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A tight race in the NFC East?

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A tight race in the NFC East?

Will the NFC East be a lot tighter than most observers think this year? The number crunchers at Football Outsiders think that it will be.The put out their 2012 Football Outsiders Almanac earlier this month and among the many interesting nuggets contained in the book (PDF version available now, Im waiting for the Kindle version) is a projection of the NFC East wins. It is safe to say that their prediction is quite unlike youre going to find on ESPN or in Street and Smiths or whatever your newsstand preseason magazine of choice is.Basically, FO projects a repeat of 2011 with the division champ again posting a single-digit win total. Here is what the project (via Blogging the Boys):Teamwins
Eagles8.6
Giants8.3
Cowboys7.5
Redskins6.8If you round those to the nearest whole numbers here are their projected standingsEagles 9-7
Giants 8-8
Cowboys 8-8 (or 7-9)
Redskins 7-9Under this scenario with just two games separating first place from last, the Redskins would have a shot at sneaking into the playoffs with some good fortune on their end and a bit of bad luck on the part of the Eagles and Giants.Still, it would not be a good idea to catch the next flight to Vegas and put the mortgage money on the Redskins chances. They projected the Eagles at 11.7 wins last year and we all know that the Dream Team did not have a dream season as Philly went 8-8. They were in the ballpark with the other teams in the division, however, projecting 8.2 for the Giants (actual total 9 wins), 7.7 for Dallas (8 actual) and 5.6 for the Redskins (5 actual).

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Pierre-Paul injury a big loss for Redskins' playoff rival

Pierre-Paul injury a big loss for Redskins' playoff rival

When you’re fighting for a playoff spot, it’s not only about what happens to you. It’s also about what happens to the teams you’re competing against for that playoff spot. And one of the Redskins’ main competitors got a some very bad news this morning.

The Giants, who are in the No. 5 spot in the NFC, the first wild card spot, got word today that defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul has had sports hernia surgery. The recovery time is at least four weeks, probably more like six. The Giants’ season is likely to be over by the time six weeks elapse, barring a playoff run without one of their best defensive players.

Pierre-Paul has helped solidify what was a shaky Giants defense last year. He has seven sacks and a fumble recovery returned for a touchdown. He has been heating up down the stretch with 5.5 sacks in his last three games.

His loss is a big blow for the Giants. They are a game ahead Buccaneers, who hold the No. 6 spot, and a game and a half ahead of the Redskins, who are currently seventh.

The Redskins play New York in Week 17 so the Redskins have to pick up just one game on the Giants over the next three to have a shot at passing them in the season finale.

The chances of that happening looked pretty good with Washington playing playing three teams with losing records in the Eagles, Panthers, and Bears and the Giants going against division leaders Dallas and Detroit in addition to the Eagles. With the Giants now without Pierre-Paul, the Redskins’ probabilities got tilted in their direction a little bit more.

Just finishing ahead of the Giants wouldn’t guarantee a playoff spot but it would come close. It would mean that the Redskins would have at least nine wins and the Redskins’ tie means that two teams would have to get to 10 wins to knock them out of the playoffs. The Bucs have to win threea more games to get to nine wins and the Packers and Vikings would have to run the table.

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Redskins Stat Breakdown: What worked — and what didn't — against Arizona

Redskins Stat Breakdown: What worked — and what didn't — against Arizona

CSN has teamed up with The Edge Systems to provide the occasional statistical review of Redskins game film. The Edge is analytical football software currently being used by coaches in the NFL, SEC, ACC and the media, providing some of the fastest and best data in football.

Below is a breakdown of the Redskins run game against Arizona - a game coach Jay Gruden admitted did not feature enough carries for Robert Kelley. 

The Redskins had a lot of success with their GAP runs early in the game.

In the first half they were successful on 75 percent of their GAP runs. 

As the game wore on the Redskins moved away from what had been successful and only ran two GAP runs in the second half.

As the Redskins power run game vanished, so did their prospects for winning the game.

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