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NFC East Update: Why does Vegas like Cowboys more than Redskins?

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NFC East Update: Why does Vegas like Cowboys more than Redskins?

The Redskins lost a heartbreaker in Kansas City, but if the team's performance over their last two games indicates their hopes for the season, the playoffs look to be in sight.

At 2-2, Washington remains a game behind the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC East, though the Burgundy and Gold are tied with the Cowboys. The Giants continue to find new lows, dropping to a shocking 0-4. 

Perhaps the most bizarre twist of the early season is that betting markets remain higher on Dallas than they are the Redskins. Bovada.lv released odds earlier this week that had the Eagles the favorite to win the division, the Cowboys second and the Redskins in third. 

REALTED: WEEK 4 NFL POWER RANKINGS

On the surface, the Redskins and Cowboys look similar. Both have two wins and two losses and have scored just over 90 points for the season. Dig a little deeper, however, and Washington's wins are much more impressive. The Redskins beat the Rams on the road, a team Dallas lost to at home. The Cowboys other win also came at home against the struggling Giants. The Redskins thumped the Raiders at home, and nearly beat the Chiefs on the road. 

The Redskins defense has been far more impressive than the Cowboys, and both offenses appear capable of moving the ball. Injuries do appear to be mounting up for Washington, and perhaps oddsmakers are weighing that heavily. 

Here is the NFC East update:

  1. Philadelphia Eagles (3-1, 1-0 NFC East) - The Eagles strong start to the season continued with a narrow win on the road against the Chargers in Week 4. Philly has the best point differential in the division at +11. Up next: Arizona
  2. Dallas Cowboys (2-2, 1-0 NFC East) - Coming off a tough home loss to the Rams, the Cowboys remain ahead of the 'Skins due to their division win in Week 1 over the Giants. Working with a negative point differential, the dominant Dallas run game of 2016 ranks in the middle of the pack so far in 2017 at 14th with 114 yards-per-game. Up next: Green Bay
  3. Washington Redskins (2-2, 0-1 NFC East) - Moral victories don't help in the playoff race. The Redskins have a top 10 rush game and a positive point differential, with an important week of rest to get healthy. Up next: Bye
  4. New York Giants (0-4, 0-2 NFC East) - Hard to believe but it already seems the Giants are out of the playoff race. New York would need to run off a number of wins, which will be tough to pull off given the current state of their offense. The Giants are 31st in the league in both rush yards per game and points per game. Up next: Chargers

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Per report, league admits to getting Kirk Cousins' intentional grounding call wrong

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USA TODAY Sports

Per report, league admits to getting Kirk Cousins' intentional grounding call wrong

NEW ORLEANS—The Redskins apparently were on the wrong end of a bad call late in their game against the Saints on Sunday and, according to a report, the league admitted it.

Per Mike Jones of USA Today, a league official told Redskins president Bruce Allen that intentional grounding should not have been called against Kirk Cousins with the game tied with 28 seconds left in regulation on Sunday.

The rule is clear. From the NFL rule book:

It is a foul for intentional grounding if a passer, facing an imminent loss of yardage because of pressure from the defense, throws a forward pass without a realistic chance of completion.

There wasn’t a Saints defender within a few yards of Cousins when he threw the ball. The pass was not to prevent a sack, it was a mixup with receiver Jamison Crowder.

MORE REDSKINS: A BRUTAL FINAL SIX MINUTES

But the men in stripes conferred and dropped a flag. The penalty was 10 yards, a loss of down, and a 10-second clock runoff. So instead of second and 10 at the 34 with time to run a few more plays, it was second and 20 at the 44 with time running out. The Redskins have every right to believe that they were robbed.

However, they also robbed themselves. The litany of self-inflicted problems is there for anyone who watched the game to see. From not being able to get a touchdown on the board early after D.J. Swearinger’s interception in Saints territory, to committing a false start lining up for a field goal try near the end of the first half, to the inability to get a yard on third and one and to the helplessness of the defense against Drew Brees in the final six minutes of regulation. The mistake by referee Walt Coleman’s crew was glaring but it was far from the only entry on the list of reasons the Redskins lost.

RELATED: TANDLER'S FIVE TAKEAWAYS

The thing is, it shouldn’t have been on the list at all. At least one official on the field is always able to communicate with the suits at 345 Park Avenue. They handle the replays from the league office and we get all kinds of strange interpretations of what a catch is or isn’t. Why can’t someone in New York get in the ear of someone in stripes on the field and say, “Hey, don’t drop that flag, he wasn’t under pressure?”

The technology to prevent a misinterpretation of the rules by the officials on the field is in place right now. It could be done with minimal disruption to the game. It’s a crime that the league won’t use it.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.

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Need to Know: Five Key plays in Redskins vs. Saints

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USA Today Sports Images

Need to Know: Five Key plays in Redskins vs. Saints

NEW ORLEANS—Here is what you need to know on this Monday, November 20, three days before the Washington Redskins play the New York Giants on Thanksgiving Day at FedEx Field.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Jay Gruden press conference 3 p.m.

Days until:

—Redskins @ Cowboys Thursday night (11/30) 10
—Redskins @ Chargers (12/10) 20
—Cardinals @ Redskins (12/17) 27

Five key plays in Redskins vs Saints

D.J. Swearinger interception in the first quarter—Although the Redskins didn’t fully capitalize on the takeaway in Saints territory—they got a field goal—the play helped the Redskins jump on top in what would be a back-and-forth first half. Swearinger has three interceptions in the last two games.

Fourth and six pass to Vernon Davis for 26 yards—This was the first of two fourth-down gambles Gruden took. This one was from the New Orleans 39. This one paid off in spades as Kirk Cousins found Davis for a first down at the Saints 13. Three plays later Samaje Perine got in from a yard out. That made it 17-10 and the Redskins would not trail again until, well, you know.

False start when lined up for field goal—Things were going great for the Redskins as they had a nice drive going at the end of the half. The advance stalled and they lined up for a 51-yard field goal try. But there was a false start on the play and the Redskins had to punt. Josh Holsey almost downed it inside the one but he shuffled his feet one too many times and he fielded the ball with his heels on the goal line stripe, resulting in a touchback. That gave the Saints the field position they needed to drive for a field goal as time ran out.  

Fourth and one fake punt—The Redskins had just seen Chris Thompson get carted off the field after suffering a broken fibula in his right leg. It was fourth and one at the Washington 15 and they lined up in punt formation. Niles Paul took the direct snap and powered up the middle for five yards. Apparently inspired by the big, uh, courage shown by Jay Gruden on that, the Redskins continued the drive and got into the end zone on a 40-yard pass from Cousins to Ryan Grant. That put the Redskins up 24-13 with 1:44 left in the third.

Third and one Perine for minus-1—I don’t think I need go into much detail here, you know what happened.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.

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