Here is my weekly Redskins-centric look around the NFL:
—Not only are we midway through the NFL schedule we are halfway through the NFC East home and home cycle. The top three teams are all 2-1 in the division. The Cowboys beat the Redskins, the Redskins beat the Giants, and the Giants beat the Cowboys. Each team has at least one road win and one home loss. And all three teams beat the Eagles, who are 0-3 in the NFC East. With everyone’s bye now out of the way all four teams will play every weekend through New Year’s Day.
—The Cowboys take on the Steelers. Dak Prescott (just added “Dak” to my spellcheck, he’s going to be around for a while) will be at quarterback with a possibly healthy Tony Romo inactive. The Steelers are 2.5-point favorites to end Dallas’ seven-game winning streak. If they are going to do that Ben Roethlisberger will have to be more the quarterback that he was in Week 1 against the Redskins than the one who hobbled through the loss to the Ravens.
—While the Redskins are playing the Vikings, the Falcons and Eagles will tangle up I-95 in Philly. It used to be that you would judge Atlanta’s chances of winning by looking at where they were playing. They struggled outside of the Georgia Dome. That’s not the case this year. They’re 2-2 at home and 3-1 on the road. That one road loss was the controversial game in Seattle when many thought that the Seahawks should have been flagged for pass interference on Julio Jones that would have given them a shot at a win in the late going. The Falcons will put some points up on Sunday and it may be up to Carson Wentz to regain his early-season form to keep up with them. Philly hasn’t scored more than 23 points in their last five games. They’ll have to if they’re going to win this one.
—It was hard to read the Giants’ win over the Eagles. They got some gifts, two early interceptions of Wentz among them. But they took full advantage of them by turning them into touchdowns and there’s something to be said for that. Doug Pederson had some questionable fourth-down calls and it’s to the Giants’ credit that they made the Eagles pay for them. The Bengals have been inconsistent all year but a win in MetLife Stadium combined with a Steelers loss to the Cowboys would have them in second place in the AFC North, tied with the division-leading Ravens in the loss column. It’s a pick ‘em game and like most NFL games it will come down to which version of each team shows up and/or which one can make a play late.
—The Packers, the Redskins’ next opponent, are heading to Tennessee having lost two games in a row. I’m not so sure that the Packers deserve to be road favorites (they’re -2.5). The Titans have already won more games (4) than they won in either 2014 (2) or 2015 (3). They can run on you, sporting an average of 4.8 per rushing attempt. If the Pacers again suffer from a “lack of juice” as Aaron Rodgers said they did in their home loss to the Colts they could well head to FedEx Field next Sunday riding a three-game losing streak.
—Last week I lost one to the spread (Panthers -5 beat the Rams but didn’t cover) and had two outright losers in the Steelers and Eagles. Yeah, that adds up to 0-3 but that won’t stop me from trying again. I have the Patriots -7.5 over the Seahawks, the Falcons -2 against the Eagles, and Kansas City getting three against the Panthers.