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Dos and don'ts for still enjoying this Sunday while the Redskins are off on their bye


Dos and don'ts for still enjoying this Sunday while the Redskins are off on their bye

Bye weeks can be tricky for NFL fans. While everyone else's teams are busy tossing touchdowns, being penalized for idiotic blocks in the back on punt returns and picking off DeShone Kizer, you're left looking forward to the next week of action.

That somewhat empty feeling is one Redskins supporters will experience this weekend, as Washington will be on its bye along with three other franchises. But a fun football Sunday can still be had by all Burgundy and Gold lovers, as long as they pursue it properly.

And to pursue it properly, those Burgundy and Gold lovers should follow these dos and don'ts.


Do: Watch the NFL.

You may be thinking that, since the Redskins are off on Sunday, you can use your newfound free time to do things like take your kids to the pumpkin patch or get that lunch with the neigbors you don't really like but have to be polite to out of the way.

If you find yourself thinking that way, here's a tip: Stop. You're acting like a crazy person. This isn't to say you are a crazy person, just that you're acting like one.

There are only 17 NFL Sundays every year. You must cherish each and every one; they're simply too precious to be discarded just because the 'Skins aren't suiting up. When pro football isn't going on, after all, the viewing options on a typical Sunday are bowling or season 24, episode 9 of House Hunters (that's the one where newlyweds need to find a house before the wedding, apparently).

Cheer on the Packers as they play the Cowboys. Watch Ravens-Raiders to see if Joe Flacco can somehow push his QB rating to a sub-zero level. Whatever you do, just tune in to Week 5, even without the promise of a Redskins game. 

Don't: Wake up early.

Kirk Cousins, Ryan Kerrigan and all those other players are on their bye. You can treat this Sunday as yours, too.

The last two Redskins matchups have been primetime affairs. Add those late nights to long work weeks, and your sleep schedule is probably starting to resemble where the Giants are in the NFC East: behind.

Fortunately, with Washington off, there are no tailgates to prepare for or any last-second scouting of opponents to do. In fact, there's not even an inevitable blowout in London to laugh at in the morning. While you should still be in front of the TV for the one o'clock showdowns, there's no point in getting up much earlier than that if you can avoid it.


Do: Reacquaint yourself with those closest to you.

While you'll still be paying close attention to the gridiron goings on, you won't have to do so as intensely because the Redskins won't be involved. Therefore, it's the perfect chance for you to have conversations with and reconnect to those living in your home.

Ask your spouse or significant other deep questions like, "How are you?" and "What have you been up to since Week 1?" Have a kid in school? Try this line on 'em: "What grade are you in again?"

After their break, the Redskins will return and play for the next 12 weeks. So this Sunday represents a chance to rekindle relationships with friends and family right before you return to ignoring them for another three months (or four if Jamison Crowder and Jordan Reed get going).

Don't: Start any Redskins in your fantasy league.

Chris Thompson has been a beast this year, but racking up points for your squad in your PPR league while on a bye is something even he can't do.

BONUS DO: Subscribe to NBC Sports Washington's #RedskinsTalk podcast.

How do you like your podcasts? Full of exclusive player interviews, instant postgame analysis and banter between hosts who spend too much time too close together?

Then NBC Sports Washington's #RedskinsTalk pod is the one for you. Worth mentioning: A new one drops Sunday, because there is no bye week for producing strong, in-depth content.

Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcastshere for Google Play.

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Can Brandon Scherff do something that no Redskins O-lineman has done since 1991?

Can Brandon Scherff do something that no Redskins O-lineman has done since 1991?

Those who doubted the wisdom of the Redskins drafting a guard with the fifth overall pick in 2015 (yes, I was one of them) should be preparing to eat their words.

On draft day and during the two and a half years since then, there has been plenty of talk that the Redskins would regret taking Brandon Scherff, who played tackle in college but seemed destined to play guard in the NFL, so early. Not that anyone thought that Scherff would be a bad NFL player but given that they left DL Leonard Williams and edge rusher Vic Beasley on the board, he needed to develop into an All-Pro caliber guard to justify such a high pick.

Well, don’t look now but Scherff is making his way towards becoming one of the best guards in the game. Not just Pro Bowl good; he checked that box last year. Scherff could become the first Redskins position player to be named a first-team All-Pro since Darrell Green and Jim Lachey earned the honors in 1991.


Asked about Scherff’s play this year, Jay Gruden was effusive in his praise.

He’s reacting. He’s anticipating. He’s pulling. He’s pass-blocking. He’s run-blocking. He’s double teaming. He’s doing everything you want him to do out in screens, out in space. He’s the best guard out in space by far in this league. It’s fun to watch him.

