Wednesday, December 1, 2010
How I See It: NFC East Stock Watch
By Matt Mosley
1. Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboyswide receiver: He's been sensational at times this season, but he disappeared Thursday against the New Orleans Saints. And he lost his poise in the fourth quarter when he was shown having a meltdown on the sideline. Bryant was targeted six times and he had zero catches. He and Jon Kitna didn't appear to be on the same page in crunch time, which calls into question why Bryant was such a focal point of the offense on the most important drive of the game. Kitna tried to take the blame following the game, but it seemed like Bryant was the one who didn't perform well on offense in the loss.
2. Perry Riley, Washington Redskinslinebacker: I think this rookie has a bright future, but he was called for two penalties on special teams in a 17-13 loss to the Minnesota Vikings. The second penalty, a block in the back, nullified a 77-yard punt return for a touchdown by Brandon Banks. That play would've given the Skins a 20-17 lead with about seven minutes to go in the game. And it wasn't a block that actually helped Banks, so that made it even more frustrating.
3. DeSean Jackson, Philadelphia Eagleswide receiver: He's one of the most explosive players in the league, but he has to learn how to show some poise when things don't go his way. The Bears kept their safeties about 25 yards from the line of scrimmage in an effort to prevent Jackson from beating them with a double move. Jackson finished with two catches for 26 yards and then he did something to earn a dressing down from coach Andy Reid following the game. He then created a spectacle at his locker by sulking and having a lively conversation with Michael Vick. Jackson has to learn to be a little more patient. And he should know better than to cross the head coach at this point in his career.
1. Kevin Boss, New York Giantstight end: He shook off a poor first half and finished with three catches for 74 yards and the game-winning touchdown. Boss has played through a lot of painful injuries the past couple seasons, and he takes some vicious hits. But when the game was on the line Sunday, he took over. With Steve Smith and Hakeem Nicks both out with injuries, the Giants desperately needed someone to step up his game. Both Boss and Mario Manningham were up to the task.
Justin Tuck contributed on and off the field in New York's win over Jacksonville on Sunday.
2. Justin Tuck, New York Giants defensive end: He apparently delivered one of the finest halftime speeches in years with the Giants trailing 17-6. Tuck, who's not the most vocal guy on the roster, has embraced his role as team leader and he grabbed his teammates' attention with his profanity-laced oratory. He also backed it up with half a sack, five tackles and two pass deflections.
3. Brandon Banks, Washington Redskins return specialist: He's the most exciting player on the team by a long shot. The former Kansas State player is a threat to score every time he touches the ball on returns. If not for Riley's block in the back, Banks may have led the Skins to a 20-17 win over the Vikings. He's just a remarkable talent. Kyle Shanahan put him in the Wildcat against the Vikings for a couple plays. Let's see if the Redskins expand that package in the Meadowlands on Sunday.