First place in the NFC East on the line Sunday for the Redskins

WASHINGTON– As bizarre as it might sound, everything seems to be lining up for the Redskins in 2015.  Now, all they have to do is take advantage of the opportunity.

The Cowboys lost a quarterback and a game on Thanksgiving and now sit at 3-8.  The Eagles seem to have quit on Chip Kelly and the season while currently sitting at 4-7 after being blown out in Detroit.  With all that being said, the NFC East seems to be a race between the Redskins and Giants.

So, the battle for first place takes place Sunday at Fed Ex Field.  The Redskins are 4-1 at home this year and 0-5 on the road so needless to say the fact that the next two weeks are at home is a big deal.  While it’s not officially over if the Redskins lose Sunday, it’s essentially over.  If the Giants win, they will stay in first place and have a two game lead over the Redskins– including holding the tiebreaker because of the sweep. The Giants’ division record will obviously be better as well.  If the Redskins win they will be tied with the Giants at 5-6 but hold the tiebreaker.  The remaining schedule sets up nicely for Washington with two games against Dallas and one against Philadelphia.  With Romo out, the Dallas games change.  The Eagles game is the day after Christmas and with the way the Eagles are going, that could be a mess in Philly.  See where I’m going with this?

Redskins offense vs Giants defense

The Giants come into this game with the 32nd ranked defense in passing yards allowed, allowing nearly 310 yards a game and that should be something the Redskins should be able to take advantage of.  The Giants are also 31st in total yards a game at 409 yards a game. If Kirk Cousins and the offense can start fast and not the turn the ball over, you could see a pretty good offensive performance from the home team on Sunday.

Eli Manning and the Giants offense

The Giants quarterback is still very dangerous and loves playing against the Redskins.  He’s got a 16-6 record against Washington and has completed nearly 60 percent of his passes.  For the season the Giants are ranked fourth in the NFL in points scored (27.73pg) and he’s thrown 21 touchdowns and just six interceptions.  Don’t forget the Giants have a guy named Odell Beckham Jr. The star wideout has caught 63 passes 863 yards and eight touchdowns.

More injury news

It’s becoming all too familiar for this team and that is adjusting to life without a starter due to injury.  For the sixth time this year the Redskins have lost a starter due to injury as Chris Culliver was placed on Injured Reserve with a torn ACL and MCL suffered in practice on Thursday.  He becomes the 11th player to end up on season ending Injured Reserve this season.

The secondary has definitely taken a beating this year with injuries and suspensions. Jay Gruden will be looking to Will Blackmon to step up as he has already.  Bashaud Breeland missed practice on Friday due to illness but hopes to be ready for Sunday.  DeAngelo Hall is still working his way back from the toe injury and has played sparingly at safety the last few weeks.  We’ll see what Gruden does come Sunday.

The team has signed cornerback Dashaun Phillips from the practice squad to replace Culliver.

The good injury news is that Trent Williams took all the reps on Friday and it would be surprising at this point if he doesn’t play Sunday.,

For the Giants, the injury concerns on the offensive side are pretty big as well.  Tight end Larry Donnell is possibly out for the year.  The offensive line could be missing two big pieces as Justin Pugh has been ruled out with a concussion and Center Westin Richburg is doubtful with an ankle injury.

The Giants have won five straight against the Redskins including the first meeting this year at Met Life Stadium.  If the Redskins want a shot at this suddenly open division, they have to win Sunday on home turf.  It’s that simple.

George Wallace

George Wallace is the WTOP sports director. He began at WTOP on Christmas Day of 2000.

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