Redskins May Be Around For the Long Haul

The Washington Redskins have another NFC Beast contest this week as they head to Philadelphia and face the Eagles. Washington is 3-1 and has played the toughest stretch of their schedule.

The question now is "will the Redskins be able to stay in the NFC East race or will they come back down to earth?"

Let's look at opportunities to win games. As I said, the Skins are finishing up the toughest part of their schedule. They have already played the Giants, Saints, Cardinals and Cowboys. I know they do play in the NFC East, but after Sunday they will have already taken their trips to New York, Dallas and Philly. All three still have to come to Washington.

Beyond that, there are some very winnable games for the Redskins. Washington gets three of the NFL's winless teams (Rams, Bengals, Lions) and the Cleveland Browns.

The only issue with the schedule is that the other NFC East teams also get to face the AFC North and NFC West teams.

The offense hasn't been amazing, but effective. Ever since their Week 1 mess against the Giants, Washington has averaged 26 points per game. The key has been the balance their offense has had. Clinton Portis is averaging 92 rushing yards per game. Jason Campbell has thrown six touchdowns and no interceptions.

The lack of turnovers has been a major key for Washington's success. Remember, this was a playoff team last year who had a turnover differential of minus-5.

Every week, the offense seems to improve. Campbell seems much more comfortable in Jim Zorn's offense and seems to have ownership of what's going on around him. This isn't just Zorn's offense -- it is Campbell's, too.

With all the talk about Zorn and Campbell, people having been sleeping on the Redskins defense. Remember, this has been on of the league's best defenses over the past couple of seasons. Yes, defensive coordinator Gregg Williams is gone but the personnel and the intensity remains.

This defense has had to face the Giants (held them to 16 points), Cardinals (the only team to hold them under 20 points in their last 12 games), Saints (held them to just 250 yards) and Cowboys (held them to their lowest scoring output of the season). Other than seeing those NFC East teams again, there are no offenses out there that can match up to what they've already seen.

Now, does this mean that the Redskins are odds-on favorites to win the NFC East? No. That division is so tough and competitive that anyone has a shot. However, this does mean that Washington can and should be able to fight for the division crown or a wildcard berth.

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