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Sunday, November 23, 2008
Around the NFC West: No awe for Giants

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Darren Urban of azcardinals.com checks in with Cardinals defensive tackle Darnell Dockett, who suggests the Giants will have to earn his respect.

Sheldon Mickles of the Advocate says Kurt Warner is giving Drew Brees a run for the MVP award. Saints coach Sean Payton states his case for Brees, a case that goes beyond raw passing stats.

Bob Baum of the Associated Press reflects on the Cardinals and Giants in light of the Giants' decision to bench Warner for Eli Manning.

Kevin Shields of WCBSTV.com says the Giants need to stick with their run-first game plan and "just run the ball down Arizona's throat."

Dan Bickley of the Arizona Republic says the Cardinals and Suns have traded places in the Phoenix sports hierarchy.

Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic says the Giants and Cardinals are a study in contrast.

Bob McManaman of the Arizona Republic profiles Fox sideline reporter Tony Siragusa, who will work the Cardinals-Giants game at University of Phoenix Stadium.

Mike Tulumello of the East Valley Tribune says the Cardinals' culture is changing under coach Ken Whisenhunt.

Scott Bordow of the East Valley Tribune takes a humorous look at the Cardinals' past futility, noting that those covering the team could always count on down time come January.

Also from Bordow: Giants coach Tom Coughlin lists stopping the Cardinals' ground game among his team's top priorities. Yeah, right.

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee outlines four steps that would help Mike Singletary remain head coach beyond this season. Having Shaun Hill emerge as a long-term option at quarterback would certainly help.

Also from Barrows: A look at key matchups.

More from Barrows: Terrell Owens' dark side can appear at any time.

Matt Maiocco of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat says Tony Romo's even keel helps keep Owens from imploding.

Also from Maiocco: A look at trends and key matchups from the 49ers-Cowboys game.

Brian McIntyre of Scout.com predicts a 20-17 victory for the Seahawks against the Redskins. He expects improved play from Matt Hasselbeck.

John Crumpacker of the San Francisco Chronicle says the 49ers are looking to reverse a five-year run of futility on the road, particularly in games that kick off at 10 a.m. PT.

Also from Crumpacker: A quick look at what to watch for in the 49ers-Cowboys game.

Gwen Knapp of the San Francisco Chronicle appreciates the versatility, intelligence and toughness of 49ers running back Michael Robinson.

Nancy Gay of the San Francisco Chronicle takes inventory at Texas Stadium, home of the $350 (and rising) used urinal.

Jose Romero of the Seattle Times says Mike Holmgren wants to win as many games as he can this season. The coach isn't interested in preparing the team for 2009.

Also from Romero: Key questions from the Redskins-Seahawks matchup. Don't expect Shaun Alexander to play much against his former team.

Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times looks at trends in NFL coaching hires. First-time head coaches seem to be faring well, from Jim Zorn to Tony Sparano to John Harbaugh to Mike Smith.

Frank Hughes of the Tacoma News Tribune looks at the uncertain contractual future of Seahawks linebacker Leroy Hill. Will a losing season affect his value?

Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune sizes up the Zorn factor in the Redskins-Seahawks matchup.

Scott Johnson of the Everett Herald says the Seahawks have become spoilers. They face five playoff contenders in their final six games.

Also from Johnson: A look at Zorn's rise through the coaching ranks in spite of Chuck Knox's refusal to hire him as an assistant coach.

Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Rams need a quality alternative to injured running back Steven Jackson.

Also from Thomas: The Rams are having problems with shotgun snaps.

More from Thomas: A look at key matchups in the Bea
rs-Rams game. He gives the Rams an edge when they pass the ball.

Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch checks in with Rams owner Chip Rosenbloom, who says he's "underwhelmed" by the performance of the front office and what he sees on the field. Rosenbloom recommits to keeping the Rams in St. Louis.