The Washington Redskins improved to 6-6 on the season with Monday night's 17-16 victory over the New York Giants. Only one game back in the NFC East, it is now time to start talking about this team as a playoff contender.
To earn a postseason berth, however, the Redskins might have to win their own division.
The NFC North features two 8-4 teams (Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers), so both are in good position to make the playoffs. Plus the Seattle Seahawks are a game ahead of Washington with a 7-5 record and have a more favorable closing schedule.
The Redskins are starting to pick up momentum, however, and look primed to finish the season atop their division.
Here are three reasons why Washington is the NFC East's best team.
The Andrew Luck-Robert Griffin III debate was all the rage entering the 2012 season, and neither is falling short of the hype so far. But RG3 is doing things that no one thought possible from a rookie.
While every young player struggles to gain their foothold in the NFL, Griffin is able to negate the learning curve with his overall play-making ability—the likes of which this league has never seen before.
The NFC East is loaded with talent and experience, but Griffin is making the biggest impact for his team and is proving to be the division's best player so far this season.
And he seems to be hitting his stride at just the right time.
In his past three games, Griffin completed 73 percent of his passes for 667 yards and nine touchdowns to only one interception. He added another 185 rushing yards in that stretch as well.
Speaking of those last three game for Robert Griffin III, all are victories over fellow NFC East foes.
Winning within the division is the best way to make a statement to your opponents. Washington is now 3-1 against its NFC East counterparts.
With a road game at Philadelphia and a home game against Dallas remaining, the Redskins should be favored in both and have a great shot at finishing with a 5-1 record for division play.
Though all eyes were on Robert Griffin III entering the 2012 season, few outside the Redskins organization thought that they would compete for a division title this soon.
The Dallas Cowboys are always burdened with the pressure of living up to high expectations. The New York Giants have won two Super Bowl titles in the past five seasons. The Eagles' season is all but lost, and the fallout is already taking place in Philadelphia.
But the Redskins have an opportunity to coast to the top of the division without feeling too much heat.
While the pressure on Washington will start to pick up now—being just one game back of the Giants in the standings—there will be no negative repercussions should the Redskins fail to reach the postseason, unlike in New York or Dallas.
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