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NFC East Update: Redskins in the thick of things as Giants slump, Cowboys get rolled

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NFC East Update: Redskins in the thick of things as Giants slump, Cowboys get rolled

Most experts predicted that the Cowboys or the Giants would win the NFC East in 2017.

Those experts don't look so hot right now.

The Giants offense appears incapable of doing much and the Cowboys got exposed visiting Denver.

Meawhile, after a tough opening week loss to the Eagles, the Redskins are right back in the thick of the NFC East race following a big win in LA.

Here's the NFC East update:

RELATED: WEEK 2 NFL POWER RANKINGS

  • Dallas Cowboys (1-1, 1-0 NFC East) - Things looked well and good in Dallas in their season opening win over the Giants, but when the Cowboys went to Denver, they got exposed. Dallas mustered just 268 yards of total yards and their run game got nothing done. Ezekiel Elliott ran for only eight yards on nine carries, and on a few plays, his effort was questioned. The Broncos showed that perhaps the best way to play the Cowboys is to load up against the run and force Dak Prescott to pass. Plus, don't forget the fluid legal situation with Elliott. It remains possible he could be forced to serve his pending six-game suspension at some point this season. Next: @ Arizona.
  • Philadelphia Eagles (1-1, 1-0) - The Eagles logged an impressive road win to start the year in Washington, breaking a five-game losing streak to the Redskins. The road success did not continue Sunday in Kansas City, however, as former Philadelphia coach Andy Reid beat the Eagles 27-20. The Philly run game struggled, again, but second-year QB Carson Wentz built off his impressive performance against the Redskins with another 300-yard plus passing day against the Chiefs. Next: Home vs. NY Giants.
  • Washington Redskins (1-1, 0-1) - Redskins QB Kirk Cousins has not been impressive yet this season, but Jay Gruden said that his team's passing game is close to breaking out. The difference for Washington in Week 2 came from a strong run game. The Redskins piled up 229 rush yards against the Rams en route to a solid 27-20 road win. The Redskins have plenty of concerns, including injuries to RB Rob Kelley and TE Jordan Reed, but a resurgent defense has kept them in winnable situations thus far in the year. Next: Home vs Raiders.
  • New York Giants (0-2, 0-1) - By far the biggest surprise in the NFC East through two weeks would be the ineffective play from the New York offense. Poor offensive line blocking is rendering Eli Manning and the Big Blue ground game pretty useless. The Giants looked outmatched against the Cowboys in Week 1, and suffered an embarassing home loss on Monday Night Football to the Lions in Week 2. In that game, Manning threw for only 238 yards and was sacked five times. Odell Beckham missed Week 1 with an ankle injury. He returned in Week 2 but was held largely in check, making just four catches for 36 yards. Next: @ Philadelphia.

 

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Redskins Fan of the Year bracket: Which Washington supporter deserves the title?

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Redskins Fan of the Year bracket: Which Washington supporter deserves the title?

Every week during the 2017 Redskins season, NBC Sports Washington found two Redskins fans in the crowd and paired them in a head-to-head matchup on Twitter to determine the fan of the game.

And now that the season is over, it's time to take each of those winners, throw them into a NCAA Tournament-style bracket and let Twitter pick the Redskins Fan of the Year.

Starting on January 8 over on the @NBCSRedskins Twitter account, one matchup a day will be posted at 11 a.m., and fans will have 24 hours to vote for their favorite supporter by retweeting or liking depending on their preference. Week 1's winner will face off with Week 17's, Week 2's will play Week 16's, etc.

The winners will advance, and eventually, one member of the Burgundy and Gold faithful will stand above all the rest, earning the coveted title of Redskins Fan of the Year. 

Check out the results below, which'll be updated every day. To see the tweet that corresponded with each matchup, click the link after the date, but remember, retweets and likes submitted after the 24-hour period won't be counted.

January 8: Round one, matchup one

This was a close one that came down to the last-minute, but at the 24-hour mark, Week 17's winner garnered justtttttttt enough retweets to move on.

January 9: Round one, matchup two

In this tournament, a giant Redskins chain is apparently worth more than a giant football hat.

January 10: Round one, matchup three

In the tournament's third showdown, we have our first winner from the Likes side:

January 11: Round one, matchup four

Was there anyway she wasn't gonna win, especially with the little Hogettes nose?

January 12: Round one, matchup five

Our fifth matchup's winner earned the most retweets of anyone up to this point:

January 15: Round one, matchup six

These three 'Skins fans had to witness Washington's Thursday night flop in Dallas, so it's only fair that they get to advance to the second round:

January 16: Round one, matchup seven

There's still time to vote on this one:

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Who will be the Redskins' core offensive players three years from now?

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Who will be the Redskins' core offensive players three years from now?

Just before training camp, I took a stab at figuring out who on the Redskins roster would still be with the team and contributing in the year 2020. Now that the season is over, let’s revisit that look, move it up to 2021, and see how much the picture has changed. The offense is up today, the defense later this week.

The terms used here are mostly self-explanatory. If you want details you can look at this post from a couple of years ago.   

Offense (age as of Week 1 2021)

Potential blue-chip players: Brandon Scherff (29), Morgan Moses (30)
Changes from last prediction: Moses added, removed Trent Williams (33), Jordan Reed (31)

Scherff and Moses both are two young players who should get better with more experience. The right side of the line will be in good hands assuming the Redskins will be able to re-sign Scherff, who will be a free agent following the 2019 season.

MORE REDSKINS: WHAT CAN THE REDSKINS LEARN FROM THE PLAYOFFS?

Williams will be 33 in 2021. He can play at a very high level at that age but I think he will be just below the perennial Pro Bowl status he enjoys now. Although I think that the Redskins can still get some good play out of Reed in the next couple of years, it’s hard to imagine him staying productive into his 30’s. He is under contract through 2021 but it’s hard to see him playing in Washington past 2020.

Solid starters: Jamison Crowder (28), Josh Doctson (27), Chris Thompson (30), Williams
Changes: Doctson, Thompson, Williams added, Kirk Cousins (33), Terrelle Pryor (32), Moses removed.

I’m probably higher on Doctson than most. I don’t see him attaining All-Pro status or catching 100 passes in a season but his physical talent is so good that he will be a solid, productive receiver for the next several years. The Redskins will need to find a third receiver but they will have two good ones in Crowder and Doctson.

Third-down back isn’t technically a starting position but Thompson should still be contributing as much to the offense as many starters.

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I think that Cousins will be a solid starter somewhere in 2021 but it is not looking like it will be in Washington. Pryor obviously did not work out and he is very likely to be playing elsewhere next year.

Potential starters: Spencer Long (30), Rob Kelley (28), Samaje Perine (25), Chase Roullier (28)
Changes: Added Roullier, moved Doctson up

Long could be a fixture on the O-line in 2021 or he could be signed by a different team in March. I don’t think that Kelley or Perine will be workhorse backs but either or both could be a part of a tandem. Roullier could move up to the “solid starters” category if he can repeat what he did in a small sample size (7 starts) in 2017.

There are other players who could end up on these lists a year from now. But we haven’t seen enough of 2017 draft picks TE Jeremy Sprinkle or WR Robert Davis to offer an intelligent assessment of where their careers are headed. It’s the same with undrafted linemen Tyler Catalina and Kyle Kalis. They might not make the team in 2018 or they could be competing for starting jobs in 2019.

There also are reserves like Ryan Grant (30) and Ty Nsekhe (35) who still could be on the roster but who would only be spot starters.

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.