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If the Redskins lose Kirk Cousins, Sunday was an ugly look into QB abyss

If the Redskins lose Kirk Cousins, Sunday was an ugly look into QB abyss

For whatever reason, a vocal subset of Redskins fans do not want quarterback Kirk Cousins to return in 2018. That group got an ugly reality check on Sunday.

Cousins' performance was not particularly great (18 of 26 for 196 yards and two TDs), but on the other side of the football came an actually bad performance. 

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Blaine Gabbert threw the ball 41 times for the Cardinals, completing just 16 passes, and the Arizona offense did not score a single touchdown. In fact, with Gabbert at the helm, Arizona hasn't scored a TD in two weeks. 

The debate about Cousins no longer seems to be about his ability. It's clear he's an NFL starting caliber quarterback. That can't be argued.

The debate about Cousins comes from his value. He will undoubtedly be overpaid in the coming offseason, whether that's on a $34 million franchise tag or a lucrative long-term deal. 

Cousins is not the best passer in the NFL, but for a brief period of time, it seems likely he will be the highest paid passer in the NFL. 

That's not Cousins' fault. Market economics dictate that; for those that are upset, take it up with 18th-century author Adam Smith. 

Back to Gabbert.

Some Redskins fans suggest the team could get much of Cousins production at a fraction of the price if they went with a less costly QB option in 2018. That might be true, but it's also a significant gamble. 

Washington backup QB Colt McCoy is better than Gabbert and would be a better option. Lots of QBs are better than Gabbert. The larger point goes to disprove the theory that there isn't risk in letting somebody like Cousins walk. 

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Names will pop up about potential replacements for Cousins, guys that would carry a much lesser price tag. Andy Dalton and Tyrod Taylor are two that pop to mind. 

Those options might be reasonable, but neither Dalton or Taylor are as good as Cousins. Look at the stats from the last three years, since Cousins was named starter. They just aren't.

And, if Cousins again chooses not to enter into long-term negotiations with the Redskins, the organization should look at drafting a passer. The team needs to look at its long-term future, that's only fair. 

The notion, however, that any QB out there could come in and help the Redskins needