Good day to you all. Go easy. I'm not what you would describe as "sufficiently rested."
Is DeSean Jackson playing himself out of a franchise tag next year? Do you think it's intentional?
I think it's very difficult and risky to accuse a professional athlete of intentionally playing poorly for off-field reasons. I would never do that, and I do not believe DeSean Jackson is deliberately tanking his season to avoid the franchise designation. However, the fact is, he's not performing at the level of the contract he seeks, and since I never thought they intended to give him that contract in the first place, he has injured his case severely.
Do you think the Giants should do a better job of splitting the carries between Jacobs and Bradshaw when he gets back, and even after he his healthy? Jacobs looked good Sunday and the Giants have been effective in previous year employing this scheme.
I don't think they have a choice. As I understand it, Bradshaw will be limited. They are fortunate to have two backs of that quality, and they're take advantage of their depth, as they should.
You've been doubting the Giants all year, while claiming the Eagles have the talent to win the division. How has your perception of these two teams changed over the past couple of weeks?
Been a bit of a roller-coaster, sure. After last week, Eagles looked like gangbusters. This week, not so much. I try not to let my opinion change too drastically from week to week, so I'll say that the first nine weeks of the season has changed my perception and made me think the Giants are more likely to win.
You had made a comment in one of your threads that you don't understand why fans would ever boo their own team, except in a situation where they exemplified a lack of effort. Does the effort displayed by the Eagles last night qualify?
No. Do you think they weren't trying?
As a Giants fan I can't help but feel Eli and Co. will have a let down game against the 49ers. Can you put my mind at ease? What are your thoughts on that matchup, who has the advantages and in which categories?
Well, first of all, Matty, predictions come out on Fridays. Second of all, the Giants wouldn't need a "letdown game" to lose on the road to a 7-1 team. There would be no shame in a loss like that. That said, I haven't really sized up the matchup. They'll need to stop Frank Gore, and they've had trouble stopping the run. But it's way too early for me to make a pick there. Friday.
Do you think Shanahan is playing Beck out because he knows what Grossman will give him, and does he have his eye on anyone in particular in the draft?
I think he believes Beck gives him a better chance to win games than Grossman does at this point. As for the draft, I don't know who he likes. I'm sure he likes Luck, as everyone does, but he's not going to be able to get him.
Has Castillo improved at all as our D-Coord since Week 1? I don't see him making any adjustments as games progress.
Not sure that's fair. They bottled up Forte pretty well after that first drive.
I think I'm in denial. Trying to convince myself that the giants lose to the 49ers and the birds beat the cards so if the eagles win up at the new meadowlands Philly will only be a game back. Too far fetched?
In this crazy league? Nothing's too farfetched. But my predictions for those games will come out on the next two Fridays.
Turn the auto update ON
I don't even know what you mean.
Thanks for answering my question Dan, do you have the ability to turn the auto-update on for this page?
I do not. We can only hope a moderator is watching and hears your pleas.
does sean lee really mean that much to the cowboys d? since he has went out it seems they are not very good against the run your thoughts
Oh yeah. I think he was vital to what they were doing on defense. He really took to Ryan's deception-based scheme, and his ability to move around and make plays in it was a critical element to their early success. They need him back or they're in big trouble.
NOOOOOOOOO!!!!! As soon as the media starts giving the Giants credit they will stop playing with a chip on their shoulder!!! Their season is doomed!!!!
If that's true, then they're not the team they have so far appeared to be. I think the Giants have used outside perception as motivation to a certain degree this year, but I think it's a minuscule part of their mindset.
Dan do you want to make an avatar bet with me?If the giants win the division and finish with top 10 record in the NFL you have to change your avatar to a picture of a pineapple.Name your stakes, lol:
Done. I said it, and I'll own it.
With the Giants worst part of their schedule coming up (@SF,PHI,@NO,GB) and the Cowboys easiest (BUF, @WAS,MIA,@ARI), could their Week 14 matchup be for the lead in the East?
Sure. Lots of things can still happen. Half a season still to go. But the Giants are going to be tough to catch. I'll tell you what -- I'll predict the outcomes of those games on each of the next four Fridays.
What are your thoughts on Dallas the rest of the way? They have the easiest schedule of the NFC East teams.
And two head-to-heads with the Giants. It's there for them if they want it. Question is whether they're good enough to take it.
