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NFC East: Philly Will Keep Pace, Washington Has What It Takes


Your turn, Washington.

That's about all I can think about when I turn my attention to the marquee matchup of the NFC East schedule. The Redskins travel to Denver this weekend to face the recently-defeated Broncos.

Peyton Manning missed his first day of practice as a Bronco this week after suffering a minor ankle injury in last weekend's loss to the Colts. He returned Thursday, however, which spells trouble for the Redskins if he's up to playing like he has against the rest of the division.

The Broncos have played every other team in the NFC East this season, and they were basically unstoppable in those outings. In those three games, Denver outscored the opposition, 144-91, with the last-second win against the Cowboys the only close game of the bunch.

Manning also has the atrocious defenses of this division to thank for plenty of his gaudy early season stats. In those three wins, he stockpiled a grand total of 1,048 yards, 10 touchdowns and just one interception – at the hands of Dallas corner Morris Claiborne.

Washington's defense doesn't look likely to put up a much better fight, as has been well-documented here. Even with the second-best run defense in the league statistically, the Broncos are allowing opponents to bomb away for enough yards that they're ranked third-worst in the league in total yards allowed.

Denver's points per game tally of 28.1 is hardly better – 27th in the NFL.

This will be an interesting test of how far Robert Griffin III and his offense have come this season. The Redskins seem to be hitting their stride as an offense since their bye week, as evidenced by yardage totals of 433 and 499 in the past two weeks.

That said, we've seen most of Washington's losses this season come in situations where they fell behind by too many points too early, which severely hampered their ability to stay balanced on the attack. [embedded_ad]

If Denver gets out to a hot start, I'm calling ball game. If the Redskins can throw some early punches, they might have the talent to outscore the Broncos.

Round 2

Michael Vick looks likely to return to the playing field against the same team he injured his hamstring playing in Week 5. Vick pulled the hamstring in the first half of the 36-21 win against New York, setting up Nick Foles to enter and throw for two touchdowns.

Funny how things change, though. After a solid second half against New York and a 296-yard day against Tampa, Foles flamed out in the futile loss to the Cowboys. Third string rookie Matt Barkley didn't look quite ready for primetime, either, as he threw three fourth quarter interceptions.

So one week after calling for Foles as the fulltime starter, Eagles fans will be cheering the return of Vick to complete the sweep against the Giants. New York just secured its first win of the season in a game I've started referring to as "The Worst Offensive Outing To Ever Happen In Football"—or TWOOTE-HIF, for short.

The Giants managed to win an NFL football game by double-digits, despite looking pretty amazingly awful in their own right. Simply put, I don't think they'll be able to consistently run the ball or defend the passer for the rest of the season.

The game is at Lincoln Financial Field, where Philly hasn't won in more than a year. But I think they snap that streak and climb back to .500 on Sunday, and in the process put pressure on the Cowboys to get a road win in Detroit.

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