NFL Goes Awol: NFC East & AFC South

NFC East

An outstanding performances by Tony Romo has been tarnished due to a timely interception. In what many feel has become the identity of the celebrity quarterback, I’ve always supported his instincts and ability to improve. The guy threw for over 500 yards and 5 touchdowns, edging counterpart Peyton Manning on the stat sheet. The thing is, winning defines most careers, unless you are referring to a player like the great Barry Sanders, Hall of Fame running back for an unsuccessful Lions team throughout his career. The defense did what every other team has done against the Denver Broncos, very little to contain them. Easier said than done, I understand the criticism for Romo because he consistently lets you down int he clutch, but if you look around the league there aren’t too many starters that are better. This just means that he needs to learn from this, remember it’s just the regular season and the division will come down to the final weeks as usual. Better now than in the playoffs, again, so give him time to work out the kinks like LeBron James did. We just witnessed a perk of having one of the greatest players of all time on your team, because teammates always believe and that was a diving interception by rookie linebacker Danny Travathan.

Nick Foles is the better quarterback in Philadelphia. He could actually look over his offensive line and throw to the middle of the field, standing at 6’6 compared to Michael Vick’s 6’0. Yes, Vick may be exciting to watch as a fan because he makes plays for both his team and opponents, that just doesn’t mean that he is a winner. The Eagles, or anyone for that matter, simply will not win a Super Bowl with Vick at the helm. Foles may not be the answer, but getting a bigger signal caller in there appeared to benefit the offense en route to a convincing victory. Sure, Eli Manning gift-wrapped some field position to the Birds, but you still have to make those plays, and the backup looked better in relief. I still think the gameplan will be executed well when the Buccaneers and Cowboys prepare for him the next couple of weeks, and Vick’s tenure in Philly just might be over if they’re winning.

The Giants have their moments, but to be realistic everyone does, including the Jaguars, more on them later. I have never included Eli Manning in conversations of elite quarterbacks, or even in the upper echelon for that matter. I respect him for his ability to rise to the occasion that led New York to a pair of Super Bowls, but he’s always been a middle of the road player. Granted, his offensive line is wounded and the defense isn’t doing much to help the season, he still has a handful of weapons to throw and hand the ball off to. He’s supposed to be the leader, his last name is Manning so he has to be the guy, well he’s also the Giants signal caller that tossed 25 interceptions a few years ago. That’s the guy that shows up more times than not, he just gets the benefit of the doubt by the popular NY media for having a couple of championship rings.

Washington got a week to rest and watch two of their three rivals lose in week 5. Benefiting from the bye week, key players like running back Alfred Morris and quarterback Robert Griffin III got to recover from their injuries and mental setbacks. I really did think last year was an aberration, but they should be watching film to exploit that Cowboys defense to earn a victory after having extra time to prepare. The defense likes to play man-to-man which always gives Dallas a challenge, just realize it will take a collaborative effort by both sides of the ball to get their second win.

AFC South

Indianapolis made the trade to improve their identity, not so much change it. You can tell that this group is studious starting from the top down, making the right roster moves and formulating gameplans each week according to the matchups. They don’t try to force anything in particular in terms of offense, and the defense challenges opponents to beat them with weaknesses. They deserve all of the attention that the media gives them this week.

It took a drastic series of events for the world to discuss the quarterback position for the Texans. I noticed this when they became an elite regular season team, however they couldn’t get the job done come playoff time. Now that everyone has caught up they would like to zoom forward, unfortunately the answer is not on the roster and the Indianapolis Colts have regained dominance within the AFC South. With that said, nobody should hold their head down after back-to-back losses to Seattle and San Francisco. Even further, beating both of those teams like Indianapolis did is very impressive. Houston still has a good defense and strong ground game, don’t let a couple of weeks against elite teams skew your perspective. They will be in the playoff conversation, and I expect them to make the tournament like many predicted before jumping off the bandwagon.

Tennessee is just another team, especially with a backup quarterback, but you laughed at me when I said that they had a formidable defense. The cornerbacks get in your face and the pass rush is consistent, the problem derives from the lack of a passing game in the absence of Jake Locker. Chris Johnson and any running back really, just look over to A.P. in Minnesota, needs a little aerial attack to move some defenders out of the box. The Titans might not tally wins but they will hang in there and make you work.

Jacksonville won’t trade Maurice Jones-Drew, I just don’t see that happening even though I want him to be shipped to a better situation. It’s never a good thing to lose your blindside tackle for the season, but at least they have Justin Blackmon and Cecil Shorts running all over the place. They didn’t add Josh Freeman to the roster, their options are slim, they don’t have interest in Tim Tebow, so the long season will continue under the quarterback combination of Chad Henne and Blaine Gabbert. They will put forth better efforts under Henne, but for a team starting over I understand that they want Gabbert to get the repetitions, it’s just brutal to watch.