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Friday, December 9, 2011
Final Word: NFC East

By Dan Graziano

NFC Final Word: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

Five nuggets of knowledge about Week 14:

Playing into their hands: The best hope the Washington Redskins have against Tom Brady and the Patriots would seem to be getting to the quarterback. The Redskins excel at pressuring the passer. It is the strength of their team, and sacking or at least hitting Brady and somehow limiting his production is surely part of their game plan. The problem is Brady has been very good against the blitz this season. According to ESPN Stats & Information, Brady's 66.7 completion percentage, 10.1 yards per attempt, 14 touchdowns and 84.1 Total QBR against five or more pass-rushers all rank second in the league behind Aaron Rodgers. So the Redskins could be disappointed to learn that much like Omar Little, Brady don't scare.

Rex Grossman
Washington's Rex Grossman has thrown 15 interceptions in nine games this season.
Protect the ball, get the ball: The Redskins are tied for last in the league with a minus-13 turnover margin. Quarterback Rex Grossman is largely to blame, of course, having thrown 15 interceptions and lost three fumbles in only nine games this season. But the Redskins' defense hasn't been doing a great job of getting turnovers, either. Its eight interceptions are the sixth-lowest total in the league.

Will Mike be like Mike?: Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick is expected to start Sunday in Miami after missing three games because of broken ribs. After missing three games with a rib injury last season, Vick returned and passed for 218 yards and rushed for 74 more in a victory against the Indianapolis Colts. Vick is also better, at least since he's been with the Eagles, on the road than he is at home. Vick is 7-3 as an Eagles starter in road games, with a 61.1 completion percentage, 273.4 yards per game, 23 touchdowns, 10 interceptions, 60.3 rush yards per game and five rushing touchdowns.

Giants look for rebound: The New York Giants have lost four games in a row, something they also did in 2009, when that season fell apart on them in the second half. The last time the Giants had a losing streak longer than four in a row, however, was in 2004. That was Tom Coughlin's first season as Giants head coach, and the team lost eight games in a row from Week 9-16. The Giants have won two straight in Dallas, however. The last time they won three in a row in Dallas was 1988-90.

Romo on a roll: Had Sunday's game in Arizona ended differently, there would have been a lot of talk this week about how well Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo has been playing lately. Since Week 9, Romo has simply been one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. ESPN Stats & Information says Romo's 67.6 completion percentage ranks third in the league over the past five weeks. His touchdown-to-interception ratio of 11:2 ranks fifth in the league during that time, and his Total QBR of 75.2 ranks sixth. Romo should get one of his best wide receivers, Miles Austin, back this week from a hamstring injury.