Weird as it is to type, the Redskins are pretty clearly the favorites to win the NFC East.
Odds from Bovada this week have Washington at 5-6 to win the division, followed by Dallas at 3-2 and the Giants at 9-2. (Bovada has the Skins at 1-2 to make the postseason, and 3-2 to miss the playoffs.) My pal Rufus Peabody, a professional sports bettor, calculates the Redskins with a 50.4 chance to win the division and a 67.1 percent chance to make the playoffs, via the Massey-Peabody rankings.
Football Outsiders (via Mister Irrelevant) says the Skins have a 68.6 percent chance to win the division and an 80.6 percent chance to make the playoffs. Our own Brian Burke says they have a 71 percent chance of making the postseason. That’s all good.
Anyhow, just for fun, let’s go to Ron Jaworski for his NFC East projection.
“I think Dallas,” he told Tony Kornheiser on ESPN 980 Thursday morning. “I do. Now I just made a lot of enemies, but that’s my gut feeling.”
Jaws also predicted that the Redskins would beat the Eagles this week, but would fail to cover a 5.5-point spread in Philadelphia.
“Philly has fallen, but a divisional game, I’m gonna take Philadelphia,” he said. “Washington will win the game, but I think this is gonna be a tight game. The Eagles I thought last week had Cincinnati on the ropes. They had a 13-10 lead, middle of the third quarter, and they just played awful from that point on, three straight turnovers, and gave away the game. I think if Philadelphia protects the football, they’re gonna hang in there.
“The one thing I’ve noticed about the Eagles defense as of late, they are playing much, much better,” he went on. “As I said earlier, the change in coordinator from Juan Castillo to Todd Bowles, at the time didn’t look good, but you’re now seeing the change, and I think Todd has this defense playing pretty darn good football right now. And LeSean McCoy comes back, and I still believe that Redskins defense is vulnerable against the run. And Jim [Haslett has] done a great job on the defensive side – his schemes have been absolutely outstanding and created havoc for opposing quarterbacks and their protection schemes.
“But I think this will be a tight game,” he concluded. “It’s the NFC East, Tony. That’s just the way it’s always gonna be. I think Philly keeps it close, Washington wins the game, but I’ll take Philly and the 5 and a half.”