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J. Taylor Jogs; Vegas Loves the Skins

Jason Taylor, wearing a white t shirt over a long-sleeved gray number, burgundy shorts and a knee brace, is currently jogging from one 15 yard-line to the opposite 40 and back, over and over and over. Eventually, he began mixing in some lazy cuts into the drill.

Anyhow, I meant to post this earlier, but there was a gent on my train ride up who asked me how the Redskins--with a first-year coach, coming off two preseason stinkers, almost universally predicted to finish last in the NFC East--could only be 3.5 or 4 point dogs AT the Super Bowl champs.

The answer? The Vegas oddsmakers--here, as always in this space, represented by the brains at Las Vegas Sports Consultants--have the NFC East as easily the strongest division in the league, with all four teams in the top 12 of the oddsmakers' preseason power ratings. Dallas is second, the Giants are sixth, the Eagles ninth and the Redskins 12th, with the Giants ranked two points better than the Skins on a neutral field. The next most balanced division is the AFC South, with all four teams in the top 19.

Despite being just about in the top third of the NFL here, four of Washington's first five games are against teams ranked higher. The full rankings, which are numerical ratings and don't reflect home-field, the whims of the betting public, etc.:

1. New England (146.3)
2. Dallas (144.6)
3. San Diego (144.2)
4. Indianpolis (143.6)
5. Jacksonville (143.3)
6. N.Y. Giants (141.2)
7. Pittsburgh (140.6)
8. Minnesota (140.4)
9. Philadelphia (139.8)
10. Green Bay (139.7)
11. New Orleans (139.3)
12. WASHINGTON (139.2)
13. Seattle (138.5)
14. Tampa Bay (138.0)
15. Cleveland (137.8)
16. N.Y. Jets (137.7)
17. Tennessee (137.4)
18t. Denver (136.7)
18t. Houston (136.7)
20. Carolina (136.5)
21. Cincinnati (136.2)
22. Chicago (136.0)
23. Buffalo (135.8)
24. Arizona (135.2)
25. Saint Louis (134.8)
26. Detroit (133.1)
27. Oakland (132.5)
28. Baltimore (132.1)
29. Kansas City (132.0)
30. San Francisco (131.3)
31. Miami (131.2)
32. Atlanta (127.3)

By Dan Steinberg  |  September 4, 2008; 5:12 PM ET
Categories:  Redskins  
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