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Think the Redskins are flawed? Well, so is nearly everyone else in the NFC

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USA TODAY Sports

Think the Redskins are flawed? Well, so is nearly everyone else in the NFC

One alarming loss in a bland home opener uncovered a few early flaws with the 2018 Redskins: The wide receivers and Alex Smith have yet to really connect, the supposed-to-be-dominant defensive line isn't dominating so far and the running game dropped off big-time following a perfect Week 1.

All of those issues could seriously derail the team's season if they aren't addressed and improved. Luckily for the 'Skins, the rest of the NFC is dealing with their own problems, too.

Through two weeks, the conference — which was supposed to make the NBA's vaunted Western side look average — has just two undefeated teams: The Rams (not surprising) and the Bucs (very, very surprising). Every other organization has one or zero wins.

The Packers and Vikings are still undefeated thanks to a Week 2 tie and they both figure to be relevant through December.

Green Bay, however, has to worry about every single Aaron Rodgers dropback. That is a lot more worrisome than, say, Smith's chemistry with his outside targets.

Now, look around at the NFC East.

The Eagles notched an impressive win vs. the Falcons but then were taken out by the High Flyin' Ryan Fitzpatricks (again, maybe Tampa Bay is actually legit, but it's hard to imagine that this is something that'll carry on all season).

Sure, they're getting Carson Wentz back, and Wentz will give them an enormous boost. But he's returning from a serious knee injury and also won't do anything for their 28th-ranked pass defense.

The Cowboys, meanwhile, have a strong defense but an uninspiring offense. Then there's the Giants, who made the wise choice of putting an aging passer behind a decrepit offensive line.

Washington fans who are panicking can take solace in the fact that, for now, the division is jumbled.

So, how's everyone else holding up? 

The Saints were blown out to start the year and needed the Browns to be Browns-y to avoid an 0-2 start.

The Panthers are formidable but will ultimately go as far as Cam Newton can take them, and he could use a pass catcher outside of Christian McCaffrey to step up.

The Falcons have lost a few key defenders to injuries already and Steve Sarkisian makes plenty of questionable playcalls with that talented offense.

The 49ers are finding out that Jimmy Garoppolo isn't the solution to everything.

The Bears are scary with Khalil Mack and Co., but can Mitch Trubisky evolve enough to elevate the offense?

Then there are the Lions, Cardinals and Seahawks, all already in 0-2 holes and possibly already out of contention.

Where the Redskins stand in the NFC is still unclear; they aced their first test then totally flunked their second. But it's necessary to remember that nearly every other franchise is still figuring things out, too. 

The fact of the matter is the Burgundy and Gold are 1-1 and right in the thick of the race.

No one is pulling away in the NFC East and some other preseason contenders are stuck in neutral. Beating the Colts would've been really useful — especially if the standings are still tight come playoff time — but the loss didn't doom them by any stretch. 

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Redskins OC Matt Cavanaugh takes you inside Vernon Davis' touchdown against the Panthers

Redskins OC Matt Cavanaugh takes you inside Vernon Davis' touchdown against the Panthers

With NFL RedZone, All-22 footage and GamePass, it’s literally never been easier to access information about your favorite teams and players. Still, nothing can quite beat the actual players and coaches, especially those who drew up those plays in the first place.

Redskins offensive coordinator Matt Cavanaugh was happy to share some insight on the touchdown pass Alex Smith threw to Vernon Davis to kick off the scoring against the Panthers in Week 6. 

The Redskins took over possession after a Carolina turnover, and the offense was ready to strike quickly. Smith found Davis wide open in the end zone and connected with his longtime tight end to give the ‘Skins an early 7-0 lead.

Interestingly, as Cavanaugh points out, the play was designed to clear out space for the team’s top tight end, Jordan Reed. Instead, the Panthers safety rolled towards Reed, who is generally seen as the more likely receiving threat. You can see in the video of the play that Smith does look towards Reed first, and then noticed the rolling safety leaving Davis wide open down the seam.

Cavanaugh also emphasizes how vital it is for the offense to be ready to go at a moment’s notice.

“When we’re not on the field and the defense creates a turnover and all of a sudden we’re back out there, we gotta be ready to score, particularly when we get the ball in that great field position. It’s huge, it obviously set the tone for the rest of the game for us.”

A one play, 22-yard drive certainly does show off an offensive unit ready to score quickly and without the benefit of a long possession to get into rhythm.

Hopefully Cavanaugh doesn’t give away too many of his X’s and O’s secrets, but it’s always fascinating to experience a behind-the-scenes look at important plays. It’s even more fun when those plays are of Redskins touchdowns, and it’s the most fun when those plays are of Redskins touchdowns that come in Redskins victories.

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'It's a house divided': The Redskins-Cowboys rivalry is affecting these 'Skins' families

'It's a house divided': The Redskins-Cowboys rivalry is affecting these 'Skins' families

Zach Brown is a fearless player. Turns out, Zach Brown's dad is pretty fearless, too.

That first statement is one you can confirm by watching the Redskins linebacker play each time he takes the field, often times hurt.

The second statement, on the other hand, was confirmed earlier this week in an interview between Brown and JP Finlay about the Washington-Dallas rivalry.

"It got under our skin, knowing we got swept by them [last year]," the defender told Finlay after a weekday practice. "You just hate to go back home and hear them talk so much trash."

The leader of the brave "them" who actually taunt a 250-pound LB following a loss? Oh, just Brown's father, who's a diehard Cowboys supporter.

"My dad was giving it to me," he said while looking back on the 2017 season. "I said, 'Don't worry about it. Next year's gonna be a different movement.'"

"I'm gonna talk trash at the end of this season," Brown added. "It's a house divided."

Adrian Peterson knows what Brown's talking about. The Texas native even went as far as to break down exactly how his own house is divided.

According to him, 75-percent of his family are all about the Cowboys, 10-percent are looking for him to put up good numbers in a 'Boys victory and the final 15-percent have converted to the burgundy and gold.

Rookie corner Greg Stroman can relate as well. The Virginia kid who'll be making his debut in the series he's very familiar with said his grandma and her relatives fall on both sides of the matchup.

Stroman does have one advantage over Brown and Peterson, though. Unlike the two veterans, he was able to get his entire family's rooting interests in order for Sunday, at least.

"They all bought in now," he said.

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