Although the NFL sets up its regular season schedule for division opponents to meet on the final Sunday…I doubt they thought back in April that the Washington-Dallas duel would be for the NFC East championship.  Even during the Thanksgiving matchup between the two teams… it looked as though the NY Giants would re-set after its annual midseason hiccup while the Redskins and Cowboys would be playing for a wildcard-if that.  Instead, a 3-1 December by Dallas and a 4-0 finishing kick by the Skins have the heated rivals taking claim once again at being the “best rivalry in the NFL” in a game that actually means something.  The Skins 27-20 victory at Philadelphia saw a last second goal line stand that involved an Eagle implosion:  two dropped passes in the red zone and an intentional grounding with under ten seconds to play assuring victory.  Exhale, my friends.

RG3ver– the rookie notched his 8th 100+ passer rating effort of the season… and although he threw a late interception, continues to be the engine that revs this offense into high gear.  Could the lack of running  (a season low 4 yards on 2 carries) be attributed to his recent injury?  The Skins didn’t need #10 to race all over the field…something that can only give the QB confidence.

Mr. Morris, again–  Alfred has been much more than a superhero’s butler this fall… and against Philly dealt with a case of deja vu:  after being held to 18 yards on 9 first half carries,  #46  scores a third quarter touchdown and finishes within shouting distance of a 100 yard effort.  Just like Cleveland (from 9-18 to 27-87…as opposed to 22-91 against Philly).  How do I relate this to “Saved By the Bell” though?  Because that series was never repetitive.

Garcon and on– Pierre leads the way with 7 catches for 89 yards (the only receiver to have more than 2 catches or 26 yards)… and no doubt the attention he receives opens up opportunities for Josh Morgan and Santana Moss (each had a TD catch Sunday).  His numbers during the six game winning streak (33-434-3 td) prorates to 88 catches for 1157 yards and 8 touchdowns.  That’s the kind of alpha dog Santana Moss was in 2005…the last time the Skins won 10 games.

Third Down Dreams– the Skins went 5-10 in moving the chains… with Robert Griffin III copmleting 5 of 8 passes for 49 yards (two of his completions failed to get the necessary yardage).  Yardage breakdown:  one to three yards needed: 3-4. Four to six yards: 01-.  Seven or more:  2-5.

Defensive difference makers– okay, so the D remains ranked in the bottom quarter (28th)… and even during the six game winning streak is coughing up 20+ points a game.  But Coordinator Jim Haslett’s unit has become a takeaway machine– 13 during the current charge from worst to first in the NFC East.  Credit a defensive line that keeps blockers off London Fletcher (12 tackles and an INT)…Ryan Kerrigan (6 tackles, 2 sacks and a forced fumble)…and Perry Riley (8 stops).

Dissecting the Division– with one game remaining the Skins own a one game lead… although if they lose to Dallas Sunday night the Cowboys would take the NFC East based on the common opponents tiebreaker.  The NY Giants are in third due to division record…and Philadelphia has locked up last place for the first time since 2005.

Cobra Kai– no mercy again shown by the Redskins kicker… connecting on 42 and 45 yard attempts in the second quarter.  Forbath is now 17 for 17 to start his career (an NFL record)…and during a six game winning streak where four have been by a touchdown or less, one can’t help but recall misses by others in previous years that led to Redskin defeats.  But isn’t 17 straight makes to begin a rookie campaign enough?  I’ll decide when he’s made enough, man.  No mercy.

Watching the Wildcard– the Skins’ game with Dallas isn’t necessarily a must-win for the burgundy and gold, but they’ll know by kickoff if it is or isn’t.  Redskins make the playoffs if Minnesota and Chicago both lose…while the NY Giants need a win plus losses by the Cowboys, Vikings and Bears.  Oh my.

Dueling Divisions– the NFC North and West finish tied at 33-27 and 32-26-2 (say what you will about Green Bay-Seattle’s finish)…while the NFC East (29-31) is in a three way tie for fifth.  The AFC West finishes five full games in last.

Conference Contest Concludes– the NFC wins going away, 39-25…closing the season on a 10-2 roll.  This is the biggest advantage for the NFC since 1970 when they went 27-12-1 in the first year of integrated schedules…and the largest margin since the AFC ruled the roost 44-20 in 2004.  This is also the first time the NFC has won the interconference battle in consecutive years since 1994-95.  The pendulum swings.

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