Silent Archimedes

Posts Tagged ‘NFC’

NFL Week 7: What an interesting two weeks for the NFC East

Posted by silentarchimedes on October 19, 2008

The NFC East Teams

The NFC East Teams

When the New York Giants jumped out to a 4-0 record and was proclaimed the best team in the NFL, many Dallas, Redskins and even Eagles fans quickly screamed, “Woah, Nellie, hold the horses!”. After all, the only team they beat that was remotely any good was the Redskins. The defeats of the Rams, Bengals and Seahawks were expected and thus the Giants deserved no credit for the wins. The ‘Skins were 4-1 and hadn’t lost since the opening mess against the Giants. They were a different team now. They beat the Cowboys and Eagles. And the Cowboys, also 4-1,  claimed that they at least had beaten the Eagles. Even the  2-3 Eagles fans said they hung tough with the Cowboys to barely lose 41-37 and beat the Steelers 15-6. To the rest of the NFC East, they sounded as if the Giants, at 4-0, is the worst team in the division or at the very least hadn’t proven anything.

Rams beat two NFC East teams

The Rams beat two NFC East teams the last two weeks

Look what has happened in just the last two weeks. The Cowboys lost to both the Cardinals  (30-24, OT) and Rams (34-14). Teams they were expected to beat. The same Rams that had already been destroyed by both the Giants (44-6) and Eagles (38-3). What happened to giving the Giants no respect for beating them? The Rams game was most disappointing considering they were down 21-7 by the end of the first quarter and never really put up a fight. Although some fans might pin the loss on backup QB Brad Johnson and his 3 INTs, the truth of the matter is the rest of the team simply didn’t help him or put up a fight at all. With the Cowboys at 4-3 instead of a possible 6-1, there’s now rumblings of missing the playoffs! The same team that almost everyone picked to be in the Super Bowl this year!

The Redskins also didn’t fare much better the past two weeks. They also lost to the supposed horrible team, the Rams, 19-17 and then eked out a 14-11 win against the Browns. A last second 54 yard field goal  attempt by the Browns barely went wide or the game would have gone into overtime. This was the same 1-3 Browns team that exposed the Giants on Monday Night last week.

The Eagles were off this weekend, but they also almost lost to a bad team last weekend. They were down 26-17 at the end of the third quarter to the lowly 2-3 49ers, before piling on 23 points in the fourth quarter to win 40-26. The problem was it wasn’t really the Eagles that won it in the fourth, but the mistakes of 49ers’ QB JT O’Sullivan, who had two INTs and a lost fumble in the fourth quarter alone.

Not to be outdone by their NFC East counterparts, the Giants also have had a rough two weeks. After having a chance to go up two games on the loss column to their nearest competitor in the division if they’d only beat the 1-3 Browns on Monday night, they came out listless and confused in front of a national audience. They were exposed on both sides of the football and lost 35-14. After that loss, many division rival fans proclaimed victory that they were right, the Giants ARE horrible. What they failed to acknowledge was that the Browns are not the 1-3 team coming into Monday night. There were high expectations for them before the season began. Could it be that they were finally playing up to par? The fact that they also played the Redskins tough this weekend shows they are at least a decent team. However, the Giants also played a mistake-filled game against the 49ers today. Once again it was the 49ers penalties and mistakes by O’Sullivan that greatly helped the Giants win the game.

NFC East Standings (courtesy of ESPN)

NFC East standings after week 7 (courtesy of ESPN)

So what to make of the NFC East after seven weeks? After five weeks, the division was easily the best in the NFL. However, the division collectively went 3-4 the past two weeks, where the three wins were of the lucky and ugly varieties. This also proves something that I’ve been defending with the Giants all season to the other rival fans. The ease of a schedule makes no difference if you can’t beat the easy teams. The fact that the Giants did beat easy teams should not be held against them. A win is a win. In essence they were already giving the easy wins to their own teams even though those games hadn’t been played yet. Once some of them were played, we saw the Cowboys lose to the Rams, the Skins lose to the Rams, and the Eagles almost lose to the 49ers. Additionally, a team’s record after 5 weeks is not always indicative of how good a team really is. A 1-3 team can also mean the team is playing under its potential and could play to its ability on any given Sunday, a la the Browns. Another example is the 0-2 Giants last year who ended up winning the Super Bowl.

There is plenty of football left in the season. Any of the NFC East teams have the ability to go on a run to claim the division title. All we know at this point is that the Giants are in first at 5-1, the Skins in second at 5-2, the Cowboys at 4-3, and the Eagles bringing up the rear at 3-3. One game at a time.

By virtue of their records and points differential (+69 to +12), I give the edge to the Giants as the best team in the NFC East right now. However, with the Giants at tough Pittsburgh and the Redskins at Detroit the NFC East leaderboard could change after next weekend.

1. Giants (Steelers, 5-1, away)

2. Redskins (Lions, 0-6, away)

3. Eagles (Falcons, 4-2, home)

4. Dallas (Bucs, 4-2, home)

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Who is a better quarterback? Eli Manning or Tony Romo? Three words… Jeter versus A-Rod.

Posted by silentarchimedes on October 13, 2008

Tony Romo

Tony Romo

This whole debate about who is a better quarterback, Eli Manning or Tony Romo, can be summed up with three words, Jeter versus A-Rod. One is quieter, more professional, goes about business, and wins when it counts. The other is flashy, puts up big numbers, all over the gossip news for questionable reasons, and has issues with winning the big games. In the end, who do you want on your team? The former, the one that wins when it counts. All the other stuff is irrelevant if he cannot carry the team when it counts. That’s why Jeter will always be revered by Yankee fans, and A-Rod seen as an outsider. That’s why Eli will be loved by coaches more than Romo.

