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December 13, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with Dan Graziano

Dan Graziano
  (12:00 PM)

It is chat time, people. Three weeks left in the regular season, the division title still completely up in the air. Hit me with your questions.

Will (Canada)

Hey Dan,being an Eagles fan is tough this season. It's even tougher when you actually believe in Andy Reid when everyone wants him out of the city. However, I couldnt help but watch the game last night in hopes that the Rams would lose and they would fire Spagnulo. Odds of seeing him in at DC in Philly?

Dan Graziano
  (12:01 PM)

This is a popular Eagles question right now as it appears Spagnuolo could lose his job in St. Louis. Some Giants fans have even asked about him coming back to do his old job there. My thought is that there will be big competition for Spagnuolo, who is very well thought of around the league. I wouldn't even be surprised to see a team offer him another head coaching position right away.

ken patelli (palm desert california)

After playing with the playoff simulator a bit, it looks like it's possible for the giants and the cowboys to BOTH make the playoffs at 9-7 records. how realistic is that scenario in your opinion? i know you wanted to steer clear of division champ questions so i broadened it to playoff contenders.

Dan Graziano
  (12:03 PM)

Yes. It is possible. But the Cowboys have a better chance to make it as a 9-7 wild card team than the Giants do, based on the tiebreakers. For it to happen, it looks like either Atlanta or Detroit has to go no better than 1-2 the rest of the way.

Gary (New York City)

Well hello Mr. "I've implied on several occasions that I have no respect for Jerry Reese's draft day strategy at all." Jason Pierre-Paul as the 15th overall pick in 2010 is looking pretty good about now wouldn't you say?

Dan Graziano
  (12:06 PM)

See, you're misrepresenting me. I have, in fact, said that I do respect Reese for sticking by his principles regarding the draft. I just disagree with the approach of always taking the value pick over the need pick every single time. As for Pierre-Paul, I believe that was a very savvy pick and one that might not have worked out as well had any other team taken him that high. He was a project, remember. One year of Division I college ball. But the Giants thought, "Huge talent, and the way we develop DEs here, it's worth taking a shot on that huge talent." They were right. I'm not sure even they imagined he'd be this good this soon, but that was a case of a team making a pick that fit perfectly into what they do and what they're all about.

Paul (Albany, OR)

As a Rams fan I was interested in your Spagnuolo answer and other thoughts. How much of the Rams season should fall at his feet? How about the lack of depth on the roster? Should the Rams show some patience for once and see if he is truly the man to right the ship? Thank you.

Dan Graziano
  (12:07 PM)

This isn't really an NFC East question, but since I get so many questions about Spagnuolo these days, I'll take this opportunity to say that the people I talk to around the league believe he has not had a chance to succeed or show what he can do in St. Louis because of insufficient personnel.

Tokey (Work)

Why wouldn't the skins pick fourth currently? They lost to carolina...

Dan Graziano
  (12:07 PM)

Draft tiebreakers aren't the same as playoff seeing tiebreakers. I believe the draft tiebreaker is relative weakness of schedule, not head to head.

Dan Snyder (DC)

If I trade up for Matt Barkley and sign a FA WR and use the rest of the draft on defense could I finally get this team to the playoffs in 2013?

Dan Graziano
  (12:07 PM)

I'd argue that most of their draft needs to be focused on offense.

Raheem Morris (TB, FL)

Fantasy advice: How much will the Cowboys use Felix Jones this week at Tampa?

Dan Graziano
  (12:08 PM)

I imagine he will get almost every carry.

PGC (Silver Spring, MD)

I worry about the Giants defense and the upcoming "we have nothing to lose" Redskins game. I see disaster looming (see Seattle, Philly). The "Prince" looked lost in Dallas.

Dan Graziano
  (12:09 PM)

It's definitely not a game to overlook. I thought the Redskins' offense would be awful last week with Trent Williams and Fred Davis out on top of all of their other losses. New England's defense is awful, but so has been the Giants' defense. It wouldn't surprise me to see the Redskins score some more points this week and make it tough on the Giants.

