With the exception of the New York Giants, Week 5 was not a good week for the NFC East.
A major player in the division suffered a concussion, another star continued to fumble away victories and two out of three teams in action suffered losses.
Here are the top story lines for the week that was, in the NFC East:
- RG3 injury
Washington lost to unbeaten Atlanta on Sunday, 24-17, with the Falcons scoring the final 10 points of the game for another fourth-quarter comeback victory.
But the big concern for the Redskins franchise was the hit to the head that rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III suffered in the third quarter as he scrambled inside Atlanta’s 5-yard line.
RG3 did not return to the game, and will undergo a series of tests this week to determine the severity of his concussion.
Rookie Kirk Cousins stepped in for Washington, connecting with Santana Moss for a 77-yard TD on his fourth pro pass to put the Redskins in front. The final two possessions for the Redskins, though, ended with Cousins tossing INTs. Cousins finished 5-for-9 for 111 yards, one TD, two INTs and a 97.2 passer rating.
The Redskins (2-3) host the Minnesota Vikings next Sunday.
- Vick can't hold onto ball
The Philadelphia Eagles continue to be one of the most exciting teams in the league, although that’s not always a good thing for them. Another Eagles game went down to the wire, with Andy Reid’s team on the short end of the score this time.
Pittsburgh’s Shaun Suisham booted a 34-yard FG on the final play of the game to give the Steelers a 16-14 win over Philadelphia (3-2).
Vick’s TD pass to Brent Celek put the Eagles in position to win another fourth-quarter game, but Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers offense took the final 6:33 off the clock in a deliberate drive that set up the winning FG.
For the Eagles, it was another case of missed opportunity, as quarterback Michael Vick continued to turn the ball over at an alarming rate. Vick lost two fumbles, including one into Pittsburgh’s end zone that the Steelers recovered. In five games, Vick has tossed six INTs and fumbled the ball another eight times (losing five).
It’s nearly impossible continue to win with a quarterback turning the ball over that frequently.
On the positive side, Vick yet again showed his ability to make fourth-quarter magic happen, leading the Eagles on a scoring drive to take a 14-13 lead with under 7 minutes remaining.
Philadelphia hosts Detroit next Sunday.
- Giants feast on win-less foe
The host Giants did not give the Cleveland Browns any reason to think that the visitors could stay with the defending champions on Sunday. New York (3-2) piled up over 500 yards of offense, including 243 rushing yards, in battering the win-less Browns 41-27.
While the Giants have yet to establish any consistency from week-to-week this season, Tom Coughlin’s team did win this game just like they were supposed to – in convincing fashion. The Giants did spot the Browns a 17-7 lead, but then scored the game’s next 27 points to put the game out of reach.
The Giants took advantage of three Browns turnovers (including two INTs of rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden), and benefited from 10 Cleveland penalties.
With the win, the Giants are tied atop the East with Washington, which lost on Sunday. It was an important win for New York, especially considering the Giants have to travel out to San Francisco next week,
- Bradshaw, Giants push Browns around
Ahmad Bradshaw had the game of his professional life on Sunday, becoming the second back in the league to rush for 200 yards in 2012. Bradshaw rushed 30 times for 200 yards and a TD in the Giants’ win at the Meadowlands.
Going into the game, Bradshaw had tallied just 133 yards in 2012, averaging 3.8 YPC. On Sunday, Bradshaw did not start well, fumbling his first carry – on the game’s first play from scrimmage.
Bradshaw carried the ball 15 times in the first half, for 80 yards (including a 4-yard TD), with four carries going for 10+ yards, including a 14-yard gain.
He went over 100 yards on New York’s first possession of the third quarter with a 37-yard burst, although he had just four carries in that period.
Once the Giants started to separate from the Browns, though, it was all running all the time, with Bradshaw getting 11 fourth-quarter carries (and rookie David Wilson adding a 40-yard TD run).
On New York’s final possession, Bradshaw got six carries in a row, churning out 39 yards to hit the 200-yard mark. In the game, Bradshaw nine rushes of 10+ yards. It was his ninth career 100-yard game, with a previous high of 151 in the final week of his rookie season in 2007.
The NFL’s leading rusher, Jamaal Charles of Kansas City, ran for 233 yards in an OT win over New Orleans on Sept. 23.
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