The Washington Redskins are gaining momentum at the right time. With two consecutive victories, the Redskins have moved to within a game and a half of the NFC East-leading New York Giants. With five games to go, here is why the Redskins will win the NFC East and make the playoffs for the first time since 2007.
While there is no arguing that Eli Manning is the better overall quarterback, Robert Griffin III is playing much better at this time.
Over the past four games, Eli Manning has thrown just one touchdown while throwing six interceptions. Eli has also completed just 57 percent of his passes and has had a quarterback rating of 60.5 over that span.
In that same time period, Griffin has thrown nine touchdowns with just one interception, while completing 62.9 percent of his passes. Griffin has carried a quarterback rating of 109.2 over that time period.
The Giants organization has said that Eli has been suffering from having a "tired arm" the past few games that has hindered his ability to throw the ball effectively. Meanwhile, Robert Griffin has looked more comfortable in his offense with each passing week and it can be expected that he will continue to become more comfortable in his offense as the season moves forward.
The schedule for the Redskins is much easier going forward in comparison to the Giants' schedule. The Giants' remaining opponents have a combined record of 37-24, while the Redskins' opponents have a combined record of 24-27.
Will the Redskins make the playoffs in 2012?
Looking closer at the remaining opponents, the Giants have games against the Packers, Falcons, Ravens and Saints, all of whom are in playoff contention. That doesn't include their head-to-head matchup with the Redskins in Washington. The only game left for the Giants that would seem to be easy is their final game at home against the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Redskins, on the other hand, have their home matchup with the Giants, followed by a tough matchup against the AFC North-leading Ravens. From there they finish up with Cleveland, Philadelphia and Dallas; all are teams that are struggling to finish out the season.
Over the past four games, the Redskins have allowed just 84 total points(21 PPG) while the Giants have allowed 102 points to opposing offenses (25.5 PPG). This will become an even bigger issue for the Giants through the remainder of the season as five of their last six opponents are in the top ten in the league in offensive scoring.
In the past four games, the Redskins have turned the ball over one time while the Giants have turned it over nine times. As the Giants go through the tougher part of their schedule, those turnovers will become much harder to overcome.
The combination of better and more efficient play on offense, an easier schedule and a defense that is holding teams to fewer points will result in Robert Griffin leading the Washington Redskins to the playoffs in his rookie season. His ability to make the players around him better could result in the Redskins being perennial playoff contenders for years to come.