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Those commercials certainly don't mean the Josh Norman vs. Dez Bryant rivalry is over


Those commercials certainly don't mean the Josh Norman vs. Dez Bryant rivalry is over

Just more than a month ago, Samsung ran a couple of commercials featuring Josh Norman and Dez Bryant, in which the Redskins cornerback and Cowboys receiver poked fun at their on-field rivalry with one another.

But come Sunday, when Washington hosts Dallas in a pivotal NFC East matchup, don't look for the two stars to be buddy-buddy, throw their arms around each other's shoulder pads and share a laugh about their recent turns as actors (assuming that Norman is cleared to play, of course, which feels likely).

Jay Gruden, for one, doesn't expect the pair's relationship to change at all, regardless of how many ads they've participated in or the fact that Norman's been in the division for a season-plus now.

"It's the same rivalry," Gruden said Thursday. "It's a great rivalry. I think those two are very competitive guys and their personalities are probably similar. I don't know Dez, but they seem like they are very similar, very fiery type guys."


Jay's right on with that assessment of No. 24 and No. 88. Remember last Thanksgiving, when they had to be separated at midfield of AT&T stadium because they were arguing right in each other's faces?

Yep, "very fiery type guys" indeed.

Norman was also asked Thursday about the upcoming reunion with Bryant, and while he spoke with no animosity and even chuckled a few times when his commercial was brought up, he also admitted things will change come gametime. 

"You never know what you get 'til Sunday gets here," he said. "I'm a totally different guy talking to you right now then I will be Sunday in between the white lines."

Norman's missed the last two Redskins games, but with his injured rib healing up, his distaste for sitting out becoming clearer by the minute and a chance to face Bryant right in front of him, it's hard to imagine he won't be dressed at FedEx Field at 4:25 p.m. 

And if he is, many cameras will be pointed at him and the man he'll be tasked with covering. Luckily for them both, they're used to that already.

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Need to Know: How bad are the Redskins late in each half?

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Need to Know: How bad are the Redskins late in each half?

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, November 21, two days before the Washington Redskins play the New York Giants on Thanksgiving Day at FedEx Field.


Today’s schedule: Jay Gruden press conference and open locker room, 11:45 a.m.; the team will conduct a walkthrough instead of a practice.  

Days until:

—Redskins @ Cowboys Thursday night (11/30) 9
—Redskins @ Chargers (12/10) 19
—Cardinals @ Redskins (12/17) 26

Quantifying the problem with giving up late points:

Anyone who has watched the Redskins this year knows that they have had problems keeping other teams from scoring points late in the first half and at the end of the game. How bad is the problem? Let’s look at the numbers.

The Redskins have given up 266 points on the season. That’s 31st in the NFL. Of those points, 96 have been scored in last three minutes of the first and second halves. Opponents have put up 12 touchdowns, eight one-point conversions, two two-point conversions, and four field goals.

For comparison, the average NFL team has given up around 40 points near the end of each half. Looking at defensive scores allowed only (two of the late touchdowns against Washington were on returns), the Redskins have allowed 10 touchdowns while no other team has allowed more than seven. The average is 3.96 touchdowns given up late by each team.

You can look at it this way. In the first 27 minutes of each half of their 10 games, the Redskins have given up 170 points, or about .31 points per minute. In the other six minutes of the games, the final three of each half, the Redskins give up 1.6 points per minute played.

How have the Redskins done scoring points late in each half? They have put up five touchdowns and three field goals, a total of 44 points.

How does this affect the big picture? On the season, the Redskins’ net point differential is minus-28. If you take out the late scores, they are at plus-24. It usually works out that the teams that have positive point differentials have winning records and those with negative performances are under .500.

We saw that big picture up close on Sunday. At the end of the first half, it looked like the Redskins were going to get at least a field goal as they had a nice drive going. But the drive stalled, a false start forced them to abandon even a field goal try and the Saints put together a quick drive for a field goal as time in the half ran out. Then, of course, there was the touchdown and tying two-point conversion with just over a minute left in regulation. That’s minus-10 in the last three minutes of a game they lost in overtime.

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

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2017 NFL Power Rankings: The NFC is much better than the AFC through 11 weeks


2017 NFL Power Rankings: The NFC is much better than the AFC through 11 weeks

Through 11 weeks, the NFL's playoff picture is far from clear. But one thing is: The NFC is the superior conference. 

And that's not just because Nathan Peterman plays in the AFC.


In this week's rankings, seven teams in the top 10 come from the NFC. The middle and back-end of the rankings even out, but at the top, one side of the league is stronger than the other.

The bottom line is that a few deserving squads in the NFC will miss out on the postseason. Meanwhile, in the opposite conference, a couple of mediocre ones will be playing in January.

To see who lands where overall in the post-Week 11 breakdown, click the link above or below. You know who No. 32 is, but there was plenty of movement in the other 31 spots.