You can listen to Gruden’s full comments on Scherff in the video above.

Gruden is not exactly an unbiased observer. But other, more neutral analysts also have been heaping praise on Scherff.

An article on Pro Football Focus said that Scherff had an “elite” game against the 49ers, not allowing any pass rush pressures and dominating as a run blocker.


Two other analysts clipped some plays from the 49ers game to illustrate just how well he was playing.

This one from Brian Baldinger of the NFL Network shows one play, the 49-yard screen pass to Chris Thompson on which Scherff threw a key block.

I’m not sure what the scouting credentials Brandon Thorn has but he did put together a nice collection of clips of Scherff making quality blocks both in space and in the interior vs. the 49ers.

Will Scherff earn All-Pro honors? That could depend on how well the team does. While the All-Pro teams are supposed to be individual honors, it’s tough for an offensive lineman to get many votes if he’s not on a winning team, especially on like Scherff who would be trying to break into the club for the first time.

But the Redskins are not really worried about All-Pro votes. If he keeps playing the way he’s playing and he gets no such consideration it will be fine with them.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.


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Need to Know: Redskins to face Eagles’ clutch Carson Wentz, productive Zach Ertz

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Need to Know: Redskins to face Eagles’ clutch Carson Wentz, productive Zach Ertz

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, October 20, three days before the Washington Redskins visit the Philadelphia Eagles for Monday night football.


Today’s schedule: Practice 1 p.m.; Jay Gruden and Greg Manusky news conferences, open locker room, after practice approx. 3 p.m.

Days until:

—Cowboys @ Redskins (10/29) 9
—Redskins @ Seahawks (11/5) 16
—Giants @ Redskins Thanksgiving (11/23) 34

Injuries of note:
Not practicing
: OT Trent Williams (knee), OT Ty Nsekhe (core muscle)
Limited: CB Josh Norman (rib), CB Bashaud Breeland (knee), S Deshazor Everett (hamstring), RB Rob Kelley (ankle), OLB Ryan Anderson (back), S Stefan McClure (knee). OL Tyler Catalina (concussion protocol).
It was encouraging that Breeland and Norman practiced although Jay Gruden noted that they both took place only in individual drills. See the full injury report here.  

First look at Redskins vs Eagles

Number that pops out—LeGarrette Blount, who had a career average of 4.4 yards per carry coming into the year, is averaging 5.6 yards per carry, fourth in the NFL. Not bad for a guy who is supposed to be a lumbering power back. The key to stopping him is the same as it always has been, getting the north-south runner to go east-west. The Redskins did a solid job against him in Week 1, limiting him to a 3.3-yard average on his 14 carries.

The clutch gene? Carson Wentz is the MVP favorite right now and the thing is that his stats are very good but not very impressive. He ranks 10th in net yards per attempt, 25th in completion percentage, eighth in yards per game, and seventh in passer rating. But he gets it done when it counts. Seven of his 16 touchdown passes have come on third down. His passer rating of 130 on third down is 10 points better than the second-best in that category, a guy named Tom Brady. As a result, the Eagles get first downs on 53 percent of their third-down passes, also best in the league.

Third down passing the key—The Redskins allow conversions on 35.7 percent of third-down passes, 16th in the NFL. If this game ends up with third downs near the Redskins’ season performance they will be in good shape. If the Eagles convert half of their third downs or more, the visitors will be in trouble.

Protecting Kirk Cousins—The Eagles have 14 sacks on the year. They got four against the Redskins in the season opener so they have 10 in their five games since. Their leading sacker is Brandon Graham, who has four on the season. Two of those came in the opener so he has two in the other five games. He will again be lined up against Morgan Moses, who had one of his worst games since becoming a starter against Philly. If Moses plays as well as he has since Week 1 Cousins could have time to have one of his usual big games against the Eagles.

Yes, Ertz is a pain— This is kind of hard to believe but Zach Ertz, who has been in the league since 2013, is third all-time in tight end receptions against the Redskins with 54. He’s behind only Jason Witten and Jackie Smith and ahead of Jeremy Shockey, Mark Bavaro, and Jay Novaeck. Ertz has played nine games against Washington; Witten has played 28 and Smith played 27. So if it seems like Ertz is always a thorn in the Redskins’ side, it’s because he is.

Potpourri: Wentz is the Eagles’ second-leading rusher with 133 yards on 32 carries . . . The Eagles have the third-best special teams DVOA in the league. On punt returns, they are averaging 16 yards per and giving up an average of 5.6 yards. That’s a lot of hidden field position.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.

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From the locker room

Josh Norman talking about how it felt when he put some stress on his broken rib during practice on Thursday.

Posted by Rich Tandler on Thursday, October 19, 2017

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