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October 4, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with Dan Graziano

Dan Graziano
  (12:00 PM)

Shoot.

Cyrus (New York)

Dan - Is it fair to say that a big reason for the Redskins success is their O line? I look around the league and have seen some horrible line play, reminding me of the Jason Campbell/Jim Zorn days. Shanny deserves credit for sticking to his plan.

Dan Graziano
  (12:01 PM)

The Redskins' offensive line, one of their big questions entering training camp, has played extremely well as a unit. Will Montgomery has handled center beautifully, Trent Williams has taken the step forward they were hoping he'd take at left tackle and Jammal Brown has played well on the right side. Very safe to call the line a big reason for the 3-1 start.

Ian (Atl, Ga)

Romo is an easy target, but doesnt garrett need to manage him better. Reign him in and run more when needed. His offense was more balanced when Kitna played. Think its time to treat Romo like a better Kitna?? More balamced O I mean??

Dan Graziano
  (12:03 PM)

I definitely think they should run more than they do, and with all of the injuries at receiver I don't know why they haven't. But Garrett doesn't want to neuter Romo, and for good reason. The mentality that makes him great -- that allows him to make the kinds of plays and throws that helped them come back and win in Weeks 2 and 3 -- is the same mentality that leads to the errors you saw in Weeks 1 and 4. They have to take the bad with the good.

Big John (Ft. Lauderdale, FL)

At the quarter mark of the season, any preseason predictions you'd like to revise?

Dan Graziano
  (12:04 PM)

Ha. Well, it's tough to see the Eagles getting to 12 wins from here...

Yogi (Alaska)

This may seem silly, but I read an opinion recently that Jerry Jones would consider offering Austin and a 1st round pick (and whatever else it took) in order to move up to take Luck. Possibility or out of the question?

Dan Graziano
  (12:04 PM)

I wouldn't hold my breath on that one, Yogi.

Jon (Utica, NY)

Will Prince Amukamara end up having any real impact this season after he returns from his injury?

Dan Graziano
  (12:06 PM)

It's a good question, Jon. A lot of people seem to think Amukamara's "return" will be big for the Giants' defense. And while I agree it will help their secondary depth, we have to remember that it's not a "return" because he was never really there. Kid has one NFL practice under his belt, two months ago, and will be playing, as I understand it, with screws in his foot. I think they'd have to be thrilled to get any contribution at all from him this year.

Jack (Richmond, VA)

The redskins will be coming off a bye week to play the Eagles. The Eagles will be either 1-4, with desperation in their play or 2-3 and building momentum. Who is at a bigger advantage, the Redskins because of the bye week or the Eagles on emotions?

Dan Graziano
  (12:06 PM)

As much as I hate predicting games two weeks ahead of time, it's going to be hard not to like the Redskins in that one. The Eagles are in massive trouble. 1-5 at the bye is not out of the question.

Christian (Staten Island)

If Jason Peters is out, who will the Eagles plug in at Left Tackle? Will they move Todd Herramans over again?

Dan Graziano
  (12:07 PM)

It sounds like it's going to be King Dunlap for a couple of weeks at left tackle. Again, big problems in Philly.

Steve (Fairfax, VA)

Can someone acknowledge the upgrade Will Montgomery has been over Casey Rabach? That is same O-line that finished last season except for Chester. Huge difference in interior pressure cause of Will.

Dan Graziano
  (12:07 PM)

And because of Chester. They've played great.

Windover (Frederick, MD)

What are Torain's stats if he starts the whole game vs. Philadelphia?

Dan Graziano
  (12:08 PM)

125 yards, two touchdowns.

Jason (Displaced NYer in STL)

You ever chill with the Notorious Ohm?

Dan Graziano
  (12:08 PM)

Whenever I can. And this reminds me: Where are all the Giants' questions, folks? They're 3-1!

Luke M. (Newark, NJ)

Can the G-Men make the necessary adjustments in the linebacker position with the personnel they have in-house, or will they have to sign a free agent or trade for a player? On defense it is their major weakness and I don't think its a coaching/scheme problem as Coughlin alludes to.