Dan, you are ingoring my Fred questions. Who have a better game Fred or DeMarco?
I like everything about Fred. I'll say him.
Completely under the radar this week: The Giants run defense. They let up the least amount of yards (106) since week 2 vs. the Rams. The law firm sure isn't a premier runner in the NFL, but are things trending upwards for this run defense?
Perhaps. I thought Canty was a huge factor. We'll see. Gore is a much tougher test.
I submit 10 legit questions every week, and you have yet to answer a single one. What does it take to get a question on here? Say Giants suck maybe?
Is this one of the 10? Or some sort of rogue, non-legit 11th question?
Can we expect to see Rolle playing the majority of slot receivers for the rest of the season? Whenever Prince does return, he hasn't been acclimated to the speed of the NFL game heading into the tougher part of the schedule where teams' receiving corps are deeper.
No, I think the plan is to move Rolle back to safety full-time when Prince returns. I don't think that necessarily means Prince exclusively plays the slot receiver, but I think they'll keep their corners at corner and their safeties at safety, because that's where everyone's most comfortable and productive.
Sounds like Felix Jones will be healthy enough to play this Sunday for the 'boys. I really hope he goes back into his backup role and plays as the Cowboys x-factor "gadget" play guy. Murray deserves to keep starting. Thoughts?
I think Murray will get the majority of the touches in the short term at least. But it'd be a mistake to relegate Jones to a strict backup role. There are plays for him, and they should use them.
If the Eagles continue to have a mediocre season, do you think Andy Reid will lose his job?
No I do not.
Why are the Giants better at picking undrafted free agents than regular draft picks? Does any team have more undrafted FA contributors than the Giants?
I do not agree with the way the Giants draft, as I have stated here many times. But they do a good job with those undrafteds. I think it says a lot about their coaching staff -- the ability to develop guys in whom other people didn't see much.
Why a pineapple, I wonder? I'd have had you change your avatar to a picture of Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny, since you said you believed in them as much as you believed in the Giants as a top 10 team.
Good point, but pineapple was first. Long way to go yet.
Can the boys stop fred jackson this week? Will it ake sean lee playing to do so?
They will need Lee back if they want to control Jackson.
Whats your opinion on vick do you think hes takin to much critism or is the problem with the eagles defense ?
I thought last night was his first not-great game in a while, no? He's played fine. They're all out of sync, and they shrivel up in crunch time.
Dan, what do you think the Giants need to improve the most to continue to win this season?
Run the ball on offense, stop the run on defense.
What other QB's are available in the draft, other than luck, that shanny will look at? There is no way he enters next season with beck/grossman as his starter
Lots of QB talent in next year's draft. My second-favorite guy after Luck is Matt Barkley from USC. Landry Jones from Oklahoma gets a lot of love too. Will be a matter of Shanahan's opinion, but he'll have plenty from which to choose.
Dan, do you think the Redskins have thrown in the towel on the 2011 season by beginning to start inexperienced rookies in key positions on offense? We started a rookie RB, WR, and LG against SF.
Abdul, it was always going to be the second year of a rebuilding project in Washington. And who's to say Helu isn't the best back they have? They'd been shut out the week before. I can't fault a coach for changing offensive starters after a shutout.
Dan, what happens if you win the bet?
Nothing. I'm not the I-told-you-so sort. I put the pineapple thing out there. Nobody made me do it.
Dan, I'm intrigued by your comment and I haven't read your thoughts on this before, but can you give a brief explanation of why you don't like the Giants draft strategies?I'll admit, I've been asking for them to take a first round LB for a few years now, but it's hard to argue with taking the best player available (i.e. JPP, Prince)
In a nutshell, I think sometimes you have to draft for need over value -- even if it's only once or twice a draft. The Giants refuse to consider the concept. They ALWAYS take the highest-ranked guy at the spot where they're picking. That's why I hesitate to credit Reese for a good draft. All he does is look at the list his scouts gave him and take the highest-ranked guy who isn't crossed off yet.
It appears as though the Redskins cut Donte Stallworth. Should I knock the dust off of the ol' Sign TO banner?
I don't see it happening, Einy.
Dan, still a little time left for you to change your 8-8 prediction for the Gmen. Are you ready, or are you holding firm that they will go 2-6 the rest of the way?
I'll stick with all of my predictions until the math requires them to be changed. So far, Eagles 12-4 is the only one to which that pertains.
