Tuesday, October 13, 2009
How I See It: NFC East Stock Watch
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Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley
1. Jim Zorn, Redskins head coach: This is such a mess that it's hard to single out any one player. I'll just go with Zorn since he's become the face of the Redskins' struggles. With left tackle Chris Samuels now injured, the Skins don't really have anything up front. Quarterback Jason Campbell can't deliver the ball and the Skins can't get any push in the running game. It's amazing that the Skins could play this poorly -- and be 3-3 at the end of next Sunday. This is a franchise in turmoil right now.
2. Mike Jenkins, CB, Cowboys: I probably should've gone with Wade Phillips, but that seemed too easy. From the folks I've talked to at Valley Ranch, Jenkins wasn't nearly as aggressive as he needed to be Sunday. He had a large hand in allowing Matt Cassel and the Chiefs to come racing back down the field at the end. The Cowboys may still be trying to decide between Jenkins and Orlando Scandrick for the starting spot opposite Terence Newman. On Sunday, Jenkins didn't get the job done.
3. The Eagles' defense: I know that's a strange thing to say when the team wins 33-14, but Bucs quarterback Josh Johnson taught Sean McDermott and his gang some valuable lessons. Johnson found some holes in the secondary -- especially when Kellen Winslow was involved. And there were way too many penalties. The Eagles ended up with 10 penalties Sunday -- and the majority were on the defense. If you're going to make a tackle, you can't grab the facemask. And the personal foul against Victor "Macho" Harris could've really hurt if the Eagles were playing a good team. Lots of good blitzes that put pressure on Johnson, but the Eagles need to finish the job.
1. Miles Austin, WR, Cowboys: The undrafted player out of Monmouth (class of '06) was brilliant against the Chiefs with 10 catches for 250 yards and a pair of long touchdowns. Austin basically saved the season for the Cowboys -- for now. He's shown flashes over the past few years, but Sunday was his first breakout performance. And that's an understatement. The guy ended up breaking the single-game record that Bob Hayes set in 1966. That's pretty amazing. The Jets had to give up a hefty price for Braylon Edwards. There's a chance they could've had Austin, an unrestricted free agent this past offseason, for a second-round pick. It's one game -- but it was a huge game.
2. Ahmad Bradshaw, RB, Giants: Had 11 carries for 110 yards and two touchdowns. Let's not get crazy and start calling for Bradshaw to start, but it's OK to recognize him for being extremely talented. He's also been pretty elusive, but now he's added some more power to his game. And he can catch the ball out of the backfield and take off -- as he did Sunday on a 55-yard scamper. Yes, it was against the Raiders. But Bradshaw's well on his way to making folks forget Derrick Ward.
3. Jeremy Maclin, WR, Eagles: The Bucs decided to take DeSean Jackson out of the game by rolling coverage in his direction. That left Maclin in one-on-one coverage quite a bit, and he made them pay. I didn't know how long it would take Maclin to adjust to the West Coast offense after playing in the spread at Missouri. Now, it appears he's making a pretty nice adjustment. He had 142 yards receiving and two long touchdowns. And I loved watching him run his routes. He's taller than most people think and he sort of glides around the field before eventually racing away from cornerbacks. Elbert Mack vs. Maclin? That's the best you can do, Raheem Morris?