NFC East: quick take 3
Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley
Perhaps we dismissed the Redskins from the NFC East race a little early. Quarterback Jason Campbell led his team to another quality win at FedEx Field, and the Redskins improved to 2-1 heading into a division showdown with the Dallas Cowboys.
Campbell was 22 of 30 for 193 yards and two touchdowns. But he also did a great job of feeling the pressure, and running at the proper times. He extended two drives by taking off and finished with 26 yards on the ground. The Redskins didn't generate a ton of pressure (two sacks), but the secondary made plays when it had to. Cornerback Carlos Rogers, who struggled in Week 1 against the Giants, made the interception to set up the winning touchdown.
The Redskins caused two turnovers, and that turned out to be the difference. Washington scored 10 points off the two takeaways. On offense, Santana Moss and Chris Cooley both had big games. Moss has now caught a touchdown in six consecutive games.
On Sunday, Cooley exposed the Cardinals' defense with seven catches for 72 yards. Against the Giants, he had one catch for seven yards. That can't happen anymore. Outside of Jason Witten, I think Cooley's the best tight end in the NFC. And yes, I haven't forgotten about Jeremy Shockey.
Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley
A week after getting shut out on sacks against Tony Romo and the Cowboys, the Eagles collected nine against the Steelers on Sunday. I just watched the second half of this game, and I'm surprised Ben Roethlisberger walked off the field under his own power.
Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb, who had to leave the game briefly with a chest injury, lifted the towel draped over Big Ben's head and appeared to give him some words of encouragement. After all, he remembers the 13 sacks the Giants put on the Eagles last season.
Roethlisberger left the game late with a wrist injury. But at that point, the Eagles had finally put the Steelers away. Unheralded defensive end Juqua Parker had 2 1/2 sacks, which is half of his 2007 total. The 30-year-old player harrassed Roethlisberger the entire game, and he had plenty of help.
Seven Eagles players had at least a half sack in the game. Philadelphia executed its plan of shutting down running back Willie Parker and then making the Steelers one-dimensional the rest of the game. Roethlisberger rarely had time and when he did, he often held the ball too long. He gave up a critical safety when he was called for intentional grounding in the end zone to help the Eagles take a 12-6 lead. Until that point, you still had the feeling the Steelers might do something.
The Eagles lost All-Pro running back Brian Westbrook in the first half, and he never returned. Correll Buckhalter filled in nicely and finished the game with six catches for 44 yards and a touchdown. He also had 10 carries for 43 yards. From what I saw, it was a brilliant game plan by the Eagles. At the last second, they would drop defensive ends into coverage and rush linebackers. Linebacker Omar Gaither had an excellent night with seven tackles and a sack and a half.
It was a huge win for the Eagles since there's a chance the Cowboys and Giants will both be 3-0 at the end of the night. Of course, the Giants had to work for it more than we thought.