The Eagles (16) are ranked above the Chargers (17) and Buccs (18) in this weeks power rankings, do you think this is a fair placement?
The Power Rankings are out already??? Why do they insist on releasing them during my award-winning chats??? I need to find out what's going on. Be right back.
OK I'm back.
please please please call jason garrett and tell him to cut martellus bennett. i just can't watch the guy on the field anymore. roll with 52 players if you can't find a replacement, he's THAT bad especially considering his size...
Garrett's not answering. Straight to voice mail.
This past offseason the Giant's signed Kiwi to a 2 year, $8 mil deal coming off the injury last year. That is looking like a steal right now. Between that deal, letting Boss and Smith walk, and simply promoting Cruz and Ballard, it has turned out to be a great offseason for Reese, right?
Bah. I don't buy that. He didn't do anything, and he definitely didn't see Ballard coming. They were all talking up Travis Beckum. I give Eli Manning and Tom Coughlin and the coaching staff more credit for Ballard and Cruz than I give to Reese. He sat on his hands and it's worked out. No awards for that.
Do you see the Eagles finding away to turn this season around?
It's getting harder and harder to see, Chris. They don't seem to have a lot of heart. They've let too many games slip away, and they've lost to all the teams they're going to need to catch.
hey dan, what do you think the chances are that eli gets some MVP votes?
As of now, Aaron Rodgers will get all of the MVP votes and should. But if he comes back to the pack and Eli keeps winning games in the fourth quarter, sure.
Do Redskins fans seem unrealisticly upset about this season? We've been calling for patience and wanting to go younger. Now we have gone young and experiencing growing pains and everyone wants to get rid of the coach! What gives?
On a serious note - how do you choose what questions you are going to answer? How are they filtered to you?
They just come in a long, numbered list -- newest one on top. I scroll down quickly and if something jumps out, I post it. People ask "Why do you take multiple questions from so-and-so and never take mine?" But the fact is, I rarely even look at the name of the questioner. Just the question itself. We've had chats where we've had 800 questions in an hour.
Dan,Follow up to Abdul's question.If those top 3 are gone (50-50 odds on that), who's the #4 for Shanahan. Ryan Tannehill and Robert Griffin III get a lot of noise right now.Or do the Skins simply try and grab someone from an embattled team? I could see both Chad Henne and Kyle Orton either being let go or traded for pennies. Do we try for either of them?
It's a matter of Shanahan's opinion. I don't know which of those guys he likes. I do know he likes Orton a little bit, but my guess is he tries to find a franchise guy in a deep QB draft.
Please pick against the Giants. They need every win they can get with this schedule.
Oh you're going to be so nervous until the picks come out Friday, aren't you!
Why does the Cowboys O struggle so much without Miles?
Dan, why are you refusing to give Reese ANY credit whatsoever? After all, he is the one who's assembled this roster, and you've gotta give him credit for assembling enough depth at key positions where they can survive multiple injuries (i.e. cornerback, defensive line, wr, ol)
OK, I seem to have lost the ability to post your questions.
I don't know what's going on. Technical issues.
Tom, you're right. Reese deserves that credit, and I don't deny it. I was asked specifically about (a) his draft strategy and (b) his inactivity this past offseason. On those two points, I feel he deserves criticism. But you're right about where credit is, in fact, due, and I have no problem giving it.
Is it ironic that after having beat down the Cowboys, the Eagles were beaten at home by a Bears team that was full of ex-Cowboys with Hurd, Barber and Williams?
That is, in fact, ironic.
I don't understand all the MVP love for Aaron Rodgers. Don't get me wrong, he's playing brilliant ball, but he also has a hugely talented team around him. Shouldn't the MVP award go to someone like Eli who has had to win against extreme adversity and injuries around him?
Alex, come on. Look at the numbers. Rodgers is on pace for the best QB season in the history of the league. There's no one playing the position better right now, and the numbers say it's possible no one ever has.
Cruz and Ballard are playing way above expectations. Does the combination of Nicks, Manningham, Cruz, Ballars and Manning have the potential to create one of the best passing attacks in the league?
I think Orakpo took it personally that you demoted him from the All-NFC East Team...don't you?
Don't know. I didn't see him when I was playing chess in the park with the GEICO caveman.
dan the guys in the comments below are ripping youa gain. jeez you can't catch a break, you're like romo weeks 1 thru 5, how does it feel
Part of the job, mark. Part of the job.
is it to unrealistic to say that Steve Weatherford was the most important Giants signing (other than re-signings) after what he did Sunday?
