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Enemy Intel: Loser in Eagles-Giants will fall to last place behind the Redskins

Enemy Intel: Loser in Eagles-Giants will fall to last place behind the Redskins

It’s the Redskins’ turn to take the bye week. After Sunday all four teams in the division will have played the same number of games. We won’t have to deal with matters like whether the Redskins are actually three-fourths of a game behind the Giants and Eagles. It will be half games, as long as nobody else in the division ties. Here's my weekly Redskins-centric look around the NFL.

—The Eagles are going to try to make it five wins in a row over the Giants when they play at MetLife Stadium. Both are 4-3 and they followed similar paths to get there. They started off a combined 5-0 but they have gone 3-6 since. Neither team is as good as its start or as bad as the last several weeks. The Giants can’t run the ball (29th in yards, 31st in yards/attempt) and they are minus-seven in turnovers—and that’s after picking off Case Keenum four times a couple of weeks ago in London. Carson Wentz has come back to earth after his incredible start but he’s still holding his own with a 9-3 TD-INT and a solid 92.3 passer rating

—Both teams are dealing with controversies. Well, the Giants aren’t really dealing with one. They are stonewalling and hoping that the media will get tired of asking why they re-signed Josh Brown with a domestic abuse cloud surround the kicker. It looks like the strategy is working. Meanwhile Eagles backup receiver Josh Huff got the triple crown of arrests, getting hit for DUI, marijuana, and weapons charges all in one traffic stop. They cut him and moved on so there shouldn’t much in the way of lingering effects on this one.

—Who should Redskins fans root for? The loser will drop into last place in the division, a half game behind the Redskins. The winner will sit in second place, a half-game up on Washington. The Redskins have beaten both teams but with the tie the Redskins are unlikely to be involved in any tiebreakers so division record and head-to-head are not as important to them as they would be otherwise. It probably is best for fans to root against whichever team they think is better. In my mind that’s the Eagles.

—Meanwhile the Cowboys travel to Cleveland. The joke is that playing the Browns in the equivalent of an extra bye but this could be a trap for the Cowboys. In fact, if the Browns were not so awful at defending the run (31st in yards, 29th in yards/attempt) I might be tempted to pick the Browns pull off the upset, or at least cover the seven-point spread. So while I think the Cowboys will struggle at times they should take care of business by the lake and move to 7-1 at their midway point.

—The Redskins’ next opponent, the Vikings, are at home against the Lions. This game might help the Redskins get a better handle on the quality of their opposition on Nov. 13. Minnesota has lost two in a row after starting off 5-0. The Vikings defense carried them during their hot start. They’re still playing well, allowing just 21 and 20 points in their last two games. But Minnesota can’t move the ball on the ground and they put up just in points in each of those two losses.

—I suddenly got called away for some TV duties in London last week so I didn’t get a chance to post an installment of Enemy Intel or my predictions. This week I have Eagles +2.5 over the Giants, the Steelers catching 2.5 against the Ravens, and Carolina giving five on the road against the Rams.

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Need to Know: The most underrated Redskins events of 2017

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Need to Know: The most underrated Redskins events of 2017

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, February 22, 20 days before NFL free agency starts.

I’m out this week so I’ll be re-posting some of the best and most popular articles of the past few months. Some may have slightly dated information but the major points in the posts still stand. Thanks for reading, as always.

The underrated Redskin moments of 2017

Originally published 12/29/17

Sometimes in the NFL, something happens that grabs headlines and appears to be a momentous event that has ripple effects that will last all season and perhaps beyond. Other times something that is greeted with a yawn by fans and the media turns out to be something with lasting impact. Here, in no particular order, are three underrated events from 2017. Tomorrow we’ll look at three events that were overrated at the time they happened.  

Beating the Rams in Week 2—Nobody got particularly excited when the Redskins went to the LA Memorial Coliseum and beat a Rams team that had gone 4-12 in 2016. Sure, there was a belief that they were in good hands with Sean McVay but nobody saw them as anything better than a middle of the pack team. The win looks much more impressive now as the 11-4 Rams have locked up their division with a playoff game in their future.

