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Week 6 NFC East Update: Giants break through, Eagles fly and trouble looms in Dallas

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Week 6 NFC East Update: Giants break through, Eagles fly and trouble looms in Dallas

The Redskins got an important, if ugly, win on Sunday, but the other NFC East teams in play got victories too. Even the Giants. 

The biggest story in the division, however, didn't play out on the football field. A Texas judge reinstated the suspension of Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott, which could have a big impact in Dallas. Here's the NFC East update:

  1. Philadelphia Eagles (5-1, 2-0) - The impressive start continues for the Eagles. Philly went to Carolina last Thursday and beat the Panthers 28-23 behind three touchdowns from QB Carson Wentz. Offensively, the Eagles rank in the top-10 in nearly every main offensive category, including third in the league with 383 yards-per-game. Up next: vs Redskins on Monday Night Football.
  2. Washington Redskins (3-2, 0-1) - The Redskins had to beat the 49ers, and while it was hardly easy, Jay Gruden's team got the victory. One odd statistic: The Redskins have only scored 13 TDs this season. That's just one more touchdown on the year than the Giants, and fewer than both the Eagles and Cowboys. Up next: @ Philly on Monday Night Football
  3. Dallas Cowboys ( 2-3, 1-0) - The Cowboys didn't even play this week, but they took a big loss in the court room. A Texas judge reinstated the six-game NFL suspension for star RB Ezekiel Elliott. Now, this suspension has taken a number of legal twists and turns, and more could come, but it continues to be a distraction for Jerry Jones' squad. Up next: @ San Francisco
  4. New York Giants (1-5, 0-2) - The Giants finally broke through with a win — and in an unlikely game at Denver. The Big Blue defense showed up like it was 2016, and the offense stuck with the run game throughout the Mile High contest.

 

RELATED: 5 takeaways from Redskins' win over 49ers

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Need to Know: Final thoughts on Redskins vs. Giants

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Need to Know: Final thoughts on Redskins vs. Giants

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, November 23, seven days before the Washington Redskins play the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Redskins Kickoff 7:30 NBC Sports Washington; Redskins vs. Giants, NBC, 8:30  

Days until:

—Redskins @ Cowboys Thursday night (11/30) 7
—Redskins @ Chargers (12/10) 17
—Cardinals @ Redskins (12/17) 24

Final thoughts on Redskins vs Giants

Look out for Eli—There are many reasons why the Giants are 2-8 but Eli Manning is not one of them. He isn’t nearly the turnover machine he has been for much of his career. His interception percentage this year is 1.6; he hasn’t been under 2.3 percent interceptions this decade. Manning only has 14 touchdown passes but considering that Odell Beckham, who went out in the fourth game of the season, still leads Giants wide receivers in touchdown receptions, that’s not bad.

Running game stuck—What makes Manning’s performance even more impressive is the fact that he doesn’t get much support from a running game. The Giants are 26th in the league with 920 yards. They have gained some traction lately after installing Orleans Darkwa as the starting running back; he is averaging 4.8 yards per carry for the season and 71 yards per game over the last three games. The Redskins certainly don’t want to let him get going tonight.

Reverting to reality—The Giants ranked 32nd in total defense in 2015. They dropped millions on free agents such as Janoris Jenkins, David Harrison, and Olivier Vernon and jumped to 10th. Now, this year they are 31st and equally bad against the pass (29th) and the run (30th). Health hasn’t been a huge issue, although Vernon has missed a few games and Jenkins was suspended. Redskins fans know full well that spending sprees don’t necessarily make for permanent improvements and Giants fans are learning it this year.

Keys to winning

  • Run the ballThe Redskins are 4-2 this year when rushing for 90 yards or more.
  • Continue to protect the ball—The Redskins have turned the ball over just twice in their last three games.
  • Don’t give them hope—The Chiefs let the Giants hang around last week and New York stole a win. The Redskins need to get on top early and mash down on the gas pedal.

Prediction—It’s hard to see a scenario where the Redskins lose this one. Even in their injury-depleted state they are battling every game and the same can’t be said for their opponents today. The weather forecast is for cold temperatures but not much wind, ideal conditions for Cousins to throw for 300 yards. For once, the Redskins get up early and keep going.

Redskins 31, Giants 13

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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Everybody thinks the intentional grounding call against Kirk Cousins was wrong, except Troy Aikman

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Everybody thinks the intentional grounding call against Kirk Cousins was wrong, except Troy Aikman

The referees made a fairly obvious mistake last week in the Redskins loss to the Saints when they flagged Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins for intentional grounding late in the game. 

Let's be honest: the call was terrible.

Cousins never felt a pass rush on the play, and was very obviously throwing the ball away. Jay Gruden talked about the play on Monday, and could not figure out how a flag came out in that situation. 

We had two receivers in the area. Quarterbacks throws it away all the time that are uncatchable balls whether they are in the pocket or not. As long as there is a receiver in the area, you can throw it whether they are looking or not. Guys run bad routes – one guy runs a hitch and he’s supposed to run a go and the quarterback throws the go ball, it’s not grounding. So I don’t know why the confusion.

The NFL even reached out and apologized to Redskins team president Bruce Allen for the blown call, a hollow gesture that did not generate much excitement from Cousins (via 106.7 the Fan). 

Whatever they do to say, ‘we’re sorry, wrong call,’ it’s tough because there’s nobody bringing that up in February or March when we're making decisions about which direction to go with the organization. We appreciate the clarification but you know it really doesn’t do much.

If you're keeping score, the NFL, the Redskins head coach and the Redskins quarterback all know the call was wrong. 

You know who doesn't think the call was wrong? Fox analyst, and former Cowboys Hall of Fame QB, Troy Aikman.

Grounding? Free rusher? Decide for yourself below.