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NFC East roundup: Down on Vick


NFC East roundup: Down on Vick

Have you've been wondering how it is the Philadelphia Eagles, a team many a pundit predicted to win the NFC East this year, struggled to defeat the supposedly lowly Cleveland Browns inthe season opener?The headlines over at CSNphilly.com provide insight. Vick's fundamentals were lousy Vick needs to stop thinking and just play Reid deflects criticism away from VickEagles quarterback Michael Vick attempted an astonishing 56 passes, but barely completed half of them(29) while throwing four interceptions.Yes, he ultimately threw the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter, but it was the many wayward tosses that nearly derailed the Eagles despite playing a Browns teamdirected offensivelyby an overmatched rookie quarterback. That won't be the case in Week 2 when Philadelphia hosts Joe Flacco -- not to mention ball-hawking defenders like Ed Reed --and the Baltimore Ravens. Vick could be without wide receiver Jeremy Maclin, who is dealing with a hip pointer. Once you move past the fantasy football type thoughts about the Dallas Cowboys opening game victory - Tony Romo throwing for three scores, unheralded Kevin Ogletree catching two of them, DeMarco Murray running for daylight - the improved cornerback play was a true standout. High profile free agent Brandon Carr and No. 1 draft pick Morris Claiborne more then held their own against the Giants upside receivers and did so without the veteran incumbent Mike Jenkins, recovering from shoulder surgery. The Cowboys hope to have Jenkins ready for the Seahawks in Week 2 - and is it turns out with their depth issues, they need him. As for the Giants, many a sleepless night has been had by "disgusted" defensive end Justin Tuck since Wednesday's 24-17 home loss to the Cowboys. Hard to imagine he's alone considering New York struggled in many facets, from its vaunted pass rush to its potent passing attack. To avoid a 0-2 start, the Giants must defeat Tampa Bay, a team brimming with confidence after opening the season with a win under new coach Greg Schiano."I think every guy in this locker room is disgusted with how we played, and want to come out and have a better showing, considering Tampa is coming off a great win over Carolina,'' Tuck said.

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How the Redskins plan to stop A.J. Green if Josh Norman can't play

How the Redskins plan to stop A.J. Green if Josh Norman can't play

The Redskins may be forced to cover one of the best receivers in the NFL without one of the best corners in the NFL.

Coach Jay Gruden is very familiar with the receiver, the Bengals’ A.J. Green. Cincinnati drafted Green in the first round in 2011, Gruden’s first year as the offensive coordinator there. In three seasons with Gruden, Green averaged 87 receptions, 1,278 yards, and 10 touchdowns.

Green has done quite well in the wake of Gruden’s departure in 2014 to become the Redskins’ head coach. He is on pace for a career season, with 50 receptions for 775 yards through seven games. Stopping the Bengals offense means stopping, or at least slowing down, No. 18.

“A.J. is a different animal,” said Gruden. “You know, he is 6-foot-3-and-a-half, 6-foot-4. He’s very strong, and he’s got the ball tracking ability unlike anybody we’ve ever seen.”

The Redskins have just the guy to slow Green down under contract but Josh Norman’s status for the game is up in the air as he is in the NFL concussion protocol. The All-Pro cornerback will visit an independent neurologist later today. He may get clearance to make the trip to London with the team. But even if he does a setback of some sort could keep him out of the game.


If Norman can’t play, the Redskins will play a mix of coverages.

“A.J. has been pretty effective against just about any corner he’s ever gone against,” said Gruden.” And you have to do different things against him. You know, if you think we’re going to play Cover 0 with man-to-man the whole time, you’re going be really mistaken.

“We’re going to have to change up the coverages, figure out ways to beat him up a little bit at the line of scrimmage, and play a safety over the top from time to time, play a third, play somebody underneath him, and then play some man-to-man. We’re going to have to play some man-to-man eventually, whether it’s [Quinton] Dunbar, whether it’s [Bashaud] Breeland, [Greg] Toler, whoever it is if Norman doesn’t go.”

It sound like the Redskins are going to take a “kitchen sink” approach to covering Green or perhaps they haven’t yet figured out how to handle him.

Green is the best receiver the Redskins have faced since taking on Antonio Brown of the Steelers in the season opener. They had all offseason to try to figure out how to handle him and they had Norman but Brown still caught eight passes for 126 yards and two touchdowns. So maybe they have to try to figure out how to win even if Green goes off.

And this season’s results show that’s possible. The Bengals are 3-4 despite Green’s gaudy stats. So teams are figuring out some way to mitigate the damage that the star receiver inflicts on a regular basis.  

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Virginia and Idaho really love Ryan Kerrigan, apparently

Virginia and Idaho really love Ryan Kerrigan, apparently

Besides the fact that both have an "i" and an "a" in their names, there's not much in common on the surface between Idaho and Virginia. Thanks to a report from DicksSportingGoods.com, though, the two states now share another similarity: A passion for Ryan Kerrigan.

Since the 2016 NFL Draft, Kerrigan's jersey tops the list of most popular in both states. Looking at Virginia, at least — where Washington's headquarters and training camp facility are located — that makes sense.

But Idaho? The defender wasn't born there, and he didn't play college football there. Perhaps (and this is a giant perhaps) it's because there are a lot of potatoes in Idaho, and potatoes go in sacks, and Kerrigan enjoys sacks, too. Until further explanation, that's the reasoning. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

Other facts revealed in the report: People in Florida are dumb enough to buy a Ryan Tannehill jersey, those who live in Alaska are devout Julio Jones supporters (which is way more perplexing than the Idaho-Kerrigan love affair) and Hawaii should be punished, because the most popular uniform there is Seattle's obnoxious 12th fan jersey.

Here's the full graphic:

(H/T to Redskins.com)