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

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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 rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins teams up with Raiders' receiver Antonio Brown for an offseason workout

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Redskins rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins teams up with Raiders' receiver Antonio Brown for an offseason workout

With training camp right around the corner, Washington Redskins rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins teamed up with the most high-profile Oakland Raiders' offseason acquisition, wide receiver Antonio Brown. 

Brown and Haskins went through a private route session that featured some pretty impressive ball placement and one-handed snags. 

This isn't the first time Haskins and Brown have worked with each other. In 2018 Haskins spent his spring break on the beach in South Florida throwing to "AB" and Falcons wide receiver, Mohamed Sanu. 

Haskins has also got some work in with other NFL talent this offseason as just last week he posted a post-workout photo with Indianapolis Colts wide receiver, Parris Campbell Jr.; Haskins and Campbell were teammates at Ohio State last season.

There's an old adage that "you're only as good as the company you keep," if this is the case Redskins fans have a lot to look forward to from "Simba" this season. 

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10 Training Camp Questions: How dangerous is the Brandon Scherff contract situation?

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10 Training Camp Questions: How dangerous is the Brandon Scherff contract situation?

The Redskins report to training camp on July 24th, and for the next 10 days, JP Finlay will count down the 10 biggest questions the Redskins face going into the 2019 season.

10) Will the Redskins develop depth on the D-line?

9) Can the Redskins count on Montae Nicholson?

8) Want better offense? Get more out of the tight ends 

7) Will Jimmy Moreland actually win the slot CB job from Fabian Moreau?

6) After losing Reuben Foster, how's the Redskins LB situation?

5) Will potential match production for Redskins WRs?

When a team picks in the Top 10 of the NFL Draft, folks around the NFL expect that player to become a Pro Bowler. For Washington, that exact scenario unfolded with right guard Brandon Scherff. 

Mostly. 

Selected fifth overall in 2015, the Redskins took Scherff to play right tackle and anchor the offensive line opposite Trent Williams. That idea quickly faded, helped by the emergence of Morgan Moses, and Scherff moved inside to play guard. For four years, it's worked out great, with Pro Bowl selections in 2016 and 2017. 

Scherff is a mauler in the best sense of the word. He has great footwork and Redskins head coach Jay Gruden has called the former Iowa Hawkeye the best pulling guard in the NFL. Scherff is strong and nasty, words that won't win beauty pageants but absolutely win in the trenches of the NFL. 

Considering all of that, a contract extension for Scherff should be easy. Right?

Wrong. 

Currently in the final year of his rookie deal, multiple reports stretching over the last six weeks indicate that the organization is way off in their extension offers to Scherff. He might not command the biggest contract in the league, but he will get paid like a top three guard. In 2019, that means a lot of money.

Cowboys guard Zach Martin makes $14 million a year. Jaguars guard Andrew Norwell makes $13.3 million a year. Scherff might not get to Martin's salary, but he will probably get to Norwell, whether Washington pays it or not.

That means the Redskins need to pony up the cash now because as each day passes, the team is approaching an ugly set of options. Scherff and his representatives might continue to negotiate during the season, but it doesn't make a lot of sense. Once free agency becomes in view, players tend to wait for it. Just ask Kirk Cousins. 

In fact, the situation between Scherff and the Redskins has some resemblance to the Cousins saga from a few years ago. 

In that case, Washington low-balled their homegrown quarterback in their first set of negotiations. From there, things went sideways, and the team used consecutive franchise tags on Cousins before he finally left via free agency. 

If the Redskins can't get a deal done with Scherff, the team could use a franchise tag in 2020. But that's a dangerous game of roulette. 

The time to get a deal done with Scherff is now, if not last month. Redskins team president has said in the past that deadlines drive deals, but with Scherff, there is no exact deadline. He can decide to stop working on a contract extension at any moment, particularly once the pads come on at training camp. 

The Trent Williams holdout might be complicating things a bit, if Williams only wants more cash and the issue isn't about much more than that. The truth is a Scherff extension would actually free up cap space in the short term, as his signing bonus would be spread out over the life of the contract, and some of that salary cap relief could go to Williams right away. 

Williams' status isn't the hold up between Scherff and the Redskins. Whatever is the actual holdup best be resolved soon, or the Redskins are beginning down an all too familiar franchise path.

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