Chat with Matt Mosley
Mosley, an award-winning writer for The Dallas Morning News for seven years, joined ESPN.com in January 2007 and writes columns, features and blogs about the NFL.
Send your questions now and join Mosley in The Show on Friday at noon ET!
Eric (Cleveland, OH)
In Week 1, the Skins had problems tackling Brandon Jacobs and covering Plaxico at the same time. How will they be able to stop Marion Barber and T.O.?
Matt Mosley (12:02 PM)
Eric: You get the first word today. And by the way, thanks to everyone who's joining us today. Just heard from Trey Wingo a couple of minutes ago, and he'll weigh in with several questions. I think the Redskins will try to do what the Packers did to T.O. They'll play some Cover 2 with a safety helping out over the top. Of course, the Packers got burned twice by Miles Austin, in part, because they were so concerned about T.O. It's very important for the Redskins to stop the run early. Demetric Evans isn't a bad run defender, so the loss of Jason Taylor doesn't hurt as much against the run.
Mike (San Francisco)
Matt, that was an awful lot of crying from Redskins fans in your mailbag. Do we need to chip in and send a shipment of tissue their way? But seriously, what has Jason Campbell done to warrant his being thrown in with Manning, Romo, and McNabb? In the end, isn't the most important mark of a quarterback his Win-Loss record? Last I checked, Campbell's wasn't very good.
Matt Mosley (12:04 PM)
Mike, I've had a solid rapport with Redskins fans over the years, but they're a sensitive bunch at times. At this point, Washington is the fourth-best team in the division. There's no shame in that. They may be a top-10 team in the league. And I'm a huge defender of Campbell -- as you probably know. But he's not in a class with those other three yet. If he wins at Texas Stadium on Sunday, though, it would be a huge step.
If the Offensive lines are the same, who do you take: Barbarian and Felix, or MJD and Fred Taylor?
Matt Mosley (12:07 PM)
That's an interesting one, Randy. We still haven't seen enough from Felix Jones to put him on that level, but he may be headed in that direction. I'd still take MJD and Fred Taylor at this point. Behind the Cowboys' offensive line, of course
Dee, Boulder CO
Which team is the most capable of succeeding without their star receiver, the Giants (Plaxico), the Cowboys (T.O.) or the Redskins (Santana?)
Matt Mosley (12:11 PM)
Of those three teams, I think the Giants would have the best chance of succeeding. You can throw in Steve Smith, Domenik Hixon, Sinorice Moss, Amani Toomer and even the rookie Manningham. The Cowboys and Redskins have great tight ends who could help carry the load, but the Giants would be in the best shape without their star.
Jonny B (DC)
Am I the only one who sees the silver lining in the Plaxico suspension? I'm excited to how Hixon plays as the X receiver. He played extremely well in the preseason, and could add a nice dimension to the passing game. Giving him more PT should show the depth the Giants have down the stretch at WR. Thoughts?
Matt Mosley (12:13 PM)
Johnny B: You have a point. It's not like Plaxico is one of those guys who needs to practice a lot. He basically went through the entire 2007 season without practicing, so sending him home for a couple of weeks isn't going to destroy his timing with Eli Manning. I bet they're still talking on the phone. And yes, Hixon has emerged as a true threat. Manning missed him on a late bomb the other day, but I think he's going to be a nice receiver. He's already a solid return guy. Yes, this thing probably won't hurt the team as much as some people think.
SprungOnSports (Long Island)
Can the Bears stop that Eagles defensive line and get their offense in a rhythm?
Matt Mosley (12:16 PM)
Finally. I'd been waiting for an Eagles question. I like Matt Forte, but I don't think he'll have a bid day against the Eagles. For a half, the Eagles pretty much took Cowboys RB Marion Barber out of the game. They'll try to stop the running game and make the Bears one-dimensional. That's not a good place for Kyle Orton to be. The Eagles used to be pretty porous against the run, but Brod Bunkley and Mike Patterson have helped change that. Also helps that Stewart Bradley is quietly turning into a beast at MLB.
Do you think Dallas lacks leadership from the players? Someone that will hold players accountable and get in their face. It seems to me that Dallas has a bunch of lead by example, but lack that guy to light a fire. I see Keith Davis do this on special teams and seen Greg Ellis, but I think they lack that guy to say STEP YOUR GAME UP!
Matt Mosley (12:19 PM)
Chris, Emmitt Smith said exactly what you're before the Eagles game. I think some of that rah-rah stuff is overrated. Jason Witten isn't afraid to get in your face, and it doesn't seem like the offensive line needs a kick in the rear all that often. In his own way, Tony Romo can be a fiery guy. Until the Cowboys win a playoff game, we can come up with all sorts of theories. But having someone rant and raving on the sideline isn't really what this team's about. Even T.O.'s cut most of that stuff out.
Hi Matt, Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall the best duo in the league?
