Chat with Matt Mosley
Mosley, an award-winning writer for The Dallas Morning News for seven years, joined ESPN.com in January 2007. Mosley, a Baylor graduate, writes columns, features and blogs for ESPN.com.
Send your questions now and join Mosley in The Show on Friday at noon ET!
Let's get a Cowboys question out the way. Dallas have good defensive talent, but Wade's scheme to me is lacking!!! When he first got to Dallas people talked about his pressure scheme, where is it? And I know that Dallas finished around top 5 in sacks, but that was mainly attributed to great players, rarely did I see the scheme causing it.Last year the secondary was banged up and had only 2 legit starting corners, so I understand. But not this year, how many times against Philly did the Cowboys rush 4 and hope Ellis or Ware made a play?
Matt Mosley (12:05 PM)
Man, I've been looking forward to this. I'm planning to answer six Cowboys questions, 10 Giants questions, seven Eagles questions and nine Redskins questions. Does that sound OK? Let's start out with a Phillips 3-4 question. I love the premise that we're knocking Wade's defense because he has great players. The defense didn't look good in the first half against the Eagles -- no matter how Wade tries to justify it. But the unit played well in the second half and held a potent offense to seven points. The approach in that game was to keep everything in front of them. Worked OK until DeSean Jackson got behind Pacman. Ellis and Ware will be fine. Have you noticed that Ellis hasn't been rushing that much? That's right, they've been dropping him back into coverage a lot the first couple of games. That will change against Aaron Rodgers and the Pack on Sunday.
Steve (Washington DC)
Every time we hear about the NFC East its the same thing "there are three teams that are a threat." Where is the love for the Redskins? They have made the playoffs two out of the last 3 years...have won a playoff game...and have a talented roster.
Matt Mosley (12:08 PM)
I hear ya Steve. I think there's just a belief that the Cowboys, Eagles and Giants are on a different plane than the Redskins right now -- and I can't argue with that. I think even Redskins fans are taking a wait and see approach with how this team will respond to Jim Zorn and his new offense. First week, things looked bleak. But that was a big win against the Saints -- no matter how banged up they were. If you want to know why I have the Redskins fourth in the league, it's because I don't have much faith in their O-line and wide receivers. But if it's any solace, they would win the NFC West and maybe even the South.
Eric (Sioux City)
Is it just me, or did B.Bunkley seem to be in on every Eagle tackle? He has developed into a very good DT over his last 8-10 games.
Matt Mosley (12:11 PM)
Eric: I'm glad you brought that up. I noticed the same thing Monday night. He hopped past poor Corey Procter before he knew what hit him a couple of times the other night. When he first came out of Florida State, he didn't have a clue about how to be a professional. But in time, the talent started to dovetail with the desire. He made a commitment heading into his second year, and now he's a nice player. He's a big part of the reason Marion Barber couldn't do anything in the first half.
SprungOnSports (Long Island)
Is there any worry that Palmer, Chad and Housh actually wake up on Sunday? They haven't just turned into poor players have they?
Matt Mosley (12:13 PM)
You never know when it might happen. I make it a habit not to watch too much Bengals football these days, but I'm told their O-line has been dreadful. If you don't have any time, you're probably going to throw the ball poorly. Ocho Cinco and Housh are still two of the best in the league, so they could sting the Giants early. But it's hard for me to imagine the type of letdown it would require for the Giants to lose this game. Coughlin won't allow it.
Eagles stuff the run and make Ben throw this Sunday? Do you put Sheldon the physical Ward and Asante on Holmes?
Matt Mosley (12:17 PM)
It almost goes without saying that you have to try to take away the run with the Steelers. Willie Parker has been great early in the season, and that opens up the passing game for Big Ben. But I think the Eagles need to do a better job getting to the quarterback. They didn't sack Tony Romo once Monday, and there's no excuse for that. They rarely made him worry. Even the turnovers were just bone-headed things on Romo's part, not something the Eagles did. The Eagles put Asante Samuel on T.O. on 22 plays the other night according to a scout I talk to quite a bit. It wouldn't surprise me if he ends up on Holmes one-on-one quite a bit. But don't forget about Hines Ward. He's a constant threat.
Phili spends gazillions on Samuel, offend lito yet when they play the boys lito is the one who mans up on Owens. yeah, way to go eagles......morons....
Matt Mosley (12:18 PM)
As I just stated, Samuel spent a lot of time on T.O. the other night.
Can I get your input on the game between ARI-WAS on Sunday. I have never seen so much trash talk from the Cards fans before. Where have they come from?
Matt Mosley (12:20 PM)
James, the Cardinals actually contract their trash-talking out to other teams. It's one of the league's dirty little secrets. Eagles fans are actually paid to trash-talk on the behalf of the Cards. But seriously, who can blame the Card "Nation" for coming out of hiding. They're 2-0 and the Seahawks are in major trouble. They smell a playoff game, and for once, they feel superior to their former NFC East foes. Just deal with it for a week or so. This shouldn't last long.
