Last Sunday the Redskins snapped an ugly streak, winning their first road game in more than a year. If some Washington fans seemed subdued after the victory in Chicago, the fallout was even worse from the crowd in Las Vegas.
Despite the win that kept the 'Skins in first place of the NFC East going into Week 14, and with tiebreakers over the New York Giants and the Philadelphia Eagles, Bovada.lv dropped the odds of an NFC East title for Washington. Per Bovada, the Redskins now sit behind both the Eagles (13/10) and Giants (2/1) as the favorite to win the NFC East title at 9/4. It's worth repeating: all three have the same record (6-7) and the 'Skins currently hold tiebreakers over both.
This weekend, Washington faces 6-7 Buffalo at home. The Giants get the undefeated Panthers in New York while the Eagles host the 11-2 Cardinals. On paper, Kirk Cousins and the 'Skins have the best matchup, but Vegas must not see things that way.
Perhaps what shows how little faith the wise guys have in the NFC East overall comes from the odds on the Dallas Cowboys. Currently sitting at 4-9, the Cowboys have the best division record, and per Bovada, still have a 25/1 shot to win the division crown.
But back to the 'Skins: Washington has the most favorable matchup this weekend, then plays in Philly next week. After that, they face the Cowboys in Dallas. The math says Jay Gruden's bunch faces the weakest schedule, and in turn, logic would say that should increase their odds. Only it doesn't work that way in Vegas, belying the nationally view of the Redskins.
Washington has a chance to change that paradigm this weekend, and to their credit, the Redskins seemed focused on the task at hand, not chasing the NFC East title with three games to go.
"The ability to have a chance to play for a division championship this late in the year is very exciting to a lot of people," Washington coach Jay Gruden said. 'We also have to stay focused. We have to work extremely hard."
Cousins echoed that sentiment: "When you start to look further down the road you just get overwhelmed. So for me, I just feel like I have enough to focus on with just the Bills alone."
The QB's comments are smart. The Redskins are yet to win consecutive games this season, and Buffalo has dynamic players on both sides of the field. Washington has improved greatly, but not nearly enough to take an opponent for granted.
But, really, Vegas thinks Sam Bradford and the Eagles are the best bet to win the NFC East? Over Eli Manning, Odell Beckham and the Giants? Should the Redskins be the favorite?
Let us know what you think in the comments.