Dan Graziano
  (12:09 PM)

They don't prioritize the position, Luke. They thing it's more important to build up on the line and in the secondary, and they're not an organization that's big on changing philosophies. I would be very surprised to see them make a move for a veteran linebacker. They like their young guys there.

Chris (Giants Land, NJ)

Dan, how much of the Giants rush defense woes have been a function of them having to worry about the deep threats posed by the Eagles and Cardinals wide receivers?

Dan Graziano
  (12:10 PM)

Interesting question, and the Giants do key on the pass because their pass rush is the strength of their defense. They do need to stop the run better -- and to run it better on offense. They can't count on a Victor Cruz-level break every week.

The Dream Team (Philly, PA)

Are we done?

Dan Graziano
  (12:11 PM)

At this point, something unforeseen will have to happen to bring the Eagles back into contention. They have squandered three games they could/should have won, and that means it's a fight from here on out. With the big injuries hitting now, I would not be hopeful.

Mark (Warrior1784) (Rochester NY)

Dan - Do you think sexy rexy will get better or worst after the bye week?

Dan Graziano
  (12:12 PM)

Well, I'll say this. I am 100 percent certain he will not throw an interception during the bye week. That's about all I can give you on Grossman predictions. Sorry.

Chad (SC)

Do you think if the eagles dont make the plaoyffs andy reid will be let go?

Dan Graziano
  (12:13 PM)

I really don't think so, Chad. I think it becomes possible if they really bottom out and lose like 11 or 12 games, but even then... he's got a lot of really good track record.

Mytee32 (DC)

How much will those Giants injuries come back to haunt them in December? That's when a team's depth is on display. They have a brutal schedule upcoming and their lack of depth due to injuries will be their Achilles heel.

Dan Graziano
  (12:14 PM)

I answer this, everybody says I hate the Giants. It's like a dance. But yeah. Add in the fact that this group of Giants has coughed up playoff hopes each of the past two Decembers and you get to this: I will believe the Giants are making the playoffs when I actually see them on the field in a playoff game, and not before.

Everyone (The East)

Dan, why do you hate the Giants? What have they ever done to you? Why do you think they are the worst team in football? Thanks.

Dan Graziano
  (12:14 PM)

See?

Jason (STL)

How do the Giants feel about Greg Jones vs. Jacquian (sp?) Williams? They seem to use the two interchangeably in their 2 LB sets, Jones vs. the run, Williams vs. the pass, no?

Dan Graziano
  (12:15 PM)

Yeah, I think you've got it. Jones is a little undersized. They love the way he plays, but I don't know that he's really a starting linebacker at this level over the long haul.

Mytee32 (DC)

Dan, after one quarter is in the bank, care to give us your revised order of finish for the NFC bEast?

Dan Graziano
  (12:15 PM)

No.

John Beck (DC)

Is my turn coming up soon?

Dan Graziano
  (12:15 PM)

Not unless they start losing games.

Mike Shanahan (DC)

How much harder do I make your job when I tease with the media about my running back situation?

Dan Graziano
  (12:16 PM)

My job? Nah. Now, if I were Matthew Berry or Eric Karabell...

Dave (Charlotte Hall, Md)

Is Kerrigan the front runner for DROY?

Dan Graziano
  (12:16 PM)

Yes, I would say that, on Oct. 4, the guy who was Defensive Rookie of the Month for September is the front-runner for Defensive Rookie of the Year. Kerrigan's in exactly the right situation from which to win that award.

Chris (NJ)

Hey Dan, stop hating The G-Men!! j/k Do you like The Eagles chances in Buffalo this week? Thanks!

Dan Graziano
  (12:17 PM)

I don't, Chris. I don't see how they're going to stop that Bills offense, especially with Cole out. Their best hope will be to outscore Buffalo, which they can do, but it's hard to pick a road team to win when you don't think they can stop the home team from moving the ball.

HogBrew (Austin)

Alright self-proclaimed "baseball enthusiast", can we get a few thoughts on the Division Series so far?

