Kenny Phillips could return to the field against the Green Bay Packers on Saturday. - Al Bello
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I'll spare you a "It's a great day for football talk," but seriously -- we've got a good good slate of games today. Houston-Detroit kicks it off at 12:30 p.m. ET (CBS), followed by what I would call the headliner of Washington-Dalls at 4:25 p.m. ET (FOX). New England-Jets caps the day off at 8:20 p.m. (NBC).
Naturally, I'm pumped to see what comes out of the Redskins and Cowboys. Robert Grifffin III is coming off a game in which he recorded a perfect 158.3 passer rating against the Eagles (14-of-15, 200 yards and four touchdowns). He also rushed for 84 yards on 12 attempts, an average of 7.0 yards per. Across the sideline, the topsy-turvy nature of the Cowboys' season continues, as Dallas enters the day with a two-game winning streak after dropping four of their previous five (with the bye sandwiched in there). Tony Romo, as evidenced by his attempting the sixth-most passes in the league so far (394), has been throwing the ball a ton. After completing 35 of 50 passes in last week's overtime win over the Browns, I'd expect him to target Dez Bryant relentlessly against the Redskins' 29th-ranked passing defense (289.2 passing yards allowed per game).
On to the links...
This one, complete with a high-school photo of Eli Manning, is a fun one read today. Sam Borden details the Thanksgiving football rituals of the Manning family (as well as some of Steve Weatheford's and Borden's). It's a light-hearted article full of some absolute gems, and this one stuck out to me as especially fantastic:
"They always made me be automatic center," Eli said, shaking his head. Then he brightened. "At least the center was always eligible" to catch passes, he added.
Some others have Cooper Manning explaining young Eli's struggles to pronounce "Mississippi" as fast as he could when rushing the passer as "sickeningly cute" and Eli stating that the Mannings broke out a full playbook -- "Except the quarterback can't run. ... With us, that obviously wasn't a problem."
I'm not sure if "rattling" Aaron Rodgers is so central to any success the Giants will have this weekend. After all, a solid pass rush and a better outing from the league's 25th-ranked passing defense (257.8 yards allowed per game) would likely do the trick. For their part, though, the members of the Giants' D are at least proving quotable regarding the matchup with Rodgers.
"Our job as a defense is to get Rodgers as rattled as possible, which is extremely difficult, but I have seen it done," [Antrel] Rolle said. "I think each and every player, each and every quarterback in this league, can get rattled at some point in time. You just have to go out there make it happen as a defense."
"I think he can be rattled," [Kenny] Phillips said. "I think any quarterback can be rattled."
"Nah, I think we can probably speed him up a little. Maybe slow him down a little bit," the defensive end said. "Rattle? Nah, he's played in a lot of big-time games and played well in a lot of big-time games. He's gotten hit a lot in certain games and come out and take your heart at the end of the game. So rattle him? I don't think so.