KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Alex Smith threw three touchdown passes, Dexter McCluster returned a punt 89 yards for another score and the unbeaten Kansas City Chiefs plunged the New York Giants to 0-4 with a 24-7 victory on Sunday.Smith hit touchdown passes of 4, 2 and 35 yards for the Chiefs (4-0), who under Andy Reid have already doubled their victory total of 2012. They are the second team to go from a two-win season to 4-0 the next year.The Giants, who trailed only 17-7 after three quarters, are 0-4 for the first time since 1987. ...
The resurgent Kansas City Chiefs lead the NFL in turnover differential and sacks, and have relied upon an effective running game to get off to their second 3-0 start in a decade. They've also handled the NFC East so far, beating teams from that division in each of the last two weeks.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Cam Newton threw three touchdown passes and ran for another, and Carolina's defense sacked Eli Manning seven times as the Panthers handed Tom Coughlin his worst defeat as coach of the New York Giants, 38-0 Sunday.
Aaron Rodgers and the Chiefs come up big, while the NFC East flounders in Week 2.
Here at Shutdown Corner, we want to help. So once a week, we'll go in and examine a team coming off a bad week, bad month, maybe a bad decade (you're in luck, Cleveland), and see what fixes can be made to turn around the season. So step aside, we've got this. First up, the New York Giants. We're not panicking on the Giants. After all, some of us around here picked them to win the NFC East . It's just one loss. And anytime you turn the ball over six times on the road and somehow still have a chance to win, as they did against Dallas on Sunday night, you're not a lost cause. That doesn't mean there aren't some adjustments to be made. Why do the Giants always do this? They have a coach in Tom Coughlin who might go to the Hall of Fame someday, a good roster and a championship pedigree. Yet every year there are a game or four from the Giants that make you wonder if they're tanking for a better draft pick. A good team shouldn't be so inconsistent or sloppy, but here we are. So let's see what can be done.
COMMENTARY | It's Week 2 on the preseason schedule, and the Pittsburgh Steelers continue their tour of the NFC East as they'll do battle with the Washington Redskins at FedEx field.
COMMENTARY | When forecasting the NFC East in 2013, it's easy to overlook the Philadelphia Eagles. After all, they finished with a record of 4-12 and ranked No. 29 in the National Football League in both points scored (280) and points allowed (444) last season.
The NFL season is approaching and Shutdown Corner is previewing all 32 teams, counting down our power rankings with one team a day until No. 1 is unveiled on Aug. 4, when the preseason kicks off with the Hall of Fame Game in Canton. Go to our Facebook page after you read the preview for all airing of grievances; we’ll have a daily discussion there to go with each preview. Seeing as how our last image of Robert Griffin III on a football field was of his knee twisting in a gruesome direction, it's fairly amazing that it seems like a foregone conclusion he'll be in the lineup in Week 1. And with that, Redskins fans can resume hope. Washington paid a heavy price to get its franchise quarterback with the second pick of last year's draft, and the Redskins must feel they got a bargain. Griffin revitalized a franchise. The 2011 Heisman Trophy winner showed off his impressive display of skills from a great first game against the Saints on, leading a late-season charge to an unlikely NFC East championship. Mike Shanahan made a mistake leaving Griffin in a playoff game against Seattle when his quarterback obviously was hurting, and Griffin blew out his knee. But with a surprising recovery, everything seems to be back on track for the Redskins and one of the brightest stars the league has.
After a brief hiatus, our good buddy Greg Cosell of NFL Films and ESPN's NFL Matchup is back to talk a little football. And with the preseason just around the corner, it's time to finish up our draft review podcasts by division, now that teams have given a bit of insight into how their new players will be used. We've already covered the  NFC West ,  AFC West ,  AFC South ,  NFC South ,  NFC North ,   AFC North , and AFC East . Now, we'll conclude with the NFC East, and review how the Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, and Washington Redskins did with their selections. The Shutdown Corner NFC East Draft Review Podcast with Greg Cosell On the Dallas Cowboys' first-round pick, Wisconsin C/G Travis Frederick: "If you're making a draft board, you probably didn't have Travis Frederick as your 31st-best player. Now, here's the question: You're a team that really struggled last year to run your offense, both running and throwing, because of offensive line deficiencies. It could be argued that this was the reason they couldn't compete. You made a valid point about the safeties still on the board, and that's a position they need, as well. But if they feel that they can't function in their division and win games without a [better] offensive line, then I understand intellectually why they made the pick. It's easy to say that there are better players, but if they can't run their offense, and therefore can't run their team, then you understand their rationale." On the New York Giants' first-round pick, Syracuse OT Justin Pugh: "I liked Pugh on film, and I think he's a starting tackle in the NFL. Over time, I think he could play left tackle, but he's definitely a starting right tackle. So, what's the value of that? If he's a starting tackle in the NFL from year one, and he'll get the opportunity to do so, then we're just debating the value of the pick. Ultimately, you have to talk about the player. He certainly wasn't as smooth in pass protection as a Luke Joeckel or an Eric Fisher, but I thought he had very good balance and knee-bend. You mentioned that he looked overwhelmed at times a the Senior Bowl, and that's about strength. He has very good feet, and plus athleticism and movement. Now, he needs to get stronger in an NFL weightroom." The Shutdown Corner NFC East Draft Review Podcast with Greg Cosell On the Philadelphia Eagles' first-round pick, Oklahoma OT Lane Johnson:
The NFL season is approaching and Shutdown Corner is previewing all 32 teams, counting down our power rankings with one team a day until No. 1 is unveiled on Aug. 4, when the preseason kicks off with the Hall of Fame Game in Canton. Go to our Facebook page after you read the preview for all airing of grievances; we’ll have a daily discussion there to go with each preview. Under Jerry Jones, the Dallas Cowboys are expected to be in the playoffs on an annual basis. That certainly was the case during the 1990s, with the Cowboys going to the postseason in eight of nine seasons between 1991 and 1999. But with just four appearances, and one playoff win, in the last 13 seasons, Jones might be getting a little restless and would be justifiably frustrated with how close his team has come to the playoffs the last two seasons. In 2011, the Cowboys and New York Giants entered their Week 17 game tied with an 8-7 record. Winner wins the NFC East and goes to the playoffs, the loser goes home. The Cowboys went home, the Giants won the Super Bowl. In 2012, the Cowboys were in the exact same situation. Go on the road and beat the Washington Redskins, win the NFC East and host a playoff game. Quarterback Tony Romo was intercepted three times and Redskins rookie running back Alfred Morris carved Rob Ryan's defense for 200 yards and three touchdowns in a 28-18 thumping that ended a Cowboys' season that saw them at 3-5 at the midway point before a second-half surge (they won five of six in November/early December) got them back into playoff contention. Being knocked out of the playoffs always hurts, but it stings a little more when it comes at the hands of a division rival. If the Cowboys are in a similar, "win or go home" position in Week 17, they'll at least have the luxury of playing at home as they'll host the Philadelphia Eagles on Dec. 29. With the Cowboys changing play-callers and defensive systems this offseason, and unable to upgrade the roster due to overall personnel mismanagement, salary cap blunders and $5 million in salary cap penalties, the Cowboys could easily find themselves well out of playoff contention by Christmas.

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