Dan (New York)

Over/Under Manning for 5,000 passing yards this season?

Dan Graziano
  (12:09 PM)

He's going over.

sonny (Seattle, Wa)

The Redskins sit at #5 right now, as far as the draft goes. Do you see anything happening that would make Shanahan feel he didn't need Matt Barkley or RG III ?

Dan Graziano
  (12:10 PM)

Stubbornness?

jason (nyc)

what do you think of prince amukamara

Dan Graziano
  (12:11 PM)

To me, he looks like a talented rookie who hasn't played much. i.e., he can make a play but he's also going to make mistakes, have communication problems with the other guys in the secondary, etc. If he'd started the season healthy, I believe he'd be less of a liability than he is now. But he doesn't have much experience.

Splooz (SLC Utaaaah)

Mr. Pineapple - Do you think that the Skins are playing the rookies at LT and LG in an attempt to see what they have (over a proven guy like Locklear) or do you think that there is a little bit of tanking involved? Also can you give us your thoughts here or in a post about if fans should be ok with rooting for tanking?

Dan Graziano
  (12:12 PM)

I think it's the first thing. Do you really think they weren't trying to win that game Sunday? And my personal opinion is that it's crazy to root for your team to lose games. This is supposed to be fun, right?

Tokey (Work)

I like learning. Crazy question. Would the Redskins draft Blackmon then go after a QB with their second pick (either trade up or wait till the second round) a la Bengals?

Dan Graziano
  (12:13 PM)

I don't think they can afford to this year. I think the top guys are going to be gone quickly and they need to get one in the first round.

Wes (Indiana)

What position of defense would the Eagles look to improve throught the 2012 draft?

Dan Graziano
  (12:13 PM)

If it were me, I'd look for a linebacker.

jason (nyc)

how much of victor cruz production do you think has to do with eli

Dan Graziano
  (12:15 PM)

The literal, smart-alecky answer is "All of it," of course, because he wouldn't have any catches if Eli never threw him the ball. But to the premise of your question, I think the answer is that Eli deserves a great deal of credit for the quick development and emergence of Mr. Cruz. The relationship between QB and WR is a tough one to establish, and Manning does as good a job as anyone making young, unproven guys feel welcome and as though they have a chance to contribute.

The Ghost Of Tex (Venice, CA)

True or False? This year began as a rebuilding year in Dallas and any mention of the Cowboys and January football is a year early...

Dan Graziano
  (12:15 PM)

I had them at 10-6 and in the playoffs in my preseason predictions. Could go down to the wire!

The Giants Receivers (Mooksville)

Odds Jeremy Maclin puts you on blast again Graz?

Dan Graziano
  (12:16 PM)

Pretty slim.

Dan (New York)

Can Mark Sanchez and/or Rex Grossman destroy this Giants' secondary?

Dan Graziano
  (12:16 PM)

Yup.

Brian (IN)

Apparently "icing the kicker" and jason pierre-paul's athletic skills are the same thing

Dan Graziano
  (12:17 PM)

I loved the story he told us in the locker room after the game about how he changed his plan between kicks and decided to try and go over the center because going over the guard wasn't working. He had to wait for the center to pick his head up, according to the rules, but he knew he'd be quick and tall enough to have a shot, and he was right. Great of him to give us that much of his thought process, and a real sign of a special young player developing mentally as well as athletically.

Rickskin (Hill Air Force Base)

You won't answer but I will ask anyway...Any chance that Kyle Shanahan gets hired for a vacant head coaching job so Redskins fans are no longer subjected to his reckless abandonment of the running game?

Dan Graziano
  (12:19 PM)

I'll answer. I don't think there's any danger of that, and they ran on nearly 50 percent of their offensive plays Sunday.

Jug (San Diego)

Do you feel the Skins have enough WR depth to not focus on it in the upcoming draft?

Dan Graziano
  (12:19 PM)

No, I think they need a real No. 1.

Brandon (Amarillo)

Who's your pick in Jets vs Giants?

Dan Graziano
  (12:20 PM)

Gonna post that on Friday, Dec. 23.