No, I do not think it's unrealistic at all. He's made a huge difference in a critical area.
most VALUABLE player. Not BEST player. The argument can be made Eli is more valuable to his team than Rodgers, especially considering his 4th quarter QBR and comebacks.
It could, and I mean, don't get me wrong. I wrote a whole 800-word column a week ago saying Eli should be in the MVP conversation. (You do read my blog, right?) But more often than not, the best player is, in fact, the most valuable one.
You defend yourself to not be an "Eagles Fan" or a "Giants hater" but do you at least admit that season to date you've been "higher" on the Eagels than the Giants coming up with reasons to pump up one while diminishing the accomplishments of the other?
I was higher on the Eagles going into the season, sure. And I still have doubts about the sustainability of what the Giants are doing. But the mistake people make is thinking that I have some ulterior reason for writing what I write -- as though the only motivation for writing something negative about the Giants could be that I don't like them. I like the Giants just fine. Very cool people in that building, in fact. My analysis has nothing to do with any preconceived or preexisting biases. People assume it must, because they are fans and that's how they view sports -- from biased perspectives. But I promise you it's possible to view sports from an unbiased perspective.
Im going to the Miami and Washington game next week. What are the chances Hankerson has a great homecoming? I think Beck will be motivated to play well as well since this team gave up on him.
I like Hankerson, and your point on Beck is interesting. The Redskins will not lose all of the rest of their games, I promise, and this week's surely looks like a chance to stop the streak. Of course, I can't really make a prediction until Friday.
"They ALWAYS take the highest-ranked guy at the spot where they're picking. That's why I hesitate to credit Reese for a good draft. All he does is look at the list his scouts gave him and take the highest-ranked guy who isn't crossed off yet." Do you have an inside info to confirm this or are just blasting him again with no proof? I mean this was the guy in charge of a draft which produced several players who contributed as rookies (Ahmad, Boss, Steve Smith) to a Super Bowl title in 2007 and came from the player development side of the franchise before taking on the role as GM.
No, I have inside info. I've talked to a lot of people over the past three years about the Giants' draft strategy. That's how they do it. They believe it's the best way, and there are plenty of examples (some of which you have cited here) of it working for them. Just because I disagree doesn't mean I'm write and Reese is wrong. But I was asked for my opinion.
I have a question about Thursday games. Does the new CBA require that Tuesday be an 'off' day regardless of when the game is being played?
I do not believe so, no, but it's worth checking into. I think they just have to have one a week.
Breaking: Penn State Said to be Planning Paterno's Exit (NYTimes) -- Your thoughts?
Sad, ugly story, but I think he has to go, yes.
Giant's drafting theory retort.Dan, I appreciate your coverage of the NFC East, and, in particular, you're appraisal of the quality of our coaching staff. However, you have criticized my drafting 'best player available' versus need. Two drafts ago, I took a raw D-end named JPP in the first round, and everyone cried "Jerry, we're loaded at D-end and he's a project! We need a backer!" JPP is now third in the league in sacks and has allows the Giants D to weather injuries to both tuck and Osi. How can you argue against this? You seem to advocate that listening to one's scouts and trusting their evaluations is a cop-out for an NFL GM. I hired those men, and I trust them. We've had success. Isn't that my job?Thanks again.
It's not a cop-out, it's a choice he makes. And honestly, if you're not a talent evaluator, it's the right choice. I just think there are times when it would make sense to make a need pick instead of a pure value one, and I disagree with absolutely never, ever doing that. But again, difference of opinion is all.
What should the Giants' defensive gameplan be against the 49ers offensive? Should they focus more on stopping Frank Gore, or apply some pressure on Alex Smith and force him into some mistakes?
You've got to lean on your strengths. The Giants pressure QBs. Their whole defense works off of that. That's what they'll do.
Garrett gets a lot of flack for play calling, but I think his first problem is game management. He just does not have a grasp of using time outs or challenges or picking up the flow of a game. Your thoughts,
He's been a head coach for 16 games. It's to be expected. I imagine he'll get better at that and many other things.
Is it a fair assesment to say Mike Shanahan has been a failure so far? I understand it takes time to rebuild be to date with a more talented roster he has a worse record than Zorn.
