Redskins are NFC East contenders

Since 2002, when the NFL split into eight four-team divisions, the battle for the NFC East has been pretty much a three-horse race between the Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles.

Each of those three clubs has won the division at least twice and they have finished outside of the top three in the NFC East a combined total of four times in that time frame.

One of the reasons for this trend is that the fourth team in the division, the Washington Redskins, hasn't held up its end of the competitive bargain. In the past 10 seasons, Washington has not only failed to win the division once, it has finished last on six occasions (including the past four seasons) and has only one second-place finish to its credit.

A losing trend of that caliber is hard to change quickly, yet after reviewing game tapes and metrics from multiple Week 1 contests, it's clear that the Redskins are on a path to make the NFC East a four-horse race as soon as this season.