NFC Rundown Week 11: New York Giants Fall from First, Atlanta Leads Conference

Marci NobleAnalyst INovember 17, 2010

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 14:  Ahmad Bradshaw #44 of the New York Giants runs the ball against the Dallas Cowboys on November 14, 2010 at the New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

NFC East

The Dallas Cowboys illustrated the importance of good coaching and sound leadership last weekend when they traveled to New York and gave the Giants a beating.  After the truth of Wade Phillips’ shortcomings were revealed by the Cowboys’ phenomenal play without him, he’ll be hard-pressed to find another job in the NFL very soon and fans can expect to see Jason Garrett at the helm a little while longer.

This coming week those Cowboys get an opportunity to prove it wasn’t a fluke when they host the Detroit Lions.

The Giants’ division loss dropped them out of first place after the Philadelphia Eagles mercilessly buffeted the Washington Redskins 59-28 Monday night.  The Redskins dropped below .500 and may soon be replacing the Cowboys on the bottom of the NFC East.  This weekend Washington plays the Titans.

Philadelphia and New York meet this weekend to establish which team is really the team to beat in the NFC East.  Michael Vick is on a deadly streak and the Giants are coming into this game humiliated.  Last weekend alone Vick threw four touchdowns and ran for two.  The Giants lost at home to a one-win team.  

Both teams will be coming into this game with guns blazing.

NFC North    

The Detroit Lions generously ended the Buffalo Bills’ losing streak, and upheld their reputation as a team that cannot finish.  

In the loss the Lions featured newly signed kicker Dave Rayner who is standing in for injured kicker Jason Hanson (although, the rest of us are disappointed that we won’t be seeing more field goal attempts by rookie DTs and the like).

A pastor in Detroit has called the fans to prayer in hopes God is the clutch player the Lions need to win games.

This weekend they’ll need the extra help when they travel to Dallas to play the reborn Cowboys.

The Chicago Bears toppled Brett Favre and the Minnesota Vikings last Sunday and find themselves tied for first in the division with the Green Bay Packers.  Next week the Bears will be in Miami, looking to gain better footing over the Dolphins who boast a star-studded injury report and a third string quarterback.

The Packers, who sat out on a bye last week, travel to Minnesota to rekindle the Packers-Vikings rivalry for what may be Favre’s last game vs. the Packers (if he sticks to his retirement announcement this time).

NFC South

The Atlanta Falcons stand as the NFC’s only true hope for dominance with a win over the Baltimore Ravens Thursday night.

The New Orleans Saints, though, are coming up on their on heels with wins over the Panthers and the Steelers before their Week 10 bye.

New Orleans hosts the Seattle Seahawks this weekend but a win won’t help them take the division: the Falcons play the St. Louis Rams.  Both teams are expected to come away with a win.

Tampa Bay looks to stay in contention after beating the Panthers last weekend and hosting the 49ers this weekend.  The 49ers are working with a new starting quarterback and should be no problem for Freeman and company.

Carolina seems content with helping other teams improve their standings and plan to do so again against Baltimore.

NFC West

The NFC West had an exciting weekend reworking the rankings.

San Francisco started third string quarterback Troy Smith and managed a win over St. Louis.  That, coupled with Matt Hasselbeck returning to pro-bowl form and Seattle sweeping the Cardinals, puts the Seahawks back in first place in the division and drops the Cardinals down to last.

Nothing is likely to change this weekend as three of the four teams are playing the powerful NFC South (SEA@NO, TB@SF, ATL@STL and the Cardinals travel to Kansas City to take on the Chiefs).

With all four teams hovering around .500 and many inner-division matchups to come, it’s still anybody’s playoff race.