Matt Mosley (12:22 PM)
I'm not quite ready to say that, Ross. They've been remarkable so far this season, but let's see how it plays out over an entire season. Of course, Brady and Moss comprised the best duo before the injury. Romo and T.O. are pretty solid. And it's hard not to point to Manning-Burress. If they can turn things around, we 'll be talking about Peyton and Reggie Wayne again. Now that Marvin Harrison is slowing down, that's a stronger duo in indy
With such elite defenders like Ware and Newman, and the fact that these guys are class acts, you'd think they'd be the leaders that stand out, but amazingly they're not even Captains?
Matt Mosley (12:24 PM)
Some teams elect about eight captains. At that point, the whole thing's sort of watered down anyway. Newman's the hardest worker on the team. He doesn't need to be a captain to earn respect. Ware's the best pass-rusher in a great division. I wouldn't read anything into them not being captains. I honestly hadn't even looked to see who the captains were for the Cowboys. That's a bigger deal in college than it is in the NFL.
Who do you think is the best backup QB in the league?
Matt Mosley (12:25 PM)
Matt: (Stillwater Ok)
Do you think that Felix Jones is the best rookie running back?
Matt Mosley (12:26 PM)
Can't we wait until Week 4 to decide this? Felix has to be up there. Forte's a nice player, and I'm not ready to rule out McFadden just because he plays for a sorry franchise.
Ryon (Kenosha, WI)
Aaron Rodgers is playing better than most quarterbacks. He did good against Dallas, so I believe Green Bay can stay in the game with their offense, but with Al Harris out.. Can Tramon Williams step up?
Matt Mosley (12:28 PM)
Ryon: You ever driven into Wausau, Wis., about about 3:45 a.m.? Not much going on. Sir, Tramon Williams is a decent player. He's not as physical as Harris, but he may give you some more speed. You just won't be able to press as much. Did Rodgers play well against the Cowboys? I didn't think he was that good at all.
If you were to rank the top 5 players at each position, the Cowboys have the top 5 at K, P, WR, TE, OT, C, OG, QB, RB, LB, NT, CB....is there any team that's even close to that?
Matt Mosley (12:32 PM)
I'm not sure Jay Ratliff is considered a top-five NT. I also wonder if Marion Barber has already reached that level. He's a really good back, but I might be able to find five backs who are better. They don't have a top-five inside linebacker (Ware plays outside) and as much as this pains me to say, Mat McBriar isn't having a top-five type of year right now. Thanks for your interest, though.
Sam T. Beaumont Tx
It seems that the way to get Tony Romo to make mistakes is by consistently applying pressure to him, with Jason Taylor being out how do the skins plan on doing that, especially against a unit that hasnt let Romo feel to much pressure.
Matt Mosley (12:35 PM)
I think Greg Blache will do some interesting things with linebacker Marcus Washington to see if he can get some shots on Romo. And it wouldn't surprise me to see a couple of those corner blitzes. Maybe bring Carlos Rogers. Romo can beat the blitz. But if you can pressure him from a lot of different areas, he'll occassionally make poor decisions. The Redskins need to force at least two turnovers to win this game. Write that down somewhere and keep it handy.
Who do you think is better in the studio micheal strahan or warren sapp?
Matt Mosley (12:35 PM)
joe (new orleans)
Walter Payton was 5'10, 200 lbs. Barry Sanders was 5'8, 200 lbs. Reggie Bush is 6', 203 lbs. Why could Sanders and Payton run tough inside, and Bush is bigger and can't?
Matt Mosley (12:39 PM)
Joe, you can't simply look at size. Barry Sanders was amazingly quick and he almost never took direct shots. He had such great vision, that he could predict what defenders were going to do. I never thought Bush could even be close to that -- and he's proven me correct. Payton had speed and power. Sweetness would stiff-arm you and then drag you for a few yards. He had it all. Bush has added a lot of muscle to his frame, but that doesn't make him a powerful runner. He needs to be in space. He'll never be a great inside runner, so you need to give up on that and focus on his strengths.
Danny (Arlington, VA)
It is widely believed that the Redskins need to split their next two games on the road to have a shot in the NFC Beast. Which game are they more likely to win? Seems like they will be in danger being flat and drained in Philly after a trip to Texas Stadium...
Matt Mosley (12:41 PM)
I like their chances against Philly a lot more than against Dallas. They simply have good vibes against the Eagles. They went into the Linc last season and pulled out a win. I just think there's a confidence level they have with playing the Eagles. Yes, they beat the Cowboys in Wasington last year, but the Cowboys rested their starters.
Who is the 1st undefeated team to lose a game? Last?
Matt Mosley (12:42 PM)
Joe, I'm sorry but it's your Bills.
joe (new orleans)
well you can't get 3rd and 1 in space.
Matt Mosley (12:42 PM)
Fair point. Well, get Pierre or Deuce in there on third down if you don't trust Bush. But the man's not a power back. We knew that going in.