Dan Graziano
  (12:19 PM)

Oh absolutely. I think the Yankees are cooked, I think the Rays extend it to Game 5, I don't think the Cardinals have the pitching to ultimately beat the Phillies, and I'm fascinated to see if the Diamondbacks pick things up now that they're back home. Arizona had a ton of comeback wins this year and needs to summon some of that magic and right quick. Oh, and Justin Verlander is a stud.

Jeremy (NYC)

Dan, do you see Cruz overtaking Manningham as the WR2 as the season goes on? Does it really matter?. Thanks

Dan Graziano
  (12:20 PM)

I don't think it matters, Jeremy. What matters is that Cruz looks like a guy who's gaining Manning's trust, which would make three guys, which is better than two and was Manning's main concern going into the season. I don't know that it ultimately matters much where they all line up.

B (NC)

Giants fans don't like you, Dan.

Dan Graziano
  (12:20 PM)

So I have heard.

ctswartz2000 (DFW)

Where is the biggest need for improvement with the Cowboys?

Dan Graziano
  (12:20 PM)

Late-game interceptions. They need to do better there.

Chad (PA)

Dan can you please pick the giants to loose every game the rest of the year because i love to read all the hate mail you get from these emotional giants fans!

Dan Graziano
  (12:21 PM)

Chad, they have Seattle at home this week...

josh (rochester)

dan get the auto update to work please

Dan Graziano
  (12:21 PM)

I'll go get my socket wrench.

Jim Washburn (Philly)

Why does everyone assume I would be a better DC than Juan? I've never done it before either and my wide-nine scheme contributes significantly to our problems against the run. Thoughts?

Dan Graziano
  (12:23 PM)

Yeah, this is a big point people miss. If you want Castillo out, you have to tell me who replaces him. If there were somebody out there Reid liked better for the job, he'd have hired him in January. Four games is too soon to make that sweeping a conclusion about a guy. What if they win their next seven and the defense looks great? Does that mean we were all wrong about these four?

josh (rochester)

thanks dan and as a giants fan i don't think you hate them they just have given you no reason to believe they can maintain this

Dan Graziano
  (12:23 PM)

Dear god! Sense? You make too much sense, man. What are you doing in my chat? You should be chatting with Keith Law or someone like that.

Rex Grossman (DC)

Ever watched me in a press conference? It's painful. Someone needs to sign me up for some public speaking classes.

Dan Graziano
  (12:24 PM)

Right? I mean, you're a quarterback, dude! Show some personality.

William (NYC)

Do you think the Giants' inability to run the ball has to do with the O-line, or are the runners not as good as we thought? Or are teams simply stacking the box and trying to force Eli into beating them?

Dan Graziano
  (12:25 PM)

I think it has a lot to do with the line. There have been communication issues on the interior all year, especially with that Diehl/Baas combo. And Beatty is locked in on pass protection. The line's had some good and some bad, but they need more consistency in the middle of it if they're going to run the ball better. There's nothing wrong with their running backs.

Weech (Cali)

Dan, what's your evaluation of Nnamdi thus far? And do you think he turns it around enough to make a positive impact on the Eagles?

Dan Graziano
  (12:25 PM)

Very disappointing so far, and yes, I do.

CowboysFanForLife1 (AZ)

When will Cowboys wake up and get a new starting QB?

Dan Graziano
  (12:26 PM)

Yeah, they should get the guy they had in Weeks 2 and 3.

Dave (IN)

Looks like your socket wrench worked... Thanks!

Dan Graziano
  (12:26 PM)

I watched a lot of "Bob the Builder" from 2004-08. Really had an impact.

Steinzy (Australia)

Dan, do you see Aaron Ross continuing to improve as the season moves on.

Dan Graziano
  (12:28 PM)

I think Ross has played fine, I really do. He has his moments, and they can be costly, but for the most part he's covered his man well and made some plays. Whether he maintains it remains a question. Is he really good enough to be an every-week starter, or will he get exposed if they expect him to be that the rest of the way? I cannot answer that.

