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NFC East Update: Cowboys, Eagles look like the real deal, Redskins and Giants have ways to go

NFC East Update: Cowboys, Eagles look like the real deal, Redskins and Giants have ways to go

Week 1 of the 2019 NFL season is officially in the books. So we know what that means: time to overreact to one game when each team still has 15 left to play.

Despite that, Week 1 meant more to the NFC East than any other division in the NFL. With the Redskins traveling to Philadelphia and Dallas hosting the Giants, all four NFC East teams played a divisional game to kick off the 2019 season. The NFC East was the only division in football for each team to start off with a divisional rival as their opponent.

If Week 1's results are an indication of things to come, 2019 will go as many expected it to in the NFC East: the Eagles and Cowboys look like Super Bowl contenders, while the Redskins and Giants fall way behind.

Let's get to it:

NFC East Update: Week 1

1. Dallas Cowboys (1-0)

Every game Dak Prescott plays from here on out, his price tag continues to go up. The fourth-year QB, who has been unable to reach a long-term extension with the Cowboys, had a career day against the Giants. Prescott threw for 405 yards and four touchdowns with zero interceptions in a 35-17 rout over their divisional rival.

Week 1 also served as a breakout for wide receiver Michael Gallup, who looks primed to be the perfect complement to Amari Cooper. Gallup led the team with seven receptions and 158 receiving yards. Ezekiel Elliott made his debut after signing a six-year, $90 million extension this past week, but didn't overly impress. But remember, he reported just five days prior to the game. Cowboys fans should have nothing to worry about with Zeke.

Up Next: Sept. 15, @ Washington

2. Philadelphia Eagles (1-0)

The Eagles were the betting favorite to win the NFC prior to the season, but the first half of Sunday's contest against the Redskins hardly showed that. Washington took a surprising 20-7 lead into the halftime break.

But Doug Pederson's crew made all the necessary adjustments at halftime. Philadelphia scored a touchdown on their first three possessions in the second half without allowing Washington to muster a first down on offense. In the third quarter alone, the Eagles outgained the Redskins 197-6, as Carson Wentz had time to pick his spots on nearly every passing down.

And no one looks happier to be back in Philadelphia than DeSean Jackson himself. The speedy wide receiver got behind the Redskins secondary for two touchdowns of 50+ yards, capping off an epic return to the City of Brotherly Love. 

The NFC East looks like a two-team race, just as many expected it to be.

Up Next: Sept. 15 @ Atlanta

3. Washington Redskins (0-1)

Week 1 was a tale of two halves for the Redskins. In the first half, they dominated the heavily-favored Eagles, entering the locker room with a 13-point lead. Quarterback Case Keenum looked legit, wide receiver Terry McLaurin caught a 70-yard touchdown, and the Redskins defense held the Philadelphia offense in check besides one deep ball to DeSean Jackson.

But for every halftime adjustment the Eagles made, Washington failed to do. The Eagles opened up the third quarter on a long touchdown drive, trimming the Redskins lead to six. After Keenum overthrew McLaurin for what would've been another long touchdown pass, the Redskins went three-and-out, giving Carson Wentz the ball right back. The Eagles marched right down the field and took the lead. A very similar sequence of events occurred again, with the Eagles turning in another long drive into a touchdown, and a nine-point lead.

The Redskins couldn't move the ball in the second half until garbage time, with a late touchdown from Keenum to Trey Quinn that made the score look a little more respectable. The reality is, the Redskins have a ways to go to compete at the Eagles level. The Cowboys are up next.

Up Next: Sept. 15 vs. Dallas 

4. New York Giants (0-1)

If the Giants did one thing well on Sunday, it was making Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott look like an All-Pro. Prescott carved up the New York secondary for arguably his best performance as a pro, throwing for 405 yards and 4 touchdowns, tying a career-high.

Looking on the bright side, running back Saquon Barkley looked to have picked up where he left off. The second-year running back ran for 120 yards on just 11 carries, aided by a 59-yard scamper. But the game flow forced the ball to stay in the hands of Eli Manning, as the Giants went down...quick.

A third-quarter touchdown rush by Ezekiel Elliott gave Dallas a 35-10 lead, forcing the Giants to abandon any sort of run game.

Big Blue was able to score two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to trim the deficit, but the game was already long over. With the game in its final moments, the Giants trotted rookie quarterback Daniel Jones for his NFL debut. The 2019 No. 6 overall pick finished 3-for-4 for 17 yards before fumbling on his first rushing attempt.

Up Next: Sept. 15 vs. Buffalo

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Oddsmakers think the Redskins are in the market for Nick Foles, and they're quite wrong

Oddsmakers think the Redskins are in the market for Nick Foles, and they're quite wrong

For the second straight season, the Eagles find themselves in a dilemma with backup quarterback Nick Foles. The difference this year, however, is Foles won't be back in Philadelphia next season (UPDATE: On Feb. 27, the Eagles confirmed they will let him be a free agent)

There is another place Foles won't be next season: Washington. 

Bovada and other offshore sportsbooks put out odds on where Foles would end up in 2019, and weirdly, the Redskins claimed the second highest chances. 

One thing to keep in mind with Vegas odds: the point isn't to guess correctly where Foles lands, rather get the most money spent on the guesses. And a number of Redskins fans love the idea of Foles wearing Burgundy and Gold next season. 

It's just not going to happen. 

