Four weeks ago, the Washington Redskins sat at the bottom of the NFC East at 0-2. Four wins later, they haven’t totally overtaken the Dallas Cowboys for first place, but some of the players are acting as if it’s a spot they never vacated after last year’s divisional crown.
As the Redskins players were walking into the locker room following a 27-20 victory against the Philadelphia Eagles, defensive lineman Ricky Jean Francois said, “We run the damn East. Not Philly, not Dallas, not all of them. We run the East.”
The exchange was recorded on video by CSN after the game. In that moment, defensive end Chris Baker looked right into the camera and said, “Y’all forgot who the real champs of the NFC East is.” He also chastised reporters for picking the “trash-ass Eagles.”
"We run the East" pic.twitter.com/VbIcYkpBu0
— JP Finlay (@JPFinlayCSN) October 16, 2016
The Redskins defenders were talking big after the way they harassed and ultimately prevailed against the Eagles and rookie phenom quarterback Carson Wentz. The Redskins held Wentz to 11 of 22 passing and no touchdown tosses while sacking him 5 times. Jean-Francois had 1 sack and shared another tackle for loss. Baker also had a tackle for loss.
The references to running the East refer back to last season, when the Redskins won the division outright, although they did it with just a 9-7 record. They then hosted their first playoff game since 2012 but lost 35-18 to the Green Bay Packers.
Despite four straight wins against the Giants, Cleveland Browns, Baltimore Ravens and now the Eagles, the Redskins sit in second place behind the Cowboys, who beat them 27-23 in Week 2. Dallas dominated Green Bay on Sunday, 30-16, to win a fifth straight game to improve to 5-1.
The NFC East overall has been much improved from last season, when only Washington finished with a winning record. Through five weeks, all four teams sit at .500 or better with the Redskins, Cowboys and Eagles boasting winning records.
The Redskins will play at Detroit on Sunday.