At this point, watching the NFC East is like watching sitcom rerurns. Giants lose again. Eagles still can’t win a game. Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin continues to amaze. Tony Romo, despite a hoard of interceptions, has Dallas in the number two position in passing yards. Number two in the league, mind you.
Quarterbacks are always under a microscope because, let’s face it, they’re the team leaders. The truly great ones find a way to plug the leaks in the system, which is why, for the third week in a row, I have to say that the Numero Uno quarterback in the NFC East is Robert Griffin III.
- Robert Griffin (no change)
This guy is good. He’s throwing the ball with an astounding 67.1 percent accuracy. He’s got 2660 yards in the air so far this season. He is on pace for a 1,000 yard rushing season. He has thrown a mere 4 INTS to his 17 TDs.
But he can’t do it forever.
The run-option offense the Redskins have relied so heavily on has exposed a weakness in Griffin’s attack: His post-snap reads aren’t there. If the play breaks down, instead of trying to find a different receiver, Griffin will hoof it. He is not comfortable in the pocket, and it shows in his flailing, herky-jerky six or seven-yard pick ups. Then again, they are positive yards.
Someone’s going to figure him out, sooner rather than later.
A quarterback who operates like a running back hasn’t won a Super Bowl in recent memory. And the only one who has won in recent memory is Steve Young (averaging 358 rushing yards/season over eight seasons).
For now, though, it’s working for the Redskins. While they’re in 21st place in passing yards, they lead the league in rushing with 167 yards per game. Griffin is second in rushing on the team (behind Alfred Morris).
Redkins fans can continue the cheering, knock on wood, and pray he stays healthy, because while there’s no “I” in “team,” there are two in Griffin.
- Tony Romo (up one)
Dallas’s quarterback Romo has had to single-handedly carry his team this year. With the league’s fourth-worst rushing game, Romo has put up some big numbers. Like being sacked 24 times for 188 yards. Or throwing 15 interceptions to his 19 TDs.
So why put him on a pedestal higher than Philly’s Nick Foles or New York’s Eli Manning? Consistency. Romo’s completion percentage is exactly what Griffin’s is: 67.1. He has thrown for 2,660 yards, and nine of his 15 INTs came over the course of two games. It should be interesting to see how he does in Ohio this weekend when the Cowboys take on the Bengals. The Bengals have fared well over NFC East opponents this season, having beaten both Washington and New York.
- Eli Manning (down one)
The Giants’ quarterback is throwing with a respectable 60 percent accuracy, he has 3,170 yards under his belt, but he’s not the rack the team needs to hang its hat on. After a four-game scoring drought (during which he threw a number of INTs), Manning came off a bye two weeks ago to soundly spank the Packers. But last week saw a weak showing against an even weaker Redskins D, and with only one TD, the Redskins are now chomping at Manning’s heels.
The Giants have a tough road down the home stretch: They face the Saints, Falcons and Ravens, and they finish the season against Philadelphia, who would just love to put a cap on the Giants’ season.
- Nick Foles (no change)
This is the month when Nicks are supposed to be old and jolly. Philly has a young Nick who is anything but jolly. Why? Probably because he lost all of his first three starts as an NFL quarterback.
In contrast to his first two starts, however, Foles looked confident and capable behind his weak offensive line last week. He is finally settling into a pocket instead of backpedaling 15 yards to complete a pass. He has a new option in the form of fellow-rookie running back Bryce Brown. True, he has only two TDs and three INTs, but he shows promise. He is completing passes to the tune of 60 percent, two percent better than injured starter Mike Vick. He has thrown for almost 800 yards in three-and-a-half games, and he could be the leader that the Eagles are so desperately searching for.
Philadelphia has nothing to lose this season. Look for Foles to really shake things up. If not he, then Brown who will be right behind him taking the pitch. With final games being played at Tampa Bay, Cincy at home, the Redskins at home and the Giants in Jersey, the Eagles look like they could stand as season spoiler to some other NFC East teams.