I do not think it's fair to assess a head coach on 24 games.
Re: Reese. That seems a little unfair. GM's get crushed when they sign high priced FA's who don't work out. Reese's decision's to let Boss and Smith walk, rather than give them more money than they were worth, should be applauded.
A fair perspective.
Let's just do this all day... cool?
I do enjoy this, but I'm going to lunch with my wife and son. Which I enjoy more. No offense.
Giants locker room video from Sunday reminded me of the one we saw when they played Miami in London in 2007. Seems like the guys in that locker room have bought into Coughlin's approach and we could be on our way to seeing something special.
They do have that feel about them, don't they? They just find a way to win. And they do seem to rally around that grouchy old man.
Hey Dan! As a fan, what aspect of the Jets' W Sunday were you most impressed with?
Which players from each team are the most fun to interview/nicest? Matt Moseley always talked about how fun tuck was to talk to
Tuck is a blast, absolutely. Nnamdi Asomugha is a thoughtful, intelligent guy and a pleasure to talk to. The Redskins have a lot of guys -- Fletcher, Cofield, Orakpo, Moss, the list goes on -- who are great interviews. Jason Witten in Dallas. This isn't meant as a comprehensive list -- just the guys who jumped to mind. As a general rule, too, offensive linemen very often give the best interviews.
I'm out, Dan. Gotta say though, your ability to be just 'one of us' is unparalleled. One of the best analysts I've ever followed. Keep it up, man.
Sometimes I post these just in case my bosses are reading. Thanks, Travis!
Has Eli finally proved he is an elite quarterback in your eyes?
As I've said before, I never understood what people didn't like about Eli.
Are the Eagles chances 'All Dead' or just 'Mostly dead'?
Mostly dead. With all dead, there's only one thing you can do. Go through their clothes and look for loose change.
Why do I have a starting position?
Lack of competition?
Thanks for taking my previous question, and thank you for the thoughtful reply. Regardless of what the commenters spew forth, know that the overwhelming (and sometimes silent) majority of your readership appreciates the quality work you put in.Now for a question: IF the giants put 8 in the box in their base D this week to try and contain gore (assuming SF doesn't come out in a 3 WR set), is Alex Smith good enough to make us pay in man to man ? how do you think V. Davis and Crabtree matchup with our secondary in a man scenario?Thanks again for taking both of my questions.
Corey Webster has been able to handle very good receivers in one-on-one coverage this year, and I think they'll put him on either Davis or Crabtree (most likely Davis) and he'll shut down his man again. If the Niners have to throw all day, the Giants will be happy about that.
if "MVP" is to be taken literally, peyton manning wins in a landslide.
Well, no. Taken literally, it includes the word "player." And Manning has not "played."
Do you think Tom Coughlin has a chance at Coach of the Year? Also, since keep comparing Eli to his season last year, do you think he would be a good candidate for Comeback of the Year?
Yes on Coughlin. Doubt it on Eli. There really was only one bad number on his stat line last year.
A lot of people at the beginning of the season said that this was a make or break year for Tony Romo. Do you agree with that, and if so, is he still on the hot seat?
I do not and never did agree with that.
How would you rate Hankerson's performance Sunday? A good reciever for the future? He has that big body that the Reskins desperately need on the field. I love Moss, but much better suited for a slot than a #1 spot.
Yeah, lots of raw talent there. Has had some issues holding onto the ball, and those need to be fixed, but they didn't come up Sunday. They could coach him into something very good, potentially.
why does the Cowboys O struggle without Miles?
Because he's a really good player.
Steve Weatherford just has to be on your all-NFC East team this week. When does that come out?
Wednesday! And I haven't looked at it yet, but Weatherford is making a strong push for sure.
How come JPP and Cruz aren't on the pro bowl ballot; Cruz isn't good enough, but deserves recognition. Also JPP is playing DE as well as anyone now and is quite possible a top 3 DE in the NFC
I do not know how the Pro Bowl ballot construction works.
Who deserved more touches last night - DJax or McCoy?
McCoy deserves as many as he can get. Guy's a stud.
How bad is Steve Smith kicking himself for his laughable choice to be the 5th receiver on a mediocre Philly team?
One of many things that hasn't worked out as folks imagined it might in Philly...
I'm out, folks. Appreciate all the questions. You guys are the best. No, really, I mean it. The BEST!