Eye on the Enemy: NFC East Roundup
Once a week, we’ll take a spin around the NFC East to check in on what’s going on with the Eagles’ division rivals.
DALLAS COWBOYS (0-1)
Week 2 Opponent: @Tennessee Titans (1-0) (1 p.m.)
Line: Titans (-3.5)
Drew Davison of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram stresses the need for run defense against the Titans:
Not only do the Titans appear to have an efficient running game without any household names in the backfield, but the Cowboys did little to show that there will be significant improvement in their rush defense in the season opener.
David Moore of the Dallas Morning News is already projecting a long season for Dallas:
Drawing too many conclusions from an opening performance against San Francisco can be misleading. How the Cowboys follow that loss Sunday afternoon against Tennessee will lend a little more perspective on what should be expected from this team.
But if you take the opener and tack it onto how the Cowboys finished last season, well, let’s just say this team isn’t trending upward. The numbers argue it’s the most sporadic stretch of Jason Garrett’s tenure.
Tony Romo addresses his struggles against the 49ers with Drew Davison of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram:
“You guys can call it what you want as far as the reps, you’ve asked the questions many times, through rust or whatever you can come up with,” Romo said. “Physically, the positive thing was I was throwing the ball really well and it’s been good for awhile so I’m excited about that. But the game comes down to mistakes. It comes down to one or two throws.
NEW YORK GIANTS (0-1)
Week 2 Opponent: Arizona Cardinals (1-0) (1 p.m.)
Line: Cardinals (-3)
Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News talks about the Giants’ lack of pass rush:
And therein lies a problem that has plagued the Giants defense for the last several seasons, and looks to be a lingering issue this year, too. They have the players up front to collapse the pocket. They have smart, speedy pass rushers. They have corners who can blitz. They do occasionally show flashes of getting pressure on the quarterback. They just don’t seem to finish the job.
The New York Times’ Tom Pedulla draws comparisons to Eli Manning and his Arizona counterpart:
Palmer, chosen first over all in the 2003 draft by Cincinnati, one year before Manning was the top pick, played the first eight years of his career for the Bengals. Palmer was traded to Oakland in 2011 and then dealt to Arizona before last season, so he knows what it is like to be jolted out of his comfort zone and how daunting the ensuing adjustments can be.
Bill Pennington of the New York Times believes the offseason changes have hurt the Giants so far:
Coughlin was not saying that the Giants are going lose every game by 21 points. He pledged Tuesday to lead the players to improvement.
But the overarching point was still apparent. The Giants went through a massive overhaul in the off-season. Compared with a year ago, 14 of the team’s 22 starters are new. The Giants are not changing again.
WASHINGTON REDSKINS (0-1)
Week 2 Opponent: Jacksonville Jaguars (0-1) (1 p.m.)
Line: Redskins (-6)
Dave Nichols of District Sports Page talks with head coach Jay Gruden about Robert Griffin III‘s Week 1 performance:
“There are certain things you like,” Gruden started, when asked about Griffin’s performance. “You know, when you play a game, you throw 39 balls or whatever it was, he completed 29, he had a high completion percentage. We didn’t drive the ball down the field, unfortunately, but we scored six points. We fumbled twice in the red zone. He took a couple sacks that he shouldn’t have taken. He did some great things, he did some things not so great. That’s kind of the story of everybody in that game, play callers included.
The Washington Post’s Jason Reid writes about the defensive line without nose tackle Barry Cofield:
With starting nose tackle Barry Cofield sidelined for a long stretch and Chris Neild, Cofield’s projected backup entering training camp, out for the season, the defensive line figures to be tested. Defensive coordinator Jim Haslett believes the group is up to the challenge.
Zac Boyer of the Washington Times gives questions facing the Redskins heading into Week 2:
1. How will the passing game look? The Redskins dinked and dunked their way down the field in the season-opening loss to Houston because the Texans were willing to give up short gains to prevent longer ones. That led to very few attempts by quarterback Robert Griffin III to throw the ball more than 15 yards downfield. The Jaguars are already beat up in the secondary, which could lead to a more vertical attack.