Despite record breaking OBJ, Giants fall to Falcons
Odell Beckham Jr. became the fastest player to reach 5,000 receiving yards in NFL history during a MNF loss to the Atlanta Falcons. Beckham had a huge night for the G-Men, tallying 143 yards and a score. Not to be outdone, fellow wide receiver Sterling Shepard also managed 167 yards. Despite throwing for almost 400 yards and no interceptions, Eli Manning was unable to lead his team to their second victory of the season.
Poor clock management in the closing moments of the game led to Beckham’s last minute touchdown. Manning was not entirely to blame for the Giant’s fourth straight loss. His offensive line should once again hold their hands up after allowing 4 sacks on Manning during the first half. Nate Solder, despite signing a 4 year $62 million deal this off season, looked shaky all night after being clearly targeted by the Falcons as the biggest weakness on a subpar O-Line. Clearly used to a quicker release by his former quarterback Tom Brady, Solder doesn’t seem to be able to provide sustained protection for Manning.
Saquon Barkley continued his potential ROY campaign with 43 yards and a score on the ground plus 51 yards receiving and a 2 point conversion. With such efforts from both the former and OBJ it is getting harder and harder not to address the elephant in the room that is Manning’s offensive line and the ageing quarterback’s fading star.
Next week will bring a stiff test against a Washington Redskins team who are riding high after beating the Cowboys and will look to continue their run against the Giants. Saquon will face his stiffest run test yet, and Beckham will be faced with another rematch with Josh Norman. Given the Giants current woes, the Redskins defensive unit must be licking their lips.
Eagles throw it away against Panthers
On Sunday the Philadelphia Eagles blew a 17-point, 4th quarter lead against the Carolina Panthers, eventually losing 21-17 and dropping their record to 3-4. Cam Newton and the Panthers avoided back to back losses against NFC East teams by staging the biggest comeback in franchise history. On the road and in a hostile Lincoln Financial Field, Newton threw a touchdown to tight end Greg Olsen with 1.22 left to play. On the following Eagles drive Julius Peppers sacked Carson Wentz forcing a fumble on 4th down to seal the victory.
Despite Wentz once again being efficient in passing the football (he went 30 for 37 to the tune of 310 yards and 2 scores), as predicted the offensive backfield failed to meet expectations. The Eagles running back committee managed a measly 55 yards on the ground between them, highlighting the need for a replacement for Jay Ajayi who has been lost for the season with an ACL tear.
Although respectable through the first 3 quarters the Eagles once again had trouble finishing, echoing the struggles they had against Tennessee in Week 4 when they blew a 17-3 lead the loss.
As I have mentioned previously, not only do the Eagles need to trade for a running back, but they also need some stability in their secondary. The recent news that Patrick Peterson is desperate to be traded from the Cardinals should be pricking the ears of Doug Pederson. As a potential game changing talent, he would be a welcome addition to this thin positional group. Next week the Eagles travel to London to face the 3-4 Jacksonville Jaguars. It takes on the appearance of a very important game for both teams for all the wrong reasons.
Redskins take top spot after Cowboys miss field goal
The Dallas Cowboys woes away from home continued on Sunday night as they fell to the Washington Redskins on the last kick of the game. After a 5 yard penalty on a snap infraction that moved the kicking spot back from 47 to 52 yards, Cowboys’ Brett Maher missed a last second field goal which would have taken the game into overtime. The result? Losing out not only the top spot of the NFC East but also the latest chapter of one of the most storied rivalries in NFL history. The win arguably means even more for the Redskins, not just because of the aforementioned reasons, but also because it breaks their statistical history of following wins with losses.
Through three quarters, the game was a story of solid defense, underwhelming quarterback play and a tale of two running backs. Or should I say the differences between them. Redskins’ Adrian Peterson finished the night one yard shy of a 100 yard game whereas the Cowboys’ Ezekiel Elliott managed to muster only 33 yards on the ground. With a longest run of 6 yards, it marked the second worst performance of his career.
Washington’s new defensive front of Matt Ioannidis, Jonathan Allen and Da’Ron Payne look like the real deal versus the run. With 4.55 to go into the fourth quarter, linebackers Ryan Kerrigan and Preston Smith combined for a strip sack of Dak Prescott. The recovery on the one-yard line led to a defensive touchdown.
The Redskins secondary however, looked suspect at times. With Quinton Dunbar out, rookie Greg Stroman got the start at corner and was badly exposed on a 49 yard touchdown pass by Dak Prescott to fellow rookie Michael Gallup. Gallup finished the night with 81 yards on 5 targets and a score, but apparently this wasn’t enough to pacify the fears of Jerry Jones for Dallas’ receiving corps. He has just traded a 1st round pick for Raiders’ Amari Cooper.
The Cowboys now get a BYE week off to lick their wounds and hopefully come up with a way to start winning on the road. However, they will be spending the first part of the week in D.C. taking in some of the sights. If I were them, I’d want to get out of Washington as fast as possible.
The Redskins have the chance to continue their run of wins next week against division rivals. They travel to New York to take on the last place team Giants.
Chris Milner is co-host of the Same Level Fantasy Football podcast, a former Washington D.C. resident and a Redskins fan. He is a self styled fantasy football expert having won his league one time. Follow him on twitter @chrismilner or listen to the pod @samelevel #HTTR
Image courtesy Giants.com.