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.