Analysis: The Giants like to make life difficult for themselves, especially in the NFC East. Over the last few seasons, the Giants have had opportunity after opportunity to take the division by a strangle hold, but have either failed to do so or gave their fans heart attacks while doing so. Two years ago it was that December afternoon against the Eagles, where the Giants failed to take a hold on the division and eventually ended up missing the playoffs because of it. Last year, they lost four straight after a 6-2 start and sat at 7-7 before winning on the final night of the season against the Cowboys. This season, the Giants currently sit at 7-4 and have a 2 game lead over the Redskins, who are 5-6 and a 1.5 game lead over the Cowboys. A win Monday night against Washington would put the Giants as the No. 3 seed in the NFC and give them a 2 game lead over Dallas with just four to play, and no meetings between the two remaining.
Analysis: When in need of headlines or storylines, head to the AFC East division where there are plenty of them. The Jets speak for themselves, but the Patriots and Bills have a few of their own.
The Patriots started off the season with a few head spinning games, but have settled down in recent weeks and that offense looks like Tom Brady of old. He has found Wes Welker again, took long enough after the Super Bowl, and Brandon Lloyd is playing as good as anyone in New England could have hoped for. Gronk is, well he is Gronk. And while Aaron Hernandez has been injury plagued all season, they have had a new emergence of the running back spot as Stevan Ridley has given the Pats a new dimension to work with.
Anaylsis: Coming off their first loss in five weeks, you would think those surrounding the New York Giants would be very confident and satisfied where they are at sitting at 6-3 and 2.5 games up in the NFC East. Well, that's the great thing about New York, one loss and the Giants are the same team of recent years that has struggled in November and has had to rely on heroics and heartbreak in December to determine their season.
This team is different. This team has balance and leadership at every position on both sides of the ball. The Giants have not played the way they are used to for three straight weeks now and they are 2-1 in that time with a loss against the Steelers in a game which they lead 20-10 in the 4th quarter. I bet most NFL fans would take that from their team. Not in New York, not when you are the reigning Super Bowl Champions and have all the ingredients to make another postseason run.
Analysis: Across the pond they go for the NFL's annual game in England. And just because it is in Old England doesn't mean the Patriots will receive the support and overwhelming odds in this one. The stands are filled with NFL jerseys from all 32 teams, spanning from 1970-2012. That would be the greatest thing about the NFL in London, and if Robert Kraft had his way he would have a team over the pond. In Wembley Stadium, the Patriots look to get on a roll and move to 5-3 with a victory over the Rams, who look to improve to .500 with a win. Tom Brady has not looked like his MVP self for many parts of the season thus far, and many in New and Old England will be anxious to see if he can get back to form against a stingy Rams defense.
Analysis: Eli Manning signed his name on the new Cowboys stadium in the visitors locker room a few years back after he won the first game ever in Jerry World. Since then, he has not been beaten by the Cowboys in their $1.2 billion play pen, as some have called it. Manning also happened to win the last game at the old Cowboys stadium in the 2007 divisional round of the playoffs. His recent success down in Dallas makes it all the more puzzling why Jerry Jones told fans to come down to the stadium to watch the Cowboys kick the Giants rear ends this year.