What will Eli do against the Bengals secondary? Even though they appear a little beat up, they still have a solid LB corp that could put pressure on the passing game...
Matt Mosley (12:23 PM)
Did I miss something? When did the Bengals get a solid linebacking corps? For years, they've been awful at that spot. I realize they landed the USC kid, but they've had six different middle linebackers over the past six years. And that may be a conservative estimate. Eli Manning should have a big day against this secondary, which is now missing a former first-round draft pick. Marv Lewis is dead man walking.
It was good to see Portis get a couple TDs last week. How do you see him performing this week against an improved Zona D?
Matt Mosley (12:25 PM)
I think Portis could have a nice day. He made an adjustment in that last game that allowed him to see his running lanes better. He just backed up a step or two and it allowed him more time to see things develop. Watch out for this Dockett guy though. Fast and strong inside. Portis will have 76 yards and a touch.
Hey Matt, Do you think Jason Campbell has what it takes to eventually be in the conversation with Romo/Big Ben/Eli/Cutler?
Matt Mosley (12:28 PM)
Kelso, I want to believe that he does. He moves well, and he has a big arm. He's a really calm guy, which I think bothers some people. As we've seen with Eli, you have to be who you are. If Campbell started screaming at people on the sideline, it wouldn't be authentic. I'd love to see what he could do with at least one receiver taller than six feet. I'm not sure, though, that Devin Thomas and Malcolm Kelly are ready for primetime. That's a shame, because they were drafted to make Campbell better. That's not happening yet. Until they show some improvement, keep finding Chris Cooley. It's inexcusable that he could have one catch in a game for seven yards -- as he did against the Giants.
SprungOnSports (Long Island)
Green Bay was able to cruise last week without a running game, will they be able to win this track meet without a healthy Ryan Grant?
Matt Mosley (12:30 PM)
Until Grant arrived last season, they cruised without a running game. Brandon Jackson is a decent back who has pretty good quickness. But this team lives and dies by the pass. Driver and Jennings are two of the best in the league at running after the catch. I think the Packers can move the ball on the Cowboys. But there's no way Rodgers wins in a shootout against Romo. The Packers have to find a way to pressure Romo to have any chance at winning this game.
Broad Street Brian (Philly)
The winner of the NFC east will have a .... record. I say 10-6 and the winner will play the opening weekend of the playoffs. The div is just to tough.
Matt Mosley (12:31 PM)
I think someone's going to have a 12-4 record. It could be the Cowboys, Eagles or Giants
Matt, on the play where Justin Tuck got his interception he was playing DT. How do the Giants have enough depth on the line to continue to use this strategy without Strahan and Osi and with Kiwi a little banged up? What do the Giants look like at DE?
Matt Mosley (12:34 PM)
Andy, it's a good question. They can move Tuck inside in certain packages because most of those guys on the defensive line can play all the positions. Jay Alford and Fred Robbins have been excellent at tackle, but they can move out there and play end. Eagles castoff Jerome McDougle has also provided some nice depth for the Giants. I thought he did some good things last week against the Rams. They just have a bunch of versatile players, and that's very intentional. GM Jerry Reese wants guys that can do a variety of things.
How do you expect P. Watkins to perform in place of R. Williams?
Matt Mosley (12:37 PM)
I expect him to perform really well. He was already replacing Williams in passing situations. And it's not like he's a poor run defender, although Williams is better in that department. The compelling part of this thing is how little is being made about the Cowboys losing a Pro Bowl quality player. The tough part for the Cowboys is that Watkins might be their best special teams player. Playing more downs could affect his play in that department.
How does Garrett plan on using Felix Jones? Isn't about 5-7 non kickoff returns about right? With Cricket out, would hope to see more split backfields with him and Barber!
Matt Mosley (12:39 PM)
Chris, Wade Phillips came out in his news conference yesterday and acknowledged that he'd like to see Jones in the game more often. But you've seen it with the Giants and the Cowboys. For some reason, teams struggle with rotating players in. You get to the end of the game, and you hear a coach apologize for not playing one of his potential weapons enough. This never makes sense to me. I think Felix will get four our five carries against the Packers. But he'll also be involved in the passing game. If you can get him 10-12 touches a game on offense, then we're talking.
Hal (New Orleans)
Show Drew Brees the love....He's the next manning/brady...
Matt Mosley (12:40 PM)
You're kidding, right?
I am worried about the NYG RB platoon affecting Jacobs numbers this week and as the season progresses. Do you still think he is a better play than Chris Johnson this week?
Matt Mosley (12:41 PM)
Start Brandon Jacobs against the Bengals. Don't overthink this thing. That's what I'm doing. Don't fall in love with these rookies yet. It's been two weeks. Go with the proven commodity.
