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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