In essence, just like A-Rod, until he carries the Yankees to a World Series championship and he is named the MVP or he makes an amazing play that is the catalyst for a championship, he cannot be compared to Jeter. Similarly, until Romo can carry the Cowboys to a championship, something that the team historically is good at, then he cannot be compared to Eli. Who cares how good he is in the regular season. It is a wasted season for the Cowboys anytime they make the playoffs and cannot win. Look at John Elway and Michael Strahan. Their legacies were completely solidified when they finally won championships for their teams. They were both integral parts of those teams.

Eli Manning

Eli Manning

A championship win does tremendous things to the public perspective of the athlete and to the athlete himself. Before the Giants amazing playoff run last year, Eli was seen as a mediocre QB compared to Romo, and many others in the league. He was seen as someone who belonged in the NFL but would not be able to lay a finger on his much better QB brother, Peyton Manning. After Eli’s leadership and performance throughout the playoffs, and his 4-0 start to lead the Giants this season, many people now argue that Eli is a better QB than Peyton. What has changed so quickly? Well, for one thing that championship. For another, Eli is a much more confident player. Athletes need confidence. When they start doubting their ability to do well, it will show up on the field. The elephant will simply grow bigger and bigger.

One last thing. To say that the Giants easy schedule makes them undeserving of a 4-0 record and number 1 ranking is absurd. To say that Eli is doing well because he has played against horrible teams is absurd. Simple reasons. If it was that easy, then the Patriots should have gone undefeated last year at 19-0. If it was that easy, then the Cowboys should not have lost yesterday to the Cardinals. If it was that easy, the Redskins should not have lost to the Rams yesterday. The same team that Redskins and other NFC East fans ripped on the Giants for beating. If it was that easy, the Eagles should not have been so close against the 49ers until the end of the game. In the NFL, you have to beat the teams that you should be beat. Simple as that. Otherwise, you are making excuses.

Note: The poll below has been “compromised” by Tony Romo fans trying to justify that he is a better quarterback than Eli Manning. The count before the “compromise” was 9-1 in favor of Manning. After the compromise, the count was 1005-9, in favor of Romo. So simply subtract 1004 from the Romo number (until another compromise occurs). I think most of us agree that Romo is a better quarterback, but until he wins some playoff games, he won’t be in the same class as Roethlisberger and Manning. I don’t even think Romo was drafted in any of the first few rounds, unlike the other two who were drafted in the first round.

Note: Well, well, well, the Eli Manning fans strike back. His count was hacked on June 1, 2009. Please subtract 50 from his count. Eli has taken the lead though after Romo tied it up for a while.

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A Giant Hangover? Don’t worry Giants’ fans, it’s only temporary…

Posted by silentarchimedes on August 19, 2008

You would think that after winning the Super Bowl last season, all eyes would be on the New York Giants’ training camp this summer. Instead, it’s been the quietest camp in memory. You would think that everyone would be wondering which Eli would show up this season, the pre-playoff version of the past, or the efficient and accurate one during the Super Bowl run. Or if Plaxico Burress will be totally healed by the opener. Or how Kevin Boss is doing as the new go-to tight end. Or which of the exciting young receivers, Sinorice Moss, Mario Manningham, Dominic Hixon, Michael Jennings, would make the team. Or how excitin their backfield will be now that Brandon Jacobs, Derrick Ward, and Ahmad Bradshaw are all healthy. Or how the Giants are doing without their leader Michael Strahan.

Instead, it just seems awfully quiet this summer for Giants fans. It’s weird. I thought I would be looking very forward to this season, but there seems to be a hangover of some sort. I can’t really put my finger on it. Maybe the whole Olympics and Michael Phelps has pushed football to the background. Maybe it’s because the Giants were very quiet in the free agency market and didn’t sign anyone of interest. Maybe it’s because all the other NFL stories have been so dominating, like the Brett Favre saga and Patriots’ Spygate. Maybe it’s because the only stories that have been coming out of the Giants the past few months are negative stories, such as Strahan’s retirement, Shockey’s “I deserve more respect” fiasco, Burress’ “I deserve more money” pseudo-holdout, Osi’s “I deserve more money than the more money you gave me last year” potential contract holdout, the threatening letters sent to Coughlin, Giants’ “I deserve more money” personal seat licenses at the new stadium, Bradshaw’s jail sentence, stolen Super Bowl rings, and injuries to key players, such as Burress, Toomer, and Manningham. Maybe it’s because, now that the dream Super Bowl run as settled in, even Giants fans know it was a perfect run and that it would be hard to reproduce this season. With a more difficult schedule, with all three teams in the NFC East stronger, it appears it might be difficult just to make the playoffs for the Giants. (Update 08/24/08 – Wow, as if the Giants need any more bad news coming out this offseason? Osi Umenyiora is out for the whole season after tearing his lateral meniscus in his left knee during the Jets game.)

So, what is a Giants fan to do? Take hope in the Giants pattern of performance the past ten years or so. They always overperform when they are expected to do nothing. The most obvious one being the 2000 Super Bowl run. It was clear they were playing above their heads when they got killed by the Ravens. Last year was another example. The converse is just as true. They always underperform when they are expected to be Super Bowl contenders. As funny as it is, the public has such low expectations for the reigning Super Bowl champions. Mostly due to the reasons mentioned above, and also how every Super Bowl winner, minus the Patriots, have a hard time making the playoffs the next season. With low expectations this year, if the Giants continue their pattern of performance, they will do well this year.

As for interest in the season, that will quickly change come the first game of the season when the Giants kick off the official NFL season in front of a national crowd on Thurs, Sept 4 on NBC against the Washington Redskins!

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