Here’s the latest from the NFC East, whose 2015 champion could be crowned tonight:
- As the end of the season draws nearer, Giants owner John Mara gets closer to having to make a decision on the future of two-time Super Bowl-winning head coach Tom Coughlin. Although the Coughlin-led Giants are on the verge of missing the playoffs for the fourth straight year, their best move might be to give him another shot with a better roster, opines Newsday’s Bob Glauber – who doesn’t believe there are obvious signs that the 69-year-old is past his prime. Glauber doesn’t see any loss of passion from Coughlin or effort issues from his players, a sign they haven’t tuned him out. If the Giants disagree and do elect to fire Coughlin, anyone they hire to replace him wouldn’t be free of warts. They’d either be choosing a first-time head coach – which could work, Glauber concedes, but it’s a risky proposition – or someone who has failed at another stop.
- In his own piece centering on Coughlin, the New York Daily News’ Ralph Vacchiano offers five reasons why the Giants won’t fire their head coach. Among those reasons: The Giants might not want to force 35-year-old Eli Manning to learn a third new offense in a four-year span, especially given the fact that he was played so well under current coordinator Ben McAdoo. Speaking of which, Mara’s ideal scenario – a source told Vacchiano – is for McAdoo to get further seasoning as an assistant and then have Coughlin pass him the head coaching reins after a more successful season.
- Eagles quarterback and free agent-to-be Sam Bradford will have a chance over the next two weeks to show he can be a big-game player, Zach Berman of Philly.com writes. Bradford will play his first meaningful late-season game since 2010 tonight when the 6-8 Eagles take on NFC East-leading Washington (7-7). If the Eagles lose, they’re eliminated from playoff contention and Washington clinches the division. That’s likely to happen if Bradford turns in a similar performance to the last time he was in a must-win game at the end of a season. In Bradford’s rookie year, the former No. 1 overall pick and ex-Ram completed just 19 of 36 passes for a paltry 155 yards and an interception in a 16-6 loss to the Seahawks. That Week 17 defeat put the Seahawks in the playoffs and sent Bradford and the Rams home for a long offseason. Bradford is excited about the chance to atone for that showing. “It’s been a long time coming. This is why you play,” he said.