Our weekly look around the NFC East including a QB change and interestig good-luck charm...
Dallas Cowboys (2-3)
Week Five – Patriots defeat Dallas 30-6: It’s not as though the result of this contest was shocking. The Patriots came in the heavy favorites against a beat up Dallas squad and cleaned up. Once again, the running game looked underwhelming and Brandon Weeden looked comfortable only when throwing to his underneath options.
In the News: The biggest news in Dallas continues to be the controversy of which sub-par QB will lead the team until the starter, Tony Romo, returns to the field, which will be no earlier than week 11. After three straight loses, the team is making a highly demanded change from Brandon Weeden to Matt Cassel as the temporary quarterback. Despite plenty of criticism, Weeden still held his own in his three starts, posting only two interceptions and a 92.2 quarterback rating. He played his role effectively as a game manager. It has been the other facets of the team that have squandered the team’s undefeated start. Over the past three games, the defense didn’t force a single turnover and allowed an average of 32 points. After a hot start against Atlanta, the running game has looked stagnant. It’s time to make a change at RB. Swap Christine Michael and keep playing Brandon Weeden.
It’s not all bad news for Cowboys fans. Dez Bryant, who limped off the field in week one against the Giants with a foot injury, has a decent chance of returning to action after the team’s week six bye. Though Coach Jason Garrett has made it clear that he won’t suit up without significant time in practice, it’s obvious that Bryant could provide a huge spark to a Cowboys team that looks lost without its superstars.
Up Next: Bye
New York Giants (3-2)
Week Five – Giants defeat 49ers 30-27: The Giants were close to facing even more scrutiny about loosing close contests in the fourth quarter, but thanks Larry
Donnell’s touchdown with less than 30 seconds left in the game, headlines are favorable for New York heading into week six. The passing game was clicking, as Eli Manning threw for 441 yards and three touchdowns, leading the team down the field when it mattered most late in the game.
In the News: Daniel Fells, a tight end for the Giants, was rushed to the hospital with a high fever after receiving a cortisone shot for pain in his toe and ankle. Doctors discovered that Fells had a staph infection on his ankle that may call for the eight-year veteran’s foot to be removed. New York may head into their matchup with the Eagles without three of their top receivers. Victor Cruz has been out for a while, but now Odell Beckham and Reuben Randle may join the list of inactives. Both players injured their hamstrings in the game last Sunday. While the offense looked potent through the air against San Francisco, the running game looked the opposite. Rashad Jennings and the Giants ground attack will have to step up against a solid Eagles run-D to compensate for the missing pieces and keep the G-men in first place.
Philadelphia Eagles (2-3)
Week Five – Eagles defeat Saints 39-10: Well that’s more like it. Philly played how people expected them to this year, gaining more than 500 yards on offense, including 182 on the ground. Controversial offseason acquisitions Sam Bradford and DeMarco Murray lived up to their potentials and the defense put up a fantastic performance against a strong Saints offense. If the Eagles keep this up, they won’t have a problem winning the division.
In the News: Despite last week’s stellar outing, there are still rumblings that Chip Kelly’s career in the NFL could come to a close this offseason. The USC head coaching job is available, and if Kelly doesn’t make a deep run in the playoffs, there’s a strong chance he could take the position.
In better news for Eagles fans, their winning ways may be returning due to a concrete reason. Apparently, Jason Peters and Lane Johnson decided that a sacrifice needed to be made so that the run game could get going.
A plush, Jason Kelce doll was hanging outside of Johnson’s locker, and many are chalking it up as a good luck charm, and the reason that week five went so well. For now, they’re leaving it up.
Rookie Nelson Agholor has struggled to get it going this year, but another receiver is stepping up in his place: The second year player Josh Huff. Chip Kelly said last week that Huff would have to play better to aid the passing game, and he did just that. The former Duck caught four passes for 78 yards and a touchdown and looked like the dynamic catcher that the Eagles saw when they took him in the third round. Agholor missed practice on Wednesday, giving Huff an even bigger chance to become the second receiver.