MM, straying from the NFC-E for a second. I know SD should be upset with what occured last game, but is everyone being too hard on Ed "Hercules" Hochuli?
Matt Mosley (12:43 PM)
Os: I wrote about this on the NFC Beast blog today. (Surely all of you have been reading). I understand why Chargers fans are upset. They got screwed out of a win by an egregious mistake. That said, this guy's been one of the best officials in football for years. I certainly hope this one mistake doesn't define his career. He feels awful about it. Now, it's time to move on. I'd love to see him get a nice ovation before that Ravens game this weekend.
Matt - What is the deal with Anthony Spencer's knee? Is this something that could be an issue all season long?
Matt Mosley (12:45 PM)
You'll never know by listening to the head coach. I'll poke around this afternoon and see what I can come up with. He got through the game fine the other night. Wouldn't surprise me a bit if this thing lingers throughout the season.
Would you consider the NFC-West the worst division in football now or another?
Matt Mosley (12:48 PM)
Yes, I'd say it's the worst. But with the exception of the Steelers, the AFC North is looking a little ragged.
Who should I start??? Julius Jones against the Rams, or Earnest Graham against the Bears???????????????
Matt Mosley (12:48 PM)
Go with Julius. Seahawks don't have any receivers left and the Bears have a tough D.
SprungOnSports (Long Island)
Philly did a good job on Marion Barber last week, will they be able to stuff Willie Parker as well?
Matt Mosley (12:50 PM)
Willie Parker's a different type back than Barber. I thought Philly matched up well against Barber because they're pretty physical and some of that blitzing means that Barber's getting met near and behind the line of scrimmage. Parker's quicker than Barber and has more speed. All he needs is a quick seam and he's gone. I think he's a tougher matchup than Barber -- at least for this team..
Aubrey (Asheville, NC)
Hey so i have a dilemma, i have both Aaron Rogers and Tony Romo on my team and it is really hard to pick someone, who should I favor more
Matt Mosley (12:52 PM)
Aubrey: This is not a dilemma. Rodger has started two games in his career, Romo 28. You have a two-time Pro Bowler against a complete unknown.
I think Al Harris knows he can't cover TO, but if he gets his name out that he wants TO one on one, people around the league will hear it, and instantly think he's a good corner, but evidence shows, Al Harris couldn't cover my mother....He's a bum
Matt Mosley (12:54 PM)
I don't think Al Harris is a bum at all. He's a talented corner who will make a quarterback pay if he makes a mistake. I've watched him bait quarterbacks into throws and he'll try to do that Sunday night. But you're correct in saying that he'll struggle with T.O. in one-on-one coverage.
I have to choose the lesser of two evils for the weekend to start: Kitna or Bulger. Who should I choose?
Matt Mosley (12:55 PM)
Luis (SB, CA)
M-dubb, are you going to be at the Packers/Cowboys game on Sunday night? if so, can we count on your great play by play coverage?
Matt Mosley (12:56 PM)
I'll be there, Luis...May leave the play-by-play to someone else, though.
Who do you see as the MVP of the NFL after the first 2 weeks of the season.
Matt Mosley (12:57 PM)
Wow! I'll go with JustinTuck of the New York Giants.
Colin Weiner (New Paltz, NY)
The Giants are 2-0 without Strahan and Umenyiora. Do they have what it takes and go for a repeat championship?
Matt Mosley (1:01 PM)
Well, the offense looks a lot better than it did at this time last season, although they did put up a ton of points against the Cowboys in a loss. I still think the lack of depth on the D-line will catch up with the Giants at some point, but it hasn't yet. This is the perfect schedule for a team that's learning how to play without some key components. With the Bengals coming in, the Giants are staring at 3-0. This doesn't look like a team that will fade at any point. They'll finish 11-5 and represent the NFC East as one of the wild-card teams.
Steve in Big D
Does Dallas watch how Tank does very closely this season??? I could see Dallas wanting a mammoth NT in Haynesworth (free agent to be).........don't you?
Matt Mosley (1:04 PM)
Steve: The problem with Tank is that he guesses too much. He moves really well and believe it or not, he's actually emerged as a leader on this team. I think the Cowboys will try to keep him. Haynesworth's an outstanding player, but I don't think Jerry Jones will go after him. Do you recall a certain stomping habit? I'm not sure this team's Pro Bowl center would be thrilled with that addition.
Who do you see winning Sunday night's game between the Boys and the Cheeseheads, why will this team win, and the final score will be?
Matt Mosley (1:07 PM)
Cowboys 31, Packers 21 Rodgers wil move the ball, but the Cowboys' offense will be too much for the Pack. I like Kampman at DE, but he didn't do anything against the Cowboys last season. I just have a hard time seeing the Packers D slowing down the Cowboys' offense. You've been a wonderful audience. I'm being asked to leave the chat room now. Thanks for the memories.