Eric (Hofstra University)
I know a lot is being made of the play of the Cowboys O-line, but I truly believe that the Giants have the best in the league. They are vastly underrated and the Giants have had a top rushing attack behind them for a few years now. I see the Giants winning that first matchup with Dallas because the game is won in the trenches.
Matt Mosley (12:46 PM)
Eric: I think both of those offensive lines are solid. Snee and Diehl are absolute maulers, and the Giants have done a great job of getting deals done for all the key guys. I also like O'Hara. That said, Andre Gurode is clearly the better center and Leonard Davis has become a dominating right guard. If you talk to defensive ends across the league, Flozell Adams is the guy they hate to play. He uses his long arms to control everyone and he simply engulfs defenders. Every now and then he has trouble with speed rushers. I just think the Cowboys' line is a little bit better.
Luis (SB, CA)
Matt, I sure do miss Hashmarks. You used to be good about letting us know where you were blogging from? You sneaking home nowadays? must be nice!
Matt Mosley (12:48 PM)
Luis, I miss it, too. But at least I'm covering the best division in football right now. No other division has this type interest, so it's been a pretty cool transition. Thanks for checking in.
M (McLean, VA)
Matt, you made a mistake in assuming that Cowboys rested their starters against Redskins last year. Cowboys played their starters for 3 quarters last season and rested them only when Redskins put the game out of reach. Also, Redskins almost won the first game at Dallas, and would have, if it were not for the last minute interception.
Matt Mosley (12:51 PM)
M: T.O. didn't play because he was injured, and the Cowboys were clearly trying to get through that game without any more injuries. I don't recall seeing Tony Romo in there late in the third quarter, but can we agree that they weren't at full strength. The Redskins needed the win, the Cowboys had absolutely nothing to play for. I'm just saying that we can't base anything on that game.
Of the Giants three backs Ward has been the most consistent. Even with Bradshaw left out of the mix for the most part shouldn't Ward (6.8 yds per carry) be getting more carries?
Matt Mosley (12:54 PM)
Matt: This is the same thing I'm talking to Cowboys fans about with Felix Jones. Maybe part of the reason Derrick Ward's been so efffective is the fact that he's had limited carries. He's a great change-of-pace guy to the bruising Brandon Jacobs. Just because he's put up some nice numbers, don't start calling for 12 carries per game. Ward's doing really well right now. Later in the season, Bradshaw might emerge as the complementary player.
What defense is going to have put up the most fantasy points on Sunday?
Matt Mosley (12:55 PM)
Hopefully the Bucs. That's who I have.
Steve (Syracuse, NY)
Think the Titans are going to lock down the AFC South?
Matt Mosley (12:58 PM)
Steve, I'm still not ready to say that. They have an excellent defense. And Kyle Vanden Bosch was the biggest Hashmarks fan in the league, so I'm a bit partial. That said, I'm not sure how far Kerry Collins can take you at this point in his career. He's better than Young right now, but I want to see how this thing plays out. If he was really that great of a quarterback, he wouldn't have been a backup the last few years..
is westbrook healthy?.. and if so how much should be expect from him this weekend?
Matt Mosley (1:01 PM)
Chris, Brian Westbrook is obviously not at full speed right now. I haven't talked to anyone in Philly today, but it still wouldn't shock me if he sat this one out. He's a gamer, but you'd like to see this thing fully healed before he goes back out there. And Buckhalter and Booker can get the job done for one week.
Matt, You and others cite Campbell not being worth mentioning in the same class as Manning, Romo, & Mc Nabb, yet he has a better QB rating than Manning & Mc Nabb their first 3 seasons. Campbell this dispite missing his RG & RT for most of the 2007 season. People think he's been playing years and only 2007 was his first season. I think Campbell hasn't had the same (healthy) supporting cast as the others. Do you agree?
Matt Mosley (1:05 PM)
Dwayne, I've never "cited" Campbell as not being worthy to be mentioned. He's just not there yet. Again, there's no shame in that. And yes, I know he hasnt made a ton of starts. But once you make at least 20 starts, that's enough for us to at least make some judgment. He seems to be improving, but he's not with those other guys yet. Manning has a Super Bowl, McNabb is the best quarterback in the history of the Eagles' franchise and Romo is entering his third season of puttingn up huge numbers. Right now, Campbell's in the fourth slot. No shame in that at all. In fact (name drop alert), Jason and I talked about that over the phone yesterday.
I kept reading all offseason about how awesome Booker is and how the Eagles were going to use him in tandem with Westbrook, yet 3 games into the season and he still hasn't done anything. Eagles fan will learn what we Seminole fans did, he is a waste of space.
Matt Mosley (1:07 PM)
Tom: Lorenzo Booker can be a nice complementary piece. But I don't know anyone who was expecting much more than that. He's the third running back, and the first back is one of the best in the league. OK, next week I need you guys to show up a little earlier. By the end of the hour, we were rolling. I'll try to get ESPN.com to splash it across the home page next Friday. They seem very receptive to my ideas. Talk soonest. Matt