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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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Gruden: Redskins still sorting out offensive line changes

Gruden: Redskins still sorting out offensive line changes

Here are the salient points from Jay Gruden’s news conference on Wednesday:

—They want to get newly acquired center John Sullivan ready to play in a backup role this week. “He’s a very bright guy and I think he will be able to help this team in the long run.”

—Gruden said that the plan to cover the offensive line with two starters out is still being developed. He said that he wants Arie Kouandjio to get a “taste” of starting a left guard, which didn’t sound like much of a commitment to have him start. The door was left open for the possibility of Trent Williams starting at left guard although Gruden didn’t seem to like the idea of moving him.

—The team is doing well getting into the red zone and Gruden said that figuring out how to get the ball into the end zone rather than settling for three is “very high” on the list of concerns.

—There are injuries in the defensive backfield, too, but Gruden is not “overly concerned” about them. He likes the flexibility of the group and think that they can fill in with DeAngelo Hall on injured reserve and Bashaud Breeland out for at least this week.

—Jordan Reed has yet to catch a touchdown pass this year in part because teams are defending differently in the red zone. “Yeah, we are seeing a little bit more zone probably and when they play zone, sometimes they bang him when he gets off the line of scrimmage or they send an extra guy to him which is good. It should open up some other people but we just haven’t found the open guy consistently.”

—Will Josh Norman follow Terrelle Pryor, the Brown’s No. 1 receiver who had 141 yards receiving last week? “We’ll have to wait and see.” I wouldn’t expect an answer on this until game time but Pryor is not yet the caliber of receiver who would warrant be trailed by Norman. That’s not really his game, anyway. He is much more effective as a zone corner.

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Week 4 Redskins injury report: Three starters out of practice

Week 4 Redskins injury report: Three starters out of practice

The Redskins were missing three starters at practice on Wednesday as they began preparations to play the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.

Cornerback Bashaud Breeland (ankle), guard Shawn Lauvao (ankle), and wide receiver DeSean Jackson (knee/ankle) all were out of practice. Breeland and Lauvao are expected to miss the Browns game; Jackson seems likely to play but we will have to see how things develop this week before that determination can be made.

WR Josh Doctson (Achilles) and CB Dashaun Phillips (hamstring) also were out on Wednesday.

Doctson, the team’s top draft pick who spend training camp and all of the preseason games on the physically unable to perform list, was a last- minute scratch for the game against the Giants last Sunday.

“He just didn't feel comfortable, couldn't push off the way he wanted to,” said Jay Gruden.

The injury has been hard to deal with from the beginning.

“We're trying different treatments for him to try to get him back in action as soon as possible,” said Gruden. “He'll take it easy this week, next couple of days then see what he can do on Friday. It's a wait and see kind of thing.”

Limited in practice were DL Chris Baker (elbow/tow), LB Trent Murphy (elbow/shoulder), and DL Kendall Reyes.