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First-place Redskins watch as the rest of the NFC East goes 0-3 on Sunday

First-place Redskins watch as the rest of the NFC East goes 0-3 on Sunday

NEW ORLEANS—It would be hard to imagine the Redskins having a better Sunday than they did yesterday without winning a big game. 

The Redskins will wake up in New Orleans this morning knowing that they will go to sleep tonight in first place in the NFC East no matter what happens in the Superdome against the Saints. That is the case because all three of the other teams in the division lost on Sunday.

First, we’ll look at what happened then see how it affects the Redskins. 

In the early window of games, the Giants rallied to take a 31-30 lead over the Panthers with 1:08 left to play. But Cam Newton led an eight-play drive that set up a 63-yard field goal by former Redskin Graham Gano with one second left. It tied the record for the longest game-winning field goal in NFL history. All of this happened in the wake of Odell Beckham Jr. questioning the heart of the team, not propping up Eli Manning when asked about quarterback problems, and wondered if his team was being out-schemed. 

The late afternoon time slot featured the Vikings visiting the Eagles. The visitors built a 17-3 halftime lead with a Kirk Cousins touchdown pass and a big-man TD, a 64-yard Linval Joseph rumble with a fumble recovery. That let Minnesota survive 23-21 while just getting six points in the second half. The Eagles now have three losses, as many as they had all last year. 

And on Sunday night football, the Cowboys went back and forth with the Texans all night before losing 19-16 in overtime. Dak Prescott threw two interceptions and owner Jerry Jones said that he did not agree with coach Jason Garrett’s decision to punt on fourth and short in overtime. 

In all, the NFC East has gone 1-5 the last two weeks while the Redskins have watched. 

After the dust settled, the Giants stayed in the basement of the NFC East at 1-4. The Eagles and Cowboys are tied for second at 2-3. On top after their early bye week are the 2-1 Redskins.

If the Redskins lose as 6.5-point road underdogs they will be 2-2 and still in first place in the division by half a game. If they pull off the upset, they will be 3-1 and a game and a half clear of the Eagles and Cowboys. That would mean that they would still be in first place going into their October 21 home game against the Cowboys no matter what happens when they play the Panthers next Sunday. 

It is early in the season. You don’t get a parade down Pennsylvania Ave. for being in first place a quarter of the way through the season. You don’t even get cheered going down Loudoun County Parkway. But it’s better to be in first place at any point in the season than it is the be in second, third, or fourth. The Redskins are trying to get back to the playoffs for the first time in three years and they will gladly take any advantage they can get. 

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Redskins Superlatives: Two tremendous leaders earn the Most Likely to Become President Award

Redskins Superlatives: Two tremendous leaders earn the Most Likely to Become President Award

This week, JP Finlay and Pete Hailey will be handing out Redskins Superlatives as they continue to preview the 2020 season.

Next up: They give their Most Likely to Become President Award to a fan favorite and the franchise's newest leader.

JP's pick: Terry McLaurin

There is nothing Terry McLaurin can't do and he's got my vote for president should he ever decide to run. Beyond the breakout rookie year, the precise route running and his blazing speed, McLaurin talks like a 10-year veteran.

This offseason has been hard for everyone, but McLaurin explained things better than most: "Football is what I love to do. I can’t think of a better blessing in my life to be playing the game that I love. When you get through the course of such a long NFL season and you get to the end, it’s like man, I’m ready for that break. That burning desire is still inside of you to continue to get better and continue to improve. Now with us having a new staff, we’re just all looking forward to being on the field again. I feel like sports is something that this country needs as well. The camaraderie of it, the togetherness that it brings."

Put McLaurin on the ballot — but ideally after a 15-year career with a whole lot of postseason success.

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Pete's pick: Ron Rivera

JP and I didn't go to school together — that's because he's a LOT OLDER than me — but if we did, it would've been a surprise if we ever got an A-plus on the same assignment. In fact, it would've been a huge surprise, and perhaps an impossibility.

But in this instance, we're both getting an A-plus. He nailed his pick, and I'm nailing mine. 

Ron Rivera hasn't been with the Redskins long, and due to this unusual offseason, the media hasn't gotten to hang around him much in person, aside from his introductory press conference in January and some time at the Combine. 

Even so, we have still talked to him plenty on Zoom, and in all of those instances, I've been floored by his leadership, his intelligence and his perspective on everything, both football-related topics and topics that relate more to life overall. 

RELATED: RIVERA ON NOT SIGNING CAM NEWTON

At this point, I'm pretty much convinced every company or group in the world would be better with Rivera involved. He's fair, he's level-headed and he simultaneously gives and commands respect. 

For now, Rivera's just in the running for an NFC East title, but if he ever sets his sights on running for office, he'll have one mediocre blogger on his side.

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Report: Officials say RFK site not an option for Redskins unless team changes name

Report: Officials say RFK site not an option for Redskins unless team changes name

As the Redskins search for a new football home in the future, the RFK Stadium site is one that is at the top of the list. However, unless the team is willing to change its name, the area becoming their new field is a non-starter, The Washington Post reported on Wednesday

Speaking with several government officials, a similar message was shared throughout. The federally owned land will not be given to the franchise if the name remains what it is today.

“I call on Dan Snyder once again to face that reality, since he does still desperately want to be in the nation’s capital,” D.C.'s nonvoting delegate to the House of Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton (D) said. “He has got a problem he can’t get around -- and he particularly can’t get around it today, after the George Floyd killing.”

“There is no viable path, locally or federally, for the Washington football team to return to Washington, D.C., without first changing the team name," D.C. Deputy Mayor John Falcicchio said.

Washington's name has been a topic of debate for years but has recently received major pushback over the past month as the nation yearns for racial justice following the murder of George Floyd.

It was also reported on Wednesday that investment firms and shareholders worth a collective $620 billion have asked Nike, FedEx and PepsiCo to terminate their business relationships with the Washington Redskins unless the team agrees to change its name.

The Redskins have expressed interest in playing on the grounds of RFK after a bill was introduced in 2019 calling for the federal government to sell the area to the city. However, the bill won't pass through Congress unless the land is used for the team under a different name. U.S. Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.), chair of the House Natural Resources Committee, referred to the current name as a "racist nickname."

RELATED ARTICLE: RON RIVERA MAKES FIRST PUBLIC COMMENTS REGARDING REDSKINS' NAME

Redskins owner Dan Snyder has stated in the past that he is not open to a name change, as he considers it to be an act of honor toward Native Americans. 

Washington currently plays its games at FedEx Fied in Landover, Md. Both sides would like to see the team return to the District, but for as long as they are called the Redskins, it won't happen.

“The time has ended,” Grijalva said. “There is no way to justify it. You either step into this century or you don’t. It’s up to the owner of the team to do that.”

“The city obviously would like the team back,” Norton said. “But it’s important that [Falcicchio] used the word ‘federally’ -- meaning that they now recognize that there is no hope unless this name is changed.”

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