Gary (New York City)

Dan, do you think Roy Helu is versatile enough to cause serious problems for the Giants D similar to what Darren Sproles did in NO?

Dan Graziano
  (12:21 PM)

Very different player, and used differently. The Redskins have been running Helu between the tackles much more lately. He can get out and catch the ball, but they don't use him the same way the Saints use Sproles. Regardless, he can cause problems for the Giants, yes.

Tony (Little Rock, AR)

I read your NFC East playoff scenarios and just to be clear, if Dallas beat the Eagles and the Giants, they win the East? Their game against Tampa this weekend would not matter?

Dan Graziano
  (12:21 PM)

Yes, that is correct. Because Tampa is not a common opponent between the Cowboys and the Giants, and Philadelphia is.

Greg (Indy)

Did Miles Austin or Tony Romo provide an explanation of the missed 4th quarter pass? On the Sport Guy's podcast, Sal said he heard claims that Austin may have lost the ball in the lights.

Dan Graziano
  (12:22 PM)

Both Austin and Romo said on the record to multiple reporters after the game that Austin lost the ball in the lights.

rhp211 (livingston, nj)

"I said this after the Patriots game: In terms of clutch, I'll take Eli over Peyton -- and that's no knock on Peyton. It's the simple recognition that right now, today, I think Eli Manning's the most clutch quarterback playing. How much more do you need to see?"-PETER KING ....DO YOU AGREE?

Dan Graziano
  (12:23 PM)

I do. He reminds me of Jeter -- a guy who's "clutch" not because he raises his game in crucial situations but because he remains exactly the same in all situations, including those that cause other people to clench up.

josh (rochester)

what is the reason for the giants reluctance to blitz? is it too many people so communication or overvaluing the front four?

Dan Graziano
  (12:24 PM)

It's an acknowledgement of their weaknesses in the back seven. They can't cover as it is, and if they draw people away from the back end to blitz, they'll be even more vulnerable back there.

ken (work)

i think it's okay for the giants to have a weak back 7 if they blitz. it worked against the patriots. don't give the qb a chance to see who's open and there aren't any 55 yard completions.

Dan Graziano
  (12:27 PM)

But when you blitz, there's always the risk of not getting there. The Giants have tried to stress the importance of not giving up big plays, and when you blitz you bring that into the equation. The real issues with the Giants' defense are personnel-related, not scheme-related. They just don't have enough players.

Rick (Toledo)

Looking at the replay, it seems Romo Missed . Austin did everything right. If he lost the ball, it wouldn't have mattered because of the lousy pass. Comments? Thanks.

Dan Graziano
  (12:28 PM)

My thoughts are that the game is played by human beings and not every pass is perfect. Romo was 21-for-31. He didn't play a good game -- he played a GREAT game. Nitpickers will always find something.

Dan Graziano
  (12:28 PM)

My thoughts are that the game is played by human beings and not every pass is perfect. Romo was 21-for-31. He didn't play a good game -- he played a GREAT game. Nitpickers will always find something.

Paul (NJ)

What is chance Synder cuts ties with Shanahan at the end of year? Seems like if they are in position to take Barkley is it time to bring in a coaching staff that could grow with Barkley?

Dan Graziano
  (12:29 PM)

No chance.

Julius (Atlanta)

As of today, who do you think is the NFC East Champion, if you will answer that?

Dan Graziano
  (12:29 PM)

As of today, no one is.

Joe (Jersey)

I think you mentioned this during the chat Sunday night Dan. Do you think that Miles Austin pulled up on that third down pass because of his recent hamstring troubles?

Dan Graziano
  (12:30 PM)

I just really don't have any reason to doubt that he lost it in the lights. Why would they say that if it weren't true? It's not as though it's not embarrassing.

jason (nyc)

what do you think of rolle and phillips

Dan Graziano
  (12:30 PM)

I think Phillips has had a great year and that they missed him very badly Sunday. I think Rolle talks a lot but I can't really remember the last great play I saw him make.

Andrew (Alexanria, VA)

If the season ended today what would the skins' draft position be? How do they rank all of the 4-9 teams? Do you think it's possible the skins will trade up to get A. Luck?