Drafting safety Montae Nicholson—He was a fourth-round pick who had a shoulder injury and appeared to be a reach. But once he got on the field, the reasons the Redskins drafted him became apparent. His range and hard hitting had an immediate impact on the game. Nicholson had problems staying on the field and he will finish the year on IR, so his impact this year was diminished. Regardless, he has a good chance of being part of the solution to a position with which the Redskins have had issues for years.

Ty Nsekhe’s injury—Against the Raiders in Week 3, Shawn Lauvao’s facemask had an issue and he had to leave the game for a play. In came Nsekhe without an opportunity to warm up. He suffered a core muscle injury and had to undergo surgery. His absence didn’t seem like a big deal at the time, but Trent Williams suffered a knee injury the next week and other offensive linemen were sidelined with injuries over the next several weeks. Nsekhe was inactive until the Week 10 game against the Vikings and he didn’t start a game until the Thanksgiving game against the Giants. He sure would have been useful to have in the lineup instead of T.J. Clemmings or Tyler Catalina.

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.

Timeline  

Days until:

—NFL Combine (3/1) 7
—NFL Draft (4/26) 63
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 199

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Miami tagged Jarvis Landry, but what does that mean for the Redskins?

Miami tagged Jarvis Landry, but what does that mean for the Redskins?

Everything in the NFL feels like a powder keg, but the reality of Tuesday's opening of the franchise and transition tag period will play out as much more of a slow burn.

Few teams ever actually make moves on the opening day of the tag period, though the Dolphins bucked that conventional wisdom and used the non-exclusive franchise designation on wide receiver Jarvis Landry. 

Astute Redskins fans know the tag system all too well. Landry can now sign a one-year, fully guaranteed contract with the Dolphins worth more than $16 million, the average of the top-five paid receivers in the NFL.

They can also trade Landry and the compensation discussion with a non-exclusive tag begins at two first-round draft picks, though it can eventually be settled for much less. 

RELATED: BEST AND WORST OF REDSKINS' FIRST-ROUND DRAFT HISTORY

What, if anything, does Miami's move mean for the Redskins? Let's take a look:

  1. Not gonna work here - Landry never really seemed like a great fit for the Redskins as a free agent, and that was before the franchise tag. He's a really good slot WR, but Washington already has that in Jamison Crowder. Whether or not Landry actually gets a deal done with the Dolphins or gets traded, it seems highly unlikely the Redskins are his next team. 
  2. "Spirit of the tag" - Miami putting the tag on Landry so early in the process signals that the team might be trying to trade him instead of actually trying to sign him. If that's the case, and plenty of people are suggesting just that, it would seem to be in contrast with the "spirit of the tag." The idea is that a franchise or transition tag is supposed to be used as a tool by an NFL franchise to get a long-term deal done with one of their own players facing free agency. Using the tag as a mechanism to pull of a trade seems very different. Why does any of this matter for Redskins fans? As reports emerged that Washington might look to use a tag on Kirk Cousins and work to trade him, the Cousins camp has made clear they would file a grievance against that technique. Why? Because it would violate the spirit of the tag. Well, it sure looks like Miami is doing the same thing, and as of now, nobody has complained. The situations aren't identical; few resemble the Redskins long, slow, awkward dance with Cousins. But it's certainly worth monitoring. 
  3. Wide Receiver$ - The Redskins could use a veteran wideout to help their young group of Crowder and Josh Doctson. Well, with Landry getting tagged, the price tag just went up. The player that seems to make the most sense in Washington would be Jaguars wideout Allen Robinson. Coming off a knee injury in 2017, some thought Robinson could be signed on a somewhat team-friendly deal. If Landry can get franchised after a season where he didn't even get to 1,000 yards receiving, any thought of a team-friendly deal for Robinson is dead. Make no mistake, Landry and Robinson are good players, but the ever-increasing NFL salary cap will make both young receivers very well paid. 

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