Hall: NFC East struggles a surprise, but don’t matter if Redskins don’t improve

DeAngelo Hall, Demaryius Thomas

DeAngelo Hall comes down with an interception against the Broncos’ Demaryius Thomas. (Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

With 10 weeks in the books, one of the biggest surprises of the NFL season has been the struggles of the NFC East as a whole. The Redskins, Cowboys, Eagles and Giants have gone a combined 16-22 through the first 10 weeks of the season, and their division is the only one in the NFL that doesn’t have at least one team with a winning record.

Dallas and Philadelphia at 5-5 are tied for first place, and Washington and New York (both 3-6) stand 1 1/2 games back.

The Giants have won three straight, and the Eagles two straight. But the Cowboys, who are coming off of a 49-17 thrashing, have won back-to-back games only once this season. The Redskins have yet to string together consecutive victories.

But, Washington remains in the picture because of their counterparts’ struggles, who have come as a surprise for everyone.

“Absolutely,” cornerback DeAngelo Hall said when asked if he was surprised to see the division as a whole struggle. “It’s — I don’t want to say hard — but it’s a little difficult to hear people talking about this division being so bad because it’s been so good over the past couple years. It’s always one of those divisions that you’re going to beat yourselves up a little bit back and forth around the league, but it’s normally not as bad as it’s been the last two years. We definitely still have a chance, and a lot of things have to happen, but we have to go out there and keep fighting.”

Hall said that the Redskins are running out of time, however. And ultimately, unless Washington’s fortunes change, their counterparts’ records will become irrelevant.

“It’s not going to matter. We can talk about everybody else, but the bottom line is, we have to be a lot better,” Hall said. “ We can’t make it to the playoffs and expect to do anything in the playoffs playing the way we’ve been playing. It’s pointless to get there. So, you want to start playing good football. You want to start having things go the right way. That’s what happened last year: we were 3-6 but things started going the right way, so we felt like we had a chance. Seattle coming in here, we felt like we had a chance. We felt like we had a chance after that with Atlanta because of the matchup we had earlier in the season, we felt like we had a chance to win that game as well. You want to play good football toward this time of the season, because that’s the only way you can make it in the playoffs.”

Have a Redskins question? E-mail Mike Jones at mike.jones@washpost.com with the subject line “Mailbag question” for him to answer it in The Mailbag on Tuesdays.

What’s ahead:

● The Redskins return to practice at 1 p.m. today. Mike Shanahan speaks with reporters afterward.

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