Dan Graziano
  (12:31 PM)

As of now, they would pick 5th. And no, I think the Colts are set on staying where they are and taking Luck.

Jug (San Diego)

RE:Paul (NJ)'s question: wouldn't you rather have an established coaching staff help a young QB like Barkley grow in their system?

Dan Graziano
  (12:32 PM)

I think if you're picking a QB in the top 5, you could do worse than Mike Shanahan as your head coach.

Peyton (Minnesota)

Cowboys go CB first round and C 2nd round. Sound right?

Dan Graziano
  (12:32 PM)

I doubt anybody would have much of a problem with that.

Patrick (NYC)

Dan, did you see the picture of the Jake Ballard catch vs. the Packers? He was clearly in bounds!

Dan Graziano
  (12:33 PM)

I did see the photo. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

Peyton (Minnesota)

Who was better sunday, Eli Manning for Tony Romo?

Dan Graziano
  (12:33 PM)

Manning.

J3FF (NYC!)

You keep saying Romo had a "great" game, but I would expect a QB having a "great" game to make all the throws, especially with the game on the line. It wasn't a hard throw, the could have floated it for a TD, but he couldn't do it. How's that "great?"

Dan Graziano
  (12:33 PM)

Really? Every one? So unless you complete 100 percent of your passes, you haven't had a great game?

Steve (the Bronx)

Do you think the Redskins are better off than they were two years ago at the end of their 4-12 season with Zorn?

Dan Graziano
  (12:34 PM)

Yeah, I think the defense is very good and poised to get even better.

Gary (New York City)

Dan, Eli came threw when in mattered sunday night and Romo did not. Fact or fiction.

Dan Graziano
  (12:34 PM)

It's a fact, though a poorly spelled one.

Dan (New York)

Do you see the Eagles performing the same way they did against the Cowboys in their first first meeting?

Dan Graziano
  (12:35 PM)

Hard to imagine. That was their best game of the year. Totally dominant in all phases. A repeat of that would be a surprise.

David (NJ)

Can you explain why victor cruz and jpp are not on the pro bowl ballot? Its got to be a joke

Dan Graziano
  (12:36 PM)

All those of us in the media who hate the Giants get together every summer and come up with fun new ways to annoy their fans. This one wasn't my idea, but I think I remember voting yes for it. It's a fun little annual convention. I think next year it's in Boston.

Chris (Giants Land, NJ)

Is Jason Pierre-Paul probowl worthy in your mind this season?

Dan Graziano
  (12:37 PM)

Yes.

Shai (NYC)

Assuming you believe bad blood between two teams impacts performance, Eagles/Boys have more animosity towards each other than Skins/Gints, right?

Dan Graziano
  (12:37 PM)

Don't know. I'm sure the Cowboys and Giants are both very annoyed about the way the first meetings went this year.

Matthew (Charlotte)

Do you think Fewell is hamstrung by the personnel he can field at this point?

Dan Graziano
  (12:37 PM)

I do, yes.

Honest Abe (Watts) [via mobile]

You should spend more time trying to be informative and less time trying to be funny.

Dan Graziano
  (12:38 PM)

Eh. Your opinion. Maybe I think you should spend less time thinking up different screen names from which to post the same crappy questions.

Chris (Giants Land, NJ)

Even thought he isn't on the fan ballot, can Pierre-Paul still be voted to the probowl?

Dan Graziano
  (12:39 PM)

I'm honestly not sure how it works. But a lot of people are asking, so I will find out and maybe do a post on it if the answer is interesting.

Matthew (Charlotte)

So, Fewell can't blitz and his guys can't cover. Anything they can do that you can think of?

Dan Graziano
  (12:40 PM)

When they're healthy up front, they rush the passer very well.

Shaun (MD)

I think the Giants can make it as a WC without everyone else going 0-3. For example, the Bears & Falcons can BOTH win in wk 17 and still see NY take the WC. I believe only Detroit needs to go 0-3.

