Now, that's more like Eagles we expected

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Jimmy Johnson

Jimmy Johnson was the architect of the Dallas Cowboys' dynasty in the mid-1990s. His team celebrated two consecutive Super Bowl victories with Johnson at the helm. He joined "FOX NFL Sunday" in 2010. Follow him on Twitter.

Philadelphia was the NFC team I picked to win it all before the season started. And the way they looked Sunday against the Giants, they still have a really good chance of doing exactly that. First off, the Eagles played a lot better than they had the past couple of weeks. Donovan McNabb hadn't been that sharp, but he was Sunday. The Eagles have made a living out of the big play, which they did again against the Giants. But the New York Giants were really exposed in this game. I think the New Orleans Saints showed the rest of the NFL how to expose the Giants a few weeks ago. The Giants' secondary has really been exposed, especially without safety Kenny Phillips and cornerback Aaron Ross. The Giants are having a very tough time covering anybody, especially when they have to cover with their safeties, who are really struggling. You add to it the outstanding speed the Eagles' DeSean Jackson and rookie Jeremy Macklin have and you're going to have a long day. It's asking a lot for any safety in the league to try to cover those guys. It's a combination of Philadelphia's being able to protect and McNabb's being able to get the ball deep down the field to those young, speedy receivers. Add in the ineptness of the Giants' pass coverage and Philadelphia has 40 points. Now for some corrections and solutions: When will the Giants get the injured players back? Because you can't hide safeties and you cannot hide cornerbacks. They can get better and you can change your coverages a little, but if you don't have good players back there, teams are going to take advantage of it. The NFC East will get very interesting next Sunday. Yes, I think the Cowboys are good. But don't ask me how they are after they beat Seattle. Ask me how they are after they beat Philadelphia. Can they do that? I can't be sold on a team that's sloppy. The one thing the Cowboys have done is hire Joe DeCamillis as their special teams coach. He has really improved a huge problem area this team had in the past. I know they changed their special teams workouts because of DeCamillis. Now, they start practices with special teams, as opposed to that part of the game being an afterthought at the end of practice. They have put a bigger emphasis on special teams, and it has started to pay dividends. But they always knew that was a problem. To me, Dallas is the same team we've seen the past couple of years. Yes, having Miles Austin helps Dallas at receiver. But the Cowboys are still Tony Romo. If he's hot, then Jason Witten has a good game and some of their other receivers will step up. They can count on their running game, but I still think their defense is playing hot and cold. And they always have a concern about penalties and turnovers. If they don't cut back on those penalties and turnovers, two aspects of the game that are always scary to me, they are going to remain a hit-and-miss team. The other two teams in the mix are Minnesota and the unbeaten New Orleans Saints, who play Monday night. If you look at the rest of their schedule, Minnesota is going to be there. The Vikings should end up hosting a playoff game. They are going to be there. I wasn't surprised with how Minnesota and Brett Favre played at Lambeau Field. I was surprised Green Bay didn't play better. The Packers look like just another good football team, but nothing more. They built up good offensive numbers against teams like Detroit and Cleveland. Minnesota and Indianapolis and New Orleans. Those are going to be the tough teams at the end of the season. I think it's going to be tough to go and beat these teams in their domes. The class of the AFC still looks to be Indianapolis, although the Colts did struggle against an improving San Francisco team. The 49ers really played the Colts very well on defense; they made Peyton Manning work hard all day long. The 49ers are still in the mix in the NFC West because Arizona, who knows? When you rely so much on Kurt Warner throwing the ball all the time, the Cardinals are not out of the woods. Put a fork in them? Well, the way they played on Sunday, they deserve to have a fork put in them. But the way the Cardinals played against the Giants last Sunday, you would say, hey, they are a contender. It is surprising they are 1-3 at home now. That doesn't make much sense if you are going to be a playoff team. Maybe they got a little full of themselves after beating New York, and that's why they played so poorly against the Panthers.

Final Favre thought

To me, it's almost like Brett made up his mind, well, I'm 40 years old and I want to be part of a great team. He's telling himself, "We're going to rely on Adrian Peterson and that defense, and when they need me, I'm going to make a play or two." Brett is a smart guy. I mean, he has been reading and hearing for years he's the gambler and he turns the ball over too much and the problems he had last season with the Jets — injury or no injury — he turned it over. He's playing a team game now. But there have been a lot of years when Brett has had to carry his team. He realizes with these Vikings he doesn't have to carry them. He's only thrown three interceptions through eight games. That's an amazing number. A lot of football people weren't real sure he could do that. I think they thought he would eventually fall back into his old bad habits. I was really surprised right before the end of the first half that he and the Vikings still ran the football and settled for the field goal. The old Brett Favre would have been slinging it and maybe throwing an interception.

Final football thought

I know Denver was knocked from the ranks of the unbeaten, but I still feel the Broncos are a very good team. Denver was the underdog in Baltimore, and the Ravens had lost three straight. So you knew the Ravens were going to be desperate and play well at home. They gave a great effort. Denver still has control of the AFC West. I don't think it should be a shock the Ravens beat Denver, maybe just a bit that they put so many points on them.
Tagged: Bears, Cowboys, Packers, Colts, Vikings, Saints, Giants, Jets, Eagles, 49ers, Ravens, Cardinals, Brett Favre, Peyton Manning, Kurt Warner, Donovan McNabb, Adrian Peterson, Jason Witten, Tony Romo, Miles Austin, Aaron Ross, Kenny Phillips, DeSean Jackson

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