How I See It: NFC East Stock Watch

September, 22, 2010
9/22/10
12:17
PM ET
NFC Stock Watch: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

FALLING

1. Wade Phillips, Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator/head coach: Phillips has asked the media to place the blame on him when things go wrong, so I'm just following orders. I thought the identity of this team was going to be its defense, but Chicago Bears offensive coordinator Mike Martz exposed some serious flaws. The Cowboys held the Bears to 1-of-11 on third downs, but it didn't matter because they allowed several big plays. The Bears used the Cowboys' speed against them in dumping the ball to Matt Forte and finding wide-open targets such as tight end Greg Olsen. It was a really poor performance by what was reputed to be one of the best defenses in the league.

2. DeAngelo Hall, Washington Redskins cornerback: A week after being one of the heroes in a win over the Cowboys, Hall was part of a defensive collapse that allowed the Texans to record a 30-27 win in overtime. After his "this is my team" rant after the game, Hall looked rather foolish. Andre Johnson and Kevin Walter combined for 23 catches and more than 300 yards receiving. Are we to believe that defensive coordinator Jim Haslett prevented Hall from covering either player? I admire Hall's enthusiasm to a certain extent, but at some point he crossed over to showing up his teammates and coaches in that postgame rant. And that's why Hall appears on the infamous NFC East "FALLING" list this week.

3. Brandon Jacobs, New York Giants running back: Players who throw their helmets into the stands during games -- whether intentional or not -- always end up on this list. And Jacobs went the extra mile by trying to bounce that run outside in the third quarter and losing an additional 4 or 5 yards. When you're a 264-pound sledgehammer, you shouldn't be trying to channel Tony Dorsett against the Vikings on "Monday Night Football."

4. Andy Reid, Philadelphia Eagles head coach: This is a bonus item. For more information, please read my column from last night.

[+] EnlargeDonovan McNabb
Jeff Fishbein/Icon SMIDonovan McNabb threw for 426 yards in Sunday's loss to Houston.
RISING

1. Michael Vick, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback: I think Reid made a misguided decision, but that's not Vick's fault. He took several sacks, but he also made a ton of plays behind a patchwork offensive line. Vick was accurate and he seemed to have a good sense of when to leave the pocket, which is to say every time he dropped back to pass. Reid said he might be the hottest quarterback in the league right now, and that's hard to argue with.

2. Donovan McNabb, Washington Redskins quarterback: Who needs weapons at wide receiver when you have McNabb to spray the ball around? He threw for over 400 yards and he carried a team that didn't have a running game. Why does that sound so familiar?

3. LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia Eagles running back: The Lions had an excellent pass rush, but they had a difficult time with McCoy, who had three touchdowns. He showed excellent speed and he's starting to arrive in the passing game. McCoy can be a huge help to Vick if he'll keep going to him when he's in trouble. Reid needs to keep feeding him the ball.

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