Hey, so, bad news for all of you Eagles, Cowboys and Redskins fans. If you thought last week on the blog was Giants-heavy... you ain't seen nothing yet. Links.
New York Giants
Ian O'Connor points out that Eli Manning has now beaten Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers in playoff games in Green Bay, and that the only reason he didn't take out Bart Starr too is that he's too young to have had the chance. "Manning plays better than better quarterbacks," Ian writes, and while that's a nice way to put it, it seems pretty clear by now that Manning is a fairly great quarterback in his own right.
The play of Sunday's game may have been Hakeem Nicks' catch of Eli Manning's Hail Mary pass as time ran out in the second quarter. Brandon Jacobs said he saw Packers players walking to the locker room with their heads down and "pretty much knew they were done." Not sure about that, but the play had a strong whiff of significance. Kevin Seifert had just told me that the Packers specialized in scoring right before the end of the first half and then getting the ball to start the second half and scoring again. The opposite happened in this game. The Giants scored right before the end of the first half and the Packers turned the ball over on the first drive of the second. Game-changing stuff, that.
The 700 Level looks at the likelihood of Steve Spagnuolo returning to the Eagles as defensive coordinator. With rumors now abounding that Gregg Williams will leave the Saints to join Jeff Fisher in St. Louis, you can add New Orleans to the list of interested Spagnuolo suitors. It won't be easy for the Eagles to get him, and there's also the troubling little fact that their defensive coordinator job is not, currently, open.
Sheil Kapadia wonders if Eagles defensive line coach Jim Washburn could go to St. Louis with Fisher, since the two had success together in Tennessee. Another reminder that the issues on the Eagles' defensive coaching staff are complicated and intertwined and don't seem to present any simple solutions.
Hudson Houck isn't saying the Cowboys will or should move Tyron Smith from right tackle to left tackle. But Smith's first NFL position coach, now retired, says that Smith could be "very, very good" at left tackle if such a move were made. With a new offensive coordinator and offensive line coach coming in, I imagine that decision has yet to be made. But it would seem to make a pile of sense, given Doug Free's struggles on the left side this past year.
Two weeks may be enough time to have softened some fans who were bitterly disappointed by the way the Cowboys' season ended. Blogging the Boys has a post expressing "rampant and disproportionate optimism" about the Cowboys' future and direction. Kind of refreshing, really.
Rich Tandler watched Saturday's Saints-49ers playoff game with an eye on some potential offseason targets for the Redskins, including Saints receivers Marques Colston and Robert Meachem. Mike Shanahan will definitely be looking for a No. 1 receiver this offseason, but as Rich suggests, the Saints' guys come with questions about whether they'd perform the same way in a different system.
Rick Snider ponders the idea of the Redskins bringing in Peyton Manning to play quarterback for them next year. Some say it's farfetched. I'm not sure it is. But I know they'd have to be sure he's healthy before they decided to do it, and I'm not sure how anybody's going to be able to be sure of that.