Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Week 3 Rubdown - NFC East

Top Dog


WK 2 W at Detroit 35-32, WK 3 W at Jacksonville 28-3
Offense Rank 9th, Defense Rank 11th

This Michael Vick thing is a very sticky wicket. There are many, many sides to this argument. Here's one. I don't think Michael Vick coming back to the NFL, and not only getting back to his former level of play but far surpassing it, does a whole lot for young people's fear of committing crimes and being sent to jail. Maybe there's one kid out there who is a talented athlete, and 2 years ago was saying, "Shit I better stop hanging out with these thugs because I might end up like Michael Vick." Well, that same kid is now saying, "Shit I don't need to stop hanging out with these thugs, even if I go to jail I can end up like Michael Vick." You see what I mean? I'm concerned more about humans than dogs here, as I should be, and I think this could be setting a bad example for some of them. Anyway, back to the Eagles, Vick has been a revelation so far, against two horrible teams in Detroit and Jacksonville, posting a triple digit passer rating (unexpected), and being a rushing threat (expected). DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin are tearing it up and LeSean McCoy has even given them a respectable running game, something they lacked last year. Next week is the big Donovan McNabb homecoming, so expect the eyes of the NFL to be on that in Week 4.

Me So Longhorny

WK 2 L v. Chicago 20-27, WK 3 W at Houston 27-13
Offense Rank 5th, Defense Rank 8th

I've got to hand it to the Cowboys. They came out in a game where I'm surprised Wade Phillips wasn't on the sidelines with a blindfold and a cigarette, and dominated a team that some think is the best in the AFC, on the road, to save their season. Even more surprising, was their biggest offensive weapon was the redoubtable Roy Williams, who usually is best known for wearing an ascot on the field, hearing footsteps, and collecting a huge paycheck. Ol' Roy had 117 yards and 2 TDs, while the defense was able to hold Andre Johnson to just 64 yards on 4 catches, which was the most yards any Houston receiver had in that game. There's no reason for the Cowboys to panic. The offense and defense are both holding their own, even if Jason Garrett apparently will never figure out how to properly use Marion Barber and Felix Jones. DeMarcus Ware continues to terrorize with 4 sacks in 3 games, and Miles Austin already has two 10 reception 140+ yard games. The Cowboys are good. The NFC East is bad. Be patient, they'll be fine.

WK 2 L v. Houston 27-30, WK 3 L at St. Louis 16-30
Offense Rank 13th, Defense Rank 32nd

Nobody is more game for a round of Donovan McNabb bashing than me, but it wouldn't be fair to do that at this point. He's been OK. Adequate, completing 60.8% of his passes, (about 1 point better than his career average), and only throwing 1 INT against 2 TDs. Yes, it's looking like the Eagles lucked into making the right decision so far, because Michael Vick has been so superb, but McNabb hasn't been bad. Check out that defense though, it's ranked last in the league in yardage against. The Skins gave up 497 passing yards to Matt Schaub in blowing a 20-7 lead at home against Houston in Week 2, then got 30 points hung on them last week by the Rams, who had not scored 30 or more since Week 6 of the 2008 season. Things aren't going to get any easier for them in Week 4, when they take on a scalding hot Philly offense on the road. Chances are, after such a promising opening week, that we've got yet another failed Dan Snyder gambit, and the Redskins will begin the season in a 1-3 hole that's not easy to climb out of, no matter how yellow their pants are.

If You Keep Throwing INTs I Will Lovingly Stroke Your Hair

4. NY GIANTS (1-2)
WK 2 L at Indianapolis 14-38, WK 3 L v. Tennessee 10-29
Offense Rank 8th, Defense Rank 10th

Statistically, the Giants don't look all that bad. They rank in the top 10 in both offense and defensive yardage, so why are they 1-2 coming off a pair of double digit losses? The answer lies in Eli Manning and the bad case of Interceptionitis that Jay Cutler seems to have gotten over and passed on to him. Eli's thrown 6 picks in 2 games, many of them the drive-killing variety deep in opponent's territory. He's getting picked off at almost double his career rate in terms of INT/Attempt. He's not the only one serving up the turnovers, as in all the Giants have turned it over 10 times in three weeks. The good news is, that's something that you can fix thru more conservative game planning, or just better luck. The bad news is, they better fix it fast, because their next two games are against the 3-0 Bears, and a really good Texans team, so they could be staring down the barrel of 1-4 without having even faced the Cowboys or Eagles yet.

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