Dan Graziano
  (12:40 PM)

It's possible. As I said, I'm sure I didn't run every permutation through there. But it was hard to find one where the Cowboys won the division and a 9-7 Giants team still got in.

Bob (Portland)

Sorry for the repeat question, but what do you think of Petrus as the long term solution at LG for the Giants? Their run blocking seems much improved with him.

Dan Graziano
  (12:42 PM)

Well, they drafted him, so they saw something, even if they didn't expect him to play this soon. Obviously Diehl's not the long-term answer at LG, so this is a good chance for Petrus to show what he's got. I thought he was fantastic against the Packers, shaky in Dallas. Diehl, however, has looked really energized by the move back to tackle, and I don't think they've lost anything with Boothe at center.

Ray Finkle (Miami)

Why do the Power Rankings come out during your chat?

Dan Graziano
  (12:44 PM)

I don't know. I guess they have to come out during someone's.

Michael (Philadelphia)

It's possible for the Eagles Giants and Cowboys to all make the playoffs.. Giants 2-1 Eagles 3-0 Cowboys 2-1 or 1-2 ... Seattle + Arizona 1-2, Atl Det 0-3 amd Chi 1-2. Boom

Dan Graziano
  (12:44 PM)

If you say so!

Peter (Arlington VA)

If the Eagles D plays out the rest of the season the way they did against the Dolphins, what are the chances Castillo keeps his job?

Dan Graziano
  (12:45 PM)

I still have a hard time seeing it, Peter. Just too much bad vibe to overcome.

Luigi (NYC)

Do you think Eli should be in consideration for MVP this season? I understand Rogers has the numbers but I don't think MVP should go to the guy with the best numbers but to the guy that is most valuable to their team! Your thoughts?

Dan Graziano
  (12:46 PM)

I don't think it is or should be a race. Even in a year of incredible quarterback play across the board, what Rodgers is doing stands out. If you took him off the Packers and put him on any other team, he'd be that team's most valuable player. That, to me, is what the award is about.

Chino (Bronx, NY)

Which head coach do you think will be canned this offseason in the NFC Least?

Dan Graziano
  (12:46 PM)

I don't think any of them will.

Kevin (NJ)

Is it too early to predict a Broncos Giants superbowl? Just imagine that 4th quarter.

Dan Graziano
  (12:47 PM)

Where do I sign?

Tom (Boston College)

Giants number 12 in the new power rankings. They win the division, they'll probably end up in the top 10, eh Mr. Pineapple?

Dan Graziano
  (12:48 PM)

I would think so. I still think 12 is high for them.

jon (denvr)

I get that its unlikely for Coughlin to keep his job if the Giants miss the playoffs, but clearly the issue with the team is lack of depth and poor defensive play. Any chance that Coughlin would keep his job and Reese will get fired. I'd hate for the development of Eli to be halted just because the defensive depth is terrible.

Dan Graziano
  (12:48 PM)

I think your assessment of who's to blame is more correct than that of someone who believes it is all Coughlin's fault.

J3FF (NYC!)

Biggest surprise of the season for you...Victor Cruz's emergence, JPP's emergence, the Giants secondary struggles, Asomugha's disappointing season, the Cowboys defensive inconsistencies, the emergence of Murray? I took out the Eagles disappointing season, since that was the most obvious.

Dan Graziano
  (12:49 PM)

Asomugha.

Br3wzer (NC)

Why does the NFLPA not try to stop this icing the kicker timeout thing. It forces players into a "fake" play that exposes them needlessly to injury. Also it's really annoying as a fan watching the game.

Dan Graziano
  (12:49 PM)

What's your proposed solution?

jason (nyc)

what do u think of kiwanukas play this season at lb

Dan Graziano
  (12:50 PM)

Outstanding. I have written a couple of times that it's an underrated aspect of their success -- his ability to take on that new responsibility and perform so well in it.

J3FF (NYC!)

Can you please do the Giants a favor and pick them to lose out the rest of the season?

Dan Graziano
  (12:50 PM)

That ain't fair! I got this last game right! Their last three, in fact!!

