NFC East: 2013 Week 7 NFL Buzz

Locker Room Buzz: New York Giants

October, 22, 2013
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Observed in the locker room after the New York Giants' 23-7 victory over the Minnesota Vikings:

Sweet relief: There were smiles. There was chatter. There were willing interview subjects as far as the eye could see. For the first time this season, the Giants had won a game, and they felt as though a weight had been lifted. "It's good to be smiling," Eli Manning said. "It's good to have that feeling in the locker room again."

Surprise, surprise: The Vikings ran 54 pass plays and 14 running plays, in spite of the fact that their running back, Adrian Peterson, is the reigning NFL MVP and their quarterback, Josh Freeman, has been on the team less than two weeks. Justin Tuck said the Giants' defense was surprised. "A little bit. A little bit, yeah," Tuck said. "Especially with Josh just being there a couple of weeks, we were really prepared to see a lot of No. 28."

Hurt again: After missing three games with a neck injury, center David Baas injured his left knee on the first series and sat out the rest of the game. He'll have an MRI on Monday but isn't optimistic. "I can't catch a break," Baas said.

Locker Room Buzz: Dallas Cowboys

October, 20, 2013
PHILADELPHIA -- Observed in the locker room after the Dallas Cowboys' 17-3 win against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday:

Owning the division: For the first time since 2007 the Cowboys are 3-0 in the NFC East. In a division that has come down to the final game of the season the past two years, the Cowboys are doing their best to get some separation from the Eagles, Washington Redskins and New York Giants.

“It’s meaningful because by the nature of the way the game is today you’re going to have these teams knock each other off and you’re really getting some legs up on everybody when you can win all your division games,” owner and general manager Jerry Jones said. “To get this win on the road, we’ve got two more that we’ve got to play on the road, this is the way to start it.”

This isn’t college ball: To say Chip Kelly owned Monte Kiffin when the two were at Oregon and Southern Cal, respectively, is being kind. Oregon averaged 50 points and 600 yards in three games against Kiffin’s defense and scored 70 points last year.

Playing without DeMarcus Ware, the Cowboys held the Eagles to 278 yards, forced three turnovers and came up with three sacks.

“The college deal, it’s not even close,” linebacker Sean Lee said. “It’s apples and oranges comparing college teams to pro teams. It’s the time we spend. We have different players. Defenses can be different. I see that as an apples-and-oranges comparison.”

Rookie shines again: Wide receiver Terrance Williams is making sure the Cowboys' offense does not miss a beat as Miles Austin tries to get back in step.

Williams caught six passes for 71 yards and had a touchdown in his third straight game. His 9-yard slant from Tony Romo iced the game for the Cowboys with 9:25 to play and a 17-3 lead. Austin has played the past two games, but has not recorded a catch in seven throws from Romo.

The last rookie receiver to have a touchdown catch in three straight games was Dez Bryant in 2010 against the Green Bay Packers, Giants and Detroit Lions.

Locker Room Buzz: Washington Redskins

October, 20, 2013
LANDOVER, Md. -- Observed in the locker room after the Washington Redskins' 45-41 win over the Chicago Bears:

Relief: The Redskins’ locker room sure sounded different and more players lingered around until the end. Robert Griffin III had not yet showered an hour after the game, first rehashing the game with his fellow quarterbacks, then with the media and then again with others in front of his locker. Roy Helu was among the last to leave as well, doing a phone interview. “It’s a little bit of a confidence booster,” said backup nose tackle Chris Baker, who had a sack Sunday.

Hit man: As teammates celebrated, safety Brandon Meriweather was feeling good – but also perplexed after drawing two more unsportsmanlike-conduct penalties for his hits on receivers. Meriweather has a history of such fouls, and for being fined (which he will be again, at the least). He said he’s changed the way he hits receivers, but “no matter what I do I feel I’ll be in the wrong.”

Ouch: Safety Reed Doughty left the game for good in the fourth quarter with a concussion. He looked OK in the postgame locker room, but he’ll now be subject to the daily tests that must be passed if he wants to play next week. The Redskins need him healthy with a lack of depth at safety and if the league decides to suspend Meriweather.

Locker Room Buzz: Philadelphia Eagles

October, 20, 2013
PHILADELPHIA --Observed in the locker room after the Philadelphia Eagles' dismal 17-3 loss to the Dallas Cowboys:

Nick Foles was neither seen nor heard. Head coach Chip Kelly said his quarterback was taken to an independent facility for evaluation of an apparent concussion. So Foles was not available to explain his woeful performance for three quarters.

Foles completed 11 of 29 passes for 80 yards and a passer rating of 46.2. He took three sacks, including the unavoidable sack on which he was injured on the final play of the third quarter.

“He was off,” Kelly said. “There were times we didn’t do a good job around him, there were times guys were open and he didn’t put the ball where he needed to.”

Matt Barkley went three-for-three. The rookie quarterback replaced Foles and operated three fourth-quarter drives. He threw interceptions to end all three. Indeed, Barkley threw two on his first drive -- the first was negated by a penalty.

“Matt got put in a tough situation,” Kelly said. “We had to throw every down. He did some nice things. First time playing, he’s got to understand. Linebackers are going to be playing his eyes, looking for the pick.”

“ I saw there’s a lot to learn,” Barkley said, “I have a lot of growth in front of me, which is exciting.”

The answer was blowing in the wind. Kelly had Alex Henery attempt a 60-yard field goal near the end of the first half. Henery missed, giving Tony Romo a couple of shots at the end zone from midfield. If Dez Bryant had timed his leap better, he may well have scored a touchdown.

“He hit it really well in warmups,” Kelly said. “We had the wind at our back. We just wanted to see if we could get the score there in a three-point game.”