Sure, the Redskins have a need at quarterback. Alex Smith suffered a significant leg injury last season and few expect him to play in 2019. Colt McCoy is under contract for this season, and he's a great person and a capable player, but he hasn't proven an ability to stay healthy for 16 games.

And, yeah, Washington needs a quarterback and Foles is probably the best veteran passer available. How many former Super Bowl MVP QBs become available? It just doesn't happen, but the Eagles are committed to Carson Wentz as their quarterback of the future. 

Still, there are a few reasons why Foles to the Redskins is not happening. Let's make them crystal clear:

  1. C.R.E.A.M. - Foles is due $20 million this season and if he actually hits free agency, he could command more than that on the open market. The Redskins already have $24 million on the books at the QB position between Smith and McCoy. Washington cannot afford to add another QB with a salary of $10 million, let alone $20 million. Bruce Allen needs to find cash to fix a number of positions, and the team cannot go past $30 million total at the QB position, and would probably be wise to keep that number lower if at all possible. The 'Skins CANNOT afford Foles. 
     
  2. It takes two - The Eagles are doing everything possible to retain control of Foles and then trade him. It might not happen, as it requires using a franchise tag on Foles with no intention of actually working towards a long-term deal, but Philly will try. If the Eagles are able to trade Foles, they're not going to trade him in the division to Washington. This is not an aging Donovan McNabb.  
     
  3. 2020 Vision - One reason the Redskins aren't pursuing the nuclear option with Alex Smith - cutting him this offseason and taking a massive $40 million cap hit - is because some corners of Redskins Park wonder if he can play again in 2020. That question will become more clear over the coming weeks and months, and should have some level of clarity by the NFL Draft in late April. At that point, the 'Skins can and should look to draft a quarterback. A draft pick would be affordable due to the NFL rookie wage scale, and if it's a late-round pick, that player might not be ready to start by 2020 anyway. Foles and Smith can't cohabit the Redskins roster in 2020, but Smith and a second-year rookie might be able to. 
     

Redskins fans should absolutely expect a new quarterback to join the Redskins between now and the start of OTAs.

It just won't be Nick Foles. 

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Who to root for in Week 13 if you are a Washington Redskins fan

Who to root for in Week 13 if you are a Washington Redskins fan

Somehow, after losing to the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving, the Washington Redskins still control their playoff fate. 

Win out and no matter what Washington is either in as the NFC East champion or a Wild Card team. 

Entering Week 13, the Redskins are competing with nine other teams for three spots in the NFC playoffs. None of the 10 total teams appear to be going anywhere (up or down) to clean up the playoff picture.

Given how the standings shake up, the reasonable ceiling of this Redskins team is the No. 3 seed. A division title and passing the Chicago Bears/ NFC North Champion is all they would need for that. If neither happens though, some help in the Wild Card wouldn't hurt. 

Redskins Week 13 Rooting Guide

New Orleans Saints (10-1) vs. Dallas Cowboys (6-5)
Thursday, Nov. 29 at 8:20 p.m.

Duh. After this matchup, the path looks pretty clean for the Cowboys. Root for the Saints. 

Baltimore Ravens (6-5) vs. Atlanta Falcons (4-7)
Sunday, Dec. 2 at 1:00 p.m.

Any AFC vs. NFC matchup would be better off for the Redskins if the AFC team won. A loss by the Falcons would almost guarantee that they wouldn't be the team to knock the Redskins out of a Wild Card spot. Root for the Ravens.

Carolina Panthers (6-5) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-7)
Sunday, Nov. 25 at 1:00 p.m.

Another week, another easy pick. The Panthers are in playoff contention, the Bucs are out. This result could also go a long way for the Redskins if the Panthers lose. Keep in mind Washington has the tiebreaker over Carolina from their Week 6 victoryRoot for the Buccaneers.

Chicago Bears (8-3) vs. New York Giants (3-8)
Sunday, Dec. 2 at 1:00 p.m.

At first glance, one would assume to root for the Bears. But that is where you would be wrong. Yes, a Giants loss would eliminate them from the postseason, but it would take a massive collapse from the Cowboys and Redskins to allow the Giants to become the division champs at 8-8. Chicago, on the other hand, is only two games ahead of Washington with a tough schedule remaining. A win by Washington and a loss by Chicago in Week 13 puts the Redskins only a game out of the No. 3 seed in the NFC. Root for the Giants.

Los Angeles Rams (10-1) vs. Detroit Lions (4-7)
Sunday, Dec. 2 at 1:00 p.m.

For the Redskins to pass the Rams, Washington would need to go 5-0 or 4-1 and L.A. would have to finish 1-4 or worse. Don't get your hopes up. Root for the Rams. 

Arizona Cardinals (2-9) vs. Green Bay Packers (4-6-1)
Sunday, Dec. 2 at 1:00 p.m.

The Cardinals are trash and will be battling for the No. 1 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. The least they could do is help out the team that helped get them there. Root for the Cardinals. 

San Francisco 49ers (2-9) vs. Seattle Seahawks (6-5)
Sunday, Dec. 2 at 4:25 p.m.

See above. No reason to not root for the 49ers and try to make the path harder for the Seahawks.

Minnesota Vikings (6-4-1) vs. New England Patriots (8-3)
Sunday, Dec. 2 at 4:25 p.m.

Another AFC vs. NFC matchup and this one could help benefit the Redskins if they are legit contenders for the Wild Card. Root for the Patriots, this result could be the difference in Week 17 when it's all said and done.

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