This is a pivotal week in the NFC East. The New York Giants can finish off the Dallas Cowboys, and the Eagles have a chance to emerge as an elite team in the conference. The Washington Redskins are hoping Jay Cutler will play fast and loose with the football, which is his normal routine. Now, let's see what's on your mind in this week's special Texas Rangers World Series tribute edition:
Jeff from Emporia, Kan., wonders why his Redskins keep injuring players: As a Redskins fan, I'm hesitant to point this out. The Skins have a nasty habit of injuring key players on the other team. The recent injury of Dallas Clark is just the latest example, but Jermichael Finley also comes to mind. Steven Jackson, Michael Vick, Andre Johnson. Even dating back to last year, London Fletcher managed to give both DeSean Jackson and Brian Westbrook concussions. I've seen it week in and week out for the past couple of years.
Mosley: It would be one thing if Fletcher had a reputation for being a dirty player, but that's not the case. I was at that game where Westbrook made contact with Fletcher's knee. There was nothing intentional about that play at all. And with Vick's injury, you had a quarterback hurtling toward the end zone. I've seen some dirty plays this season around the league, but I really don't get the sense that Jim Haslett's defense is going out of its way to injure players. I think the fact that some marquee players have suffered injuries against the Skins is making this more of a story than it needs to be.
Jeff from Gainesville, Va., wants to discuss Sports Illustrated's overrated players poll: Here's some feedback on that overrated players poll: I wish Romo was being overrated. He's a great QB and he makes some great plays. Eli Manning, he doesn't scramble well but when he has good protection, he is great and he usually has his way with the Skins every season (I hope not this year). I think Albert Haynesworth can be great, but he's not playing that way now. He's overpaid but he is still a difference maker...not the best fit in DC currently but he does always draw two players to block him. I'm hoping he turns it around and has a great rest of the season, but I doubt that happens.
Mosley: Manning and Tony Romo play in a ton of national TV games and they're talked about constantly in two top-five markets. I think players vote for them, in part, because they constantly have to see them. As I stated earlier in the week, Manning suffers in these type of player surveys because he's constantly compared to his older brother. Romo achieved fame before he'd achieved much success. And that's been a hard thing for him to overcome perception wise. But Manning has a Super Bowl ring and I think Romo will lead the Cowboys to more playoff wins, although it might not be this season. Haynesworth's paycheck far exceeds his production, so that's a pretty easy call.
Nick from Boston has a reasonable request this afternoon: Dear Matt, can we change the name "turnover ratio?" "Ratio" means division, and the stat we look at is usually a difference. How about "turnover differential?" Maybe it's just because I teach math, but this drives me bananas. Also, thanks for the NFC Yeast (it's rising!) coverage. I think you're pretty good at being impartial, and I'm an Eagles fan.
Mosley: Nick, I will take this under advisement. I also prefer "turnover differential," so I'll try to banish "turnover ratio" from the Beast discourse. Your question was almost mathematically eliminated from today's mailbag, but we decided to make room at the last moment.
J.J. from Washington, D.C., wants to talk about Andy Reid's decision-making process: Matt, while I am a passionate Eagles fan, I am not always a passionate Andy Reid fan. Some weeks ago I thought about taking you to task for your comments about Andy and his approach to Kevin Kolb and Michael Vick. To put it simply, and rebut your comments, Andy's job is NOT about taking care of a QB (no matter who). His job is about winning games. The QB coach and maybe the OC can worry about how the QB feels or doesn't feel. Andy's job (as is any senior manager or exec) is to produce results from his organization. What Andy has done with his QB decisions is do exactly that, but MUCH more importantly, he has produced those results while trading away the previous franchise QB (which I disagreed with) AND having the No.1 QB get injured. So whether I agree with Andy's decisions, his job is to make sure the Eagles win games and perform. Reid's decisions have allowed that to happen even with changes/injuries that could easily have had very different results. Regardless of how his quarterbacks felt about it.
Mosley: Thanks for your THOUGHTFUL comment, J.J. I actually think Reid spends more time worrying about how his quarterbacks will "feel" than you think. Reid had an extremely close relationship with Donovan McNabb, so that was a tough decision for everyone involved. Reid may come across as cold and calculating, but he's quite attached to some of his players. The Eagles' head coach will likely have another tough decision to make when Vick's healthy again. And every player in that locker room will be monitoring Reid's every move. It's extremely important for coaches to show their players how much faith they have in their starting quarterback. Right now, the Eagles have two viable starting quarterbacks. And some players definitely have their preferences. This will be a very interesting thing to watch.
Devin from Sydney, Australia, has a question about the Giants: Matt, the blog formerly known as the Beast (it will one day return) has helped my move abroad and 4 a.m. kickoffs! Got another Giants question. The Defense, especially Jonathan Goff, has been doing well covering TEs, which has traditionally been a weak spot. How do you think the Giants LBs and DBs will fare against the richness of TEs in the divison?
Mosley: I know for a fact that Giants general manager Jerry Reese keeps Cowboys tight end Jason Witten in mind when he's scouting free agents and college players. The Giants were awful at safety last season, but now that's a position of strength. The Giants believe that Antrel Rolle's capable of covering Witten in space. And Goff is highly intelligent player who has done a nice job in coverage as well. Brent Celek, Chris Cooley and Witten are too talented to be completely shut down, but I think the Giants are better at safety than at any time in the past five or six years.