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Division Links: Playoff talk from BGN & BtB, depression from BBV

Big Blue View

Giants vs. Dolphins ‘things I think’: This one was hard to watch

Improvement? Without Daniel Jones, the Giants look like they are going backwards
Barkley looked bouncier than he has, but dropped two easy throws — something I don’t think I have ever seen him do before. Darius Slayton couldn’t haul in a pass that would have been a first down. Engram got all turned around on a deep ball that should have been a touchdown. Glennon kept putting the ball, and his receivers, in harm’s way.

The Giants failed in their only trip into the red zone. They could only get 16 yards and three points after getting the ball at the Miami 37-yard line.

This would have been a great game for a player like Kadarius Toney to make an impact, but Toney was once again sidelined. Let’s see, he has had COVID-19, a hamstring, an ankle, a thumb and now a combo oblique/quad this year.

This would have been a great game to have a savvy route runner like Sterling Shepard who can make chain-moving plays. Unfortunately, Shepard has spent more time sidelined with injuries (seven games) than on the field (five games).

The last time the Giants got a touchdown from a wide receiver or a running back was in Week 7 against the Carolina Panthers, though they did get scores from Engram and Kyle Rudolph after that. That’s pretty ridiculous.

Reality is, too many of the Giants’ playmakers are not playing. The ones who are simply are not making enough plays.

Offensive line ... again

How bad is bad? As horrid as the run blocking was on Sunday I’m amazed that Barkley and Booker somehow managed back-to-back 23- and 17-yard runs.

Left guard Matt Skura got benched for Ben Bredeson. The first time I noticed Bredeson, he was getting knocked on his back side trying to pass protect.

Will Hernandez? Yikes! Great guy who works really hard. Not a good player. Hernandez basically stood aside and waved Jaelen Phillips through for what turned into a 13-yard sack of Glennon. Hernandez also appeared to miss a stunt that ended up in a sack by Adam Butler.

I think the Giants have one player — Andrew Thomas — on their line who should be part of their plans next season.


Blogging the Boys

We are about to experience an onslaught of NFC East games across all four teams

Get ready some high-octane NFC East action.

The Dallas Cowboys look like they have full control over the NFC East, but until t-shirts and caps have been secured anything can happen. We all had thoughts along these lines following the team’s Thanksgiving Day loss as, at the time, the Cowboys were 7-4 with the Philadelphia Eagles (5-6 heading into last weekend) lurking. Thankfully the New York Giants kept them at bay, established more breathing room for Dallas, and the Cowboys won against the New Orleans Saints to get us through those rocky waters.

It appears as if the Cowboys should win their first division title since 2018, but that isn’t to say that the NFC East isn’t going to experience a ton of drama over the coming weeks. We noted back in the offseason about how the league jammed two thirds of common NFC East games into the season’s final five weeks and we have just about arrived to Week 14.

Buckle up

From Week 14 on there will be at least one NFC East game happening every week and three different weeks with two (meaning all four teams are playing within the division). That is three of the final five weeks that will feature all four teams clashing with one another.

  • Week 14: Dallas at Washington
  • Week 15: Dallas at New York, Washington at Philadelphia
  • Week 16: Washington at Dallas, New York at Philadelphia
  • Week 17: Philadelphia at Washington
  • Week 18: Dallas at Philadelphia, Washington at New York

Blogging the Boys

Recent history suggests that the Dallas Cowboys will play well coming out of the mini-bye

Getting a little extra rest in the NFL can go a long way.

it has been an almost-annual tradition for the Cowboys to play back-to-back Thursday games starting on Thanksgiving Day since 2014. The only time since then that they did not do so was in 2015.

That is six games’ worth of experience and obviously the coaching staff and players have changed since then, but we can partly discern how they are going to play at Washington next week. Generally speaking, they do rather well in this situation.

Dallas Cowboys coming off of the mini-bye

  • 2014: Win at Philadelphia Eagles (Dez Bryant’s three touchdowns)
  • 2015: N/A
  • 2016: Loss at New York Giants (the second loss of the year when chaos broke out)
  • 2017: Win at New York Giants (the first time Dallas ever wore white pants with the navy jerseys)
  • 2018: Win vs. Philadelphia Eagles (Amari Cooper’s game-winner in overtime)
  • 2019: Win vs. Los Angeles Rams (Sean Lee’s swan song)
  • 2020: Win at Cincinnati Bengals (Andy Dalton’s revenge!)

The only time in the last seven years that Dallas did not play on the Thursday after Thanksgiving was in 2015; however, they did play on Monday Night Football that week (so an extraordinarily long break from the Thanksgiving game) at Washington when Matt Cassel got the lone win without Tony Romo that year, a game that Dan Bailey won at the very end.


Bleeding Green Nation

NFC Playoff Picture: Eagles get some unexpected help in their wild card chase

The postseason race is heating up down the stretch.

The Eagles received some unexpected help in Week 13 with both the Vikings and 49ers losing despite entering their games as favorites. San Fran was defeated by a reeling Seattle Seahawks team while the Vikings found a way to get beat by the previously winless Detroit Lions.

One result that very much did not help the Eagles, however, was the Washington Football Team beating the Las Vegas Raiders. Had the WFT lost, the Birds would currently be holding a spot in the playoff picture.

The Eagles will get the opportunity to move ahead of their NFC East foe as they’re set to play Washington twice in the next few weeks: first at home in Week 15 and then on the road in Week 17. Earlier this season, the Football Team looked like they might be a pushover. But Washington is rolling recently with four straight wins. They figure to provide a challenge for the Eagles; Philly can hardly assume a series sweep.

The good news for the Eagles is they’ll have some extra rest before entering one of their biggest games of the season. The team is off in Week 14 with an usually late bye. After getting some much-needed R&R, the pressure will be on to play quality football down the stretch in order to punch their postseason ticket. It’s entirely doable but far from guaranteed.