Tim (columbia, md)

Interesting how the Redskins played their best offensive effort without Davis or Williams. What are the chances of cutting them, particularly Williams, to free up some salary cap?

Dan Graziano
  (12:51 PM)

Williams isn't going anywhere. Davis is a RFA on whom they'll have to make a decision.

cwbinsd (Laughing)

Dan, you loving you some Giants? 96% of posts today.

Dan Graziano
  (12:52 PM)

I can only answer the questions I get.

Steve (Bristol)

What do you think of the development of Riley for the Skins? If he keeps working hard next to London Fletcher and they get back a few people from injury, that sure is a good looking defense next year. Thoughts?

Dan Graziano
  (12:52 PM)

I agree, and playing next to Fletcher this early in his career can only help. He looks great.

Brian (NJ)

Re: Kicker icing: My proposed solution would be to get rid of defensive time-outs alltogether. The defense cant call a timeout in basketball and that works out fine.

Dan Graziano
  (12:53 PM)

Radical idea. I wonder if it would encourage more teams to run no-huddle offenses.

BOB (NYC)

It even more interesting that the Redskins played their best offensive game against a terrible defense{sarcasam intended}

Dan Graziano
  (12:53 PM)

Right, but it's not as though they're going to be playing the '85 Bears this week!

oldskooler (a mile high)

the past 2 weeks have shown the Giants run game improving with Jacobs starting, shocking as that may sound. any chance he starts versus the Skins?

Dan Graziano
  (12:54 PM)

They have blocked better the past two weeks. My guess is Bradshaw "starts," but he's not 100 percent healthy and I believe Jacobs would be the better fantasy play, in case that's what you're asking.

ken (work)

what is the best rivalry in the east in your opinion? i grew up thinking it was giants-cowboys, but i've read that the giants-eagles and cowboys-redskins are higher ranked. who hates who the most?

Dan Graziano
  (12:55 PM)

Cowboys-Redskins has the most history. I think Eagles-Giants has been the most intense over the past few years.

codeblue (VA)

how do you feel the cows will fare against the bucs on Sat.?

Dan Graziano
  (12:55 PM)

Well, predictions come out Friday.

Tommy Sherwood (Atlantic City, NJ)

Are the Giants likely to get any of their wounded secondary back in the post season ... provided they make it there ?

Dan Graziano
  (12:55 PM)

I don't think Phillips is a long-term injury. Who else?

Dan (Philly)

what do you think the chances are that Marty Mornhinweg returns next year?

Dan Graziano
  (12:55 PM)

I think he's back unless someone hires him to be a head coach.

Gavin (Maryland)

So the difference between Eli being one of the league's elites and Tony Romo not quite cutting it is a blocked field goal? That's inconsistent.

Dan Graziano
  (12:56 PM)

I agree. People speak in absolutes too much and too easily.

Shaun (MD)

getting into ridiculous territory here, but the Giants can even make it at 8-7-1

Dan Graziano
  (12:57 PM)

Keep working that Playoff Machine, Shaun!!!

RB (NY)

How much is a beer in Jerry's "dump"?

Dan Graziano
  (12:57 PM)

Don't know. I was working.

Brian (NJ)

Is the start of every "annoy Giant's fan meeting" a salute to the Ballard vs Packers Touchdown that wasn't picture?

Dan Graziano
  (12:58 PM)

We're blowing that up and using it as wallpaper in the main ballroom this year.

codeblue (VA)

Do you like your job? Did you use to work for cosmopolitan?

Dan Graziano
  (12:59 PM)

Yes. No.

Shut.Up.Phyllis (Work)

Do you hate me? :-(

Dan Graziano
  (12:59 PM)

Of course not. You want me to do a video mailbag to cheer you up?

MIke (NYC)

Giants redzone offense is very concerning. Sitting on my couch, first thing I say to my roommate (Fade, Fade, Draw, Fieldgoal)

Dan Graziano
  (1:00 PM)

That was a confusing sequence. Especially since the second fade went to Beckum, right?

Dan Graziano
  (1:01 PM)

Gotta roll, folks. Thanks for your time. I enjoyed it. Next week.