Weech (Cali)

If you wanna step your game up, you'd graduate to Handy Manny

Dan Graziano
  (12:28 PM)

We're pretty much at the SpongeBob and Star Wars stage now. Lot of good that does me. When am I going to need to use a light saber?

cowboynfceast (philadelphia)

Dan, is FJ a starting RB?

Dan Graziano
  (12:30 PM)

Do you refer to Fred Jackson of the Buffalo Bills, who ranks fourth in the league in rushing yards this season? Oh yes, and he's currently watching Eagles film and licking his chops.

Jason (STL)

Dan, you answer a disproportionately large amount of questions that start with "Dan,".

Dan Graziano
  (12:31 PM)

Good call. Next week, I will only answer questions that start with "Jason,"

Dan (NJ)

What do the NYG have to improve most on to be in contention for the playoffs?

Dan Graziano
  (12:32 PM)

I really think it's the running game. Other than against the Eagles, on whom everyone runs, where's it been?

Jason (STL)

Felix Jones (FJ)

Dan Graziano
  (12:32 PM)

Oh. Sorry. I don't think he holds up well enough physically to really be a starter for a full year.

CJ (VA)

Dan,Why do you think Tony Romo has only targeted Dez Bryant 4 & 5 times in the last 2 games when Dez catches pretty much every pass thrown to him

Dan Graziano
  (12:32 PM)

Because Dez is hurt, and not running well. They need to pick their spots with him.

Tim VB (Arlington)

So Shanahan pulled a Shanahan on Sunday and we got the Ryan Torrain show. I dare you to try and speculate on the Skins RB pecking order.

Dan Graziano
  (12:33 PM)

I understand all of the history of Shanahan flip-flopping, of Torain's injuries and of Hightower as a passing game asset. But the way Torain ran the ball Sunday, I give it right back to him.

Mike (San Diego)

Jason, what's the outlook for Shady this week? How's the Bills run defense looking this year?

Dan Graziano
  (12:35 PM)

Bills have the eighth-worst run defense in the league, allowing 129.5 rush yards per game. It's there for McCoy if they want to give it to him. But he needs the ball if he wants to gain yards, and for some reason Sunday they refused to hand it to him.

Pink (Seattle)

True of Flase: Dez has more talent than Austin, but Austin is the better WR.

Dan Graziano
  (12:35 PM)

True.

Jay (Kalamazoo)

Do you see the east sort of "beating each other up" and ending with a 10-6 division winner and maybe a couple 9-7's and not getting one of the wild cards?

Dan Graziano
  (12:36 PM)

Yeah, I do. The Eagles were the one team that looked capable of running away with it if they played to their talent level, but after this start, the best they can hope is to outslug everyone.

Big John (Ft. Lauderdale, FL)

Article idea.. If you could take one player from any NFC East team and put him on another NFC East team which player/team combo would have the most impact? Example, London Fletcher on the Eagles transforms their LB corp. Eli Manning on the Redskins gives them legitimacy at QB.. Do one for each team..

Dan Graziano
  (12:38 PM)

I like it. I like your two picks, and I'd give the Cowboys Brandon Jacobs (and make them use him!) and the Giants Sean Lee.

Dan (Washington, DC)

Ware/Spencer or Orakpo/Kerrigan?

Dan Graziano
  (12:39 PM)

It's still Ware/Spencer right now, but that young duo in Washington is scary and only getting better.

Buddy (Peoria, IL)

The Eagles will knock off the Bills this weekend and get things back on track.

Dan Graziano
  (12:39 PM)

Anything's possible.

Caz (Dallas)

I feel like Romo gets treated unfairly just because he plays for Dallas. If he were the QB for the Ravens or the Jets I feel like those teams would amazing.

Dan Graziano
  (12:40 PM)

I see where you're coming from and basically agree. But the INTs wouldn't play great in NY either.

Adam (Ridgewood, NJ)

Hey Dan -- Andy Reid recently stuck by his staff and said there will be no coaching changes. If they ride a 1-5 record into the bye week, do you still think that will be the case?

