The New York Giants may not have beaten the Dallas Cowboys in the most convincing of fashions, but the fact doesn't change that the 29-24 victory gave Big Blue a vice grip on first place in the NFC East as the Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins and Cowboys all lost and find themselves in tabloid turmoil.
Let's take a look at how bad things are for our division rivals before taking a look at what's going on with the Giants and what's in store this week against Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The quarterback thinks the team deserved to get booed while onlookers think the quarterback should get the boot and the team should already be thinking about next year. The luster has faded quickly from the Cowboys opening night victory over Big Blue, and the team sits at 3-4, no longer has owns the tiebreaker and is more than two games behind the Giants.
In Philly, the quarterback thinks he deserves to get benched and the coach may or may not be going down that road yet. Either way, Michael Vick, Andy Reid and the Eagles are going down circus-style, with the head coach making desperate changes to save his job and players pointing fingers at each other. Also 3-4, they're in the same hole as the Cowboys but have beaten the Giants once and have a Week 17 matchup looming.
Believe it or not, DC may be the in the best shape of the bunch: they did get spanked by the Steelers and idiotically gave the Steelers a free shot at Robert Griffin III, but they've got more reason to hope than they've had in years. Hope for the future behind RG3 makes their 3-5 record, basically second place in the division, not seem so bad.
New York Giants and the Midseason Swoon
The Giants are happy to stay under the radar and watch Dallas and Philly meltdown. But the schedule gets tougher as the weather gets colder and the Giants have to be happy with the cushion they've earned in the division…despite having a reputation for getting to 5-2 or 6-2 and falling apart.
Coach noticed red zone production, or lack thereof, too
Coach Tom Coughlin was probably cursing at the offense more than we were cursing our televisions after watching the offense convert only one touchdown and three field goals from five turnovers (not including JPP's pick-six). Coughlin won't ramp up red zone practice reps as it's always a priority, but called it the team's "Achilles heel."
Hurricane Sandy has blown through
As they get ready for Pittsburgh, Coughlin gave players Monday off as Hurricane Sandy shut down business in the tri-state area. That means no update on the injuries to Antrel Rolle, Chase Blackburn, Bear Pascoe and Keith Rivers. We should know more about the injuries, and the possibility of the return of Kenny Phillips and Rocky Bernard, today or tomorrow.
NFL gives Cowboys clockwork a pass
Tom Coughlin called shenanigans on the timekeeper at Cowboys Stadium over the sequence that allowed Romo to run three plays in ten seconds. The league has chimed in to tell Coughlin to shut it, and one unofficial study agrees with the league, but Coughlin doesn't sound satisfied.
Stevie Brown gets a nickname and some praise
His play in Kenny Phillips' absence has garnered some attention around these parts, but after yesterday's two touchdown plus a fumble recovery performance he's getting some big praise. Likely to stick around in a three-safety big nickel package even when Phillips and Rolle return, Brown's mixed good play with the good fortune of the ball finding him.
That's always a winning combination and has earned him a nickname we scream at the TV every time he picks one off (and that we saw a few of our commenters using yesterday, which makes it official): Down Town Stevie Brown.
Victor Cruz! and Hakeem The Dream welcome Mr. Down Town to the nickname club.
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