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Snap Judgments (cont.)

Posted: Sunday November 20, 2005 6:46PM; Updated: Sunday November 20, 2005 7:31PM
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6. New York (7-3) -- The Giants will score on you, but they still shouldn't have lost to Minnesota last week and they had to work harder than they should to quell the Eagles this week. Again, we'll know more about them once they square off for the division lead at home against Dallas in two weeks.

7. Atlanta (6-4) -- The edge the Falcons have had at home the past few years has seemingly dissipated. Defensively Atlanta is giving up way too ground on all fronts. It's lucky for the Falcons that Carolina also lost this week, and that they have four division games remaining, including two against the Panthers.

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• His persona is being the tough, gruff, no-nonsense football coach, but you can't help but feel for the Patriots' Bill Belichick, who lost his father -- and coaching role model -- late Saturday night. In a wonderful case of timing, the book that Belichick and best-selling author David Halberstam just collaborated on -- The Education of a Coach -- was largely a homage to Steve Belichick, the former longtime assistant at Navy.

• Maybe it was seeing Joe Gibbs on the sideline wearing one of those stylized "R'' Redskins caps that he favors, but watching the Raiders-Redskins on Sunday, I kept expecting Jack Squirek to sneak out into the flat and intercept Joe Theismann at any minute.

• I'm guessing it felt pretty darn vindicating for Oakland head coach Norv Turner to leave Landover, Md., with that comeback win over Washington. Turner, the former Redskins head coach who was fired by owner Daniel Snyder in late 2000, is the last man to lead Washington to the playoffs.

Which is more than Marty Schottenheimer, Steve Spurrier and Gibbs can say.

• Question for Nick Saban in Miami: Are Gus Frerotte and Sage Rosenfels that much of an upgrade over Jay Fiedler and A. J. Feeley? Your offense can't do worse than it did at Cleveland.

• This week was the one-year anniversary of the dawn of the Eli Manning starting era in New York. Not really sure what that means, but I thought I'd mark it. Manning did. With a win.

Braylon Edwards asked for the ball this week and he got it. Six catches for 90 yards equaled an impact day for the Browns rookie receiver.

• I'm no doctor, but the Giants' playoff hopes might have taken a serious hit with Tiki Barber going down late in the win over the Eagles. For New York's sake, it had better hope Barber has some quick bounce-back factor going for him.

• I thought Mike Vrabel only caught touchdown passes in Super Bowls. They must be running short of bodies in New England again. Vrabel's playing offense and Troy Brown is back as a part-time cornerback.

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