pulled him off the field in favor of Shawn Andrews. I could see personnel changes this week, because the Giants are already in a desperate situation.

Goat: We have quite a few candidates, but Bradshaw has to get the award despite putting up excellent numbers. The fumble was awful and he was also called for a chop block that led to a safety for the Titans. That one wasn't totally his fault, but those plays figured heavily in the Giants' loss.

Trending: It's amazing to see a Coughlin team show such an utter lack of discipline. A week after Brandon Jacobs tossed his helmet into the stands, players were once again losing their cool on the field. The Giants appear to be the most undisciplined team in the NFC East right now -- and that's saying something.

What's next: The Bears are heading to town for a Sunday night game. If the Giants lose that one, you can kiss this season goodbye. In honor of Rolle, I think Coughlin should have his team at the stadium by at least noon.



Sunday, 10/26
Monday, 10/27