Dan Graziano
  (12:41 PM)

I do, neighbor. And I'm thinking about Smith Brothers or The Office tonight to watch the Yankee game. You in?

TJ (Philly)

Dan why do you even make weekly game predictions? You went 1-3 this week and haven't really gone out on a limb with any of your picks (Besides arizona beating the giants this week). You stink! Give it up!

Dan Graziano
  (12:42 PM)

Well, I do it because it's fun, and generates discussion on the blog. But yeah, if I got too caught up in it, I'd get depressed. 1-5 the past two weeks, and all 5 teams that lost had fourth-quarter leads. You'd think one of those would come in for me, no? Maybe two?

jeremy (ohio)

in your honest opinion can the redskins make the playoffs based on what you have seen so far?

Dan Graziano
  (12:43 PM)

Of course. Why would you not think so?

Will (Philadelphia)

Why does no one mention the fact that the "Dream Team" talk was started by Vince Young, who has yet to play a down? Can we hear some criticism of him please?

Dan Graziano
  (12:43 PM)

Sure. Here you go: Young shouldn't have said that.

Chris (NC)

Santana Moss quietly goes about his business and will probably have 1100 yards and 7-9 TDs. Will he ever get consideration for the All-Division Team?

Dan Graziano
  (12:43 PM)

Well, he always gets CONSIDERATION, of course. He just hasn't made the top two yet. Haven't crunched this week's numbers yet, but he'll surely be considered, as always. Big Santana Moss fan here.

Chris (Giants Land, NJ)

Dan, you seem somewhat subdued and less fun loving. Whats the deal?

Dan Graziano
  (12:44 PM)

Been a few weeks since I played golf. I think that may be it.

Michael (MD)

My "x" factor about Rex's mediocre play is his ability to spread the ball out, is this a big thing to you?

Dan Graziano
  (12:45 PM)

Well, it's part of what the Shanahans like about him -- that he's willing to work within their system, which encourages that. So in that respect, it's one of the things that will help him hold onto the job.

shanard (utah)

Dan, jus a curious question how would david garrad look in our offense..

Dan Graziano
  (12:45 PM)

Whose offense? Utah's? Pretty good, I'd think.

Dave (CT)

Is Hakeem Nicks the stud of the NFC East now?

Dan Graziano
  (12:46 PM)

I absolutely love Nicks. I think he's clearly the best WR in the division right now. Total package -- physical ability plus work ethic. Really treats the receiver position as a craft. Lives in the film room. Nothing not to like about Nicks. Sky's the limit.

Kyle (MA)

Eli played well... that needs to be said

Dan Graziano
  (12:47 PM)

Well done.

Keith (NYC)

If you were the Giants, would you give a 6th or a 7th for Curry?

Dan Graziano
  (12:47 PM)

Yeah, but the Giants won't.

Dave (CT)

BTW, I'm a GIANTS fan and I appreciate your unbiased opinions.

Dan Graziano
  (12:47 PM)

Take THAT, all of the rest of you!!! ;-)

Dan (New York)

Any updates on David Baas who suffered a stinger in the giants last game?

Dan Graziano
  (12:48 PM)

I think he's up in the air for this week. Should have news on that tomorrow. I think I'm going to go over there and gather some stuff for my Thursday column, since I'm going to be with the Eagles again on Sunday.

Dan (Washington DC)

The difference between Eli and Rex is Hakeem Nicks.

Dan Graziano
  (12:48 PM)

No. There's more difference.

Jeff (Coral Gables, FL)

Is this the week Eli finally makes your All NFC East team? Also, last game Eli proved again how he is a big time quarterback. Throwing 2 tds in 58 seconds is darn impressive. Eli thrives in the no huddle offense. Why does not Gildbride let Eli do the no huddle more often?

Dan Graziano
  (12:49 PM)

Again, that team isn't set yet, but my guess is he has to be the guy, right? Anyway, that post goes up tomorrow.

Weech (Cali Forney Way)

Dan, I think Dave (CT) meant San Francisco Giants. You're still the goat ;-)

Dan Graziano
  (12:49 PM)

Rats! I was almost out.

Will (Philadelphia)

Dan, I believe you don't get enough credit for being truly unbiased in coverage, nice to see that on this blog for a change. Not that they will, but who do you think the Birds could bring in to help at DE while Cole's out or to shore up the LB corp?

Dan Graziano
  (12:51 PM)

Nah, they're stuck. They did sign Derek Landri today, who's a DT and could help (a) replace Dixon and (b) let Jenkins play DE if they need to play him out there. Also, sounds like Tapp is getting close to returning.

Splooz (DC)

What song would you like to see replace Hank at the beginning of MNF?

Dan Graziano
  (12:51 PM)

"Badlands"

Weech (Cali Forney Way)

Dan, were you as surprised as I was to see Dallas O Line bounce back? Namely Doug Free. Detroit came in with Suh and he was very forgettable in that game.

Dan Graziano
  (12:52 PM)

Yeah, Free's best game of the year. And Tyron Smith was unbelievable for 59 minutes. Sad that he'll remember that game for the sack he gave up at the end. He's been playing great.

Caz (Dallas)

Do you see Laurent Robinson making much of an impact when Miles is healthy?

Dan Graziano
  (12:52 PM)

No.

Dan Graziano
  (12:52 PM)

No.

Jason (STL)

Do the Giants sign a big time free agent anytime in the next 15 years? Or will Antrel Rolle go down as the one uncharacteristic signing ever?

Dan Graziano
  (12:54 PM)

15 years??? Yes. I think, at some point before Jerry Reese turns 63, John Mara turns 72 and Tom Coughlin turns 80 they will make another signing. Sheesh, I gotta predict 15 years out now. Come on, people.

Mytee32 (DC)

Who's the scariest defender in the East?

Dan Graziano
  (12:55 PM)

Ware.

Joe (NYC)

Do you think Jerry has called about a certain QB in Cinncinnati??

Dan Graziano
  (12:55 PM)

No.

Mo (Waiting in your frontyard)

I saw you need some golfing time...I go with ya...you're paying though.

Dan Graziano
  (12:55 PM)

Deal. I'll be free in five minutes.

Dave (NJ)

Dan, Why has Steve Smith not been more of a part of the offensive plays in Philly?

Dan Graziano
  (12:56 PM)

He's the fourth option in the passing game, at best. He's not all the way healthy, I don't think. And the Eagles, in case you hadn't heard, are a mess. Sunday was the first game in which the passing game looked any good at all.

oldskooler (nyc)

AJ gets the win tonight in Detroit?

Dan Graziano
  (12:56 PM)

No, I think if the Yankees win, a reliever will get the win. But enough baseball!

Jay (Kalamazoo)

What are you more surprised by so far based on your preseason expectations: Philly 1-3 or Washington 3-1?

Dan Graziano
  (12:57 PM)

Philly, by phar.

____ Team (?)

Do you think he will lead us to beat them in that game?

Dan Graziano
  (12:57 PM)

Yes.

Cornell (NC)

Thoughts on the updated power rankings?

Dan Graziano
  (12:57 PM)

I think my thoughts on those will hit the blog at 1:30. Spoiler: I feel like 10 is a little high for Big Blue.

Weech (Cali Forney Way)

Buzzerbeater: favorite Modern Family character? You're dead to me if you don't say Phil

Dan Graziano
  (1:00 PM)

I mean, how can it not be Gloria? For so many reasons...

Sammy (NY)

When will Eli finally get constant respect?

Dan Graziano
  (1:02 PM)

When he wins every single game. Ain't you paying attention, Sammy? Everyone's opinion changes every week in this league? Romo was a god last week and now he's a loser again. Eli was useless after Week 1 and now he's great. It's possible we all need to stop reacting to every single week so strongly.

Dan Graziano
  (1:02 PM)

Now, that said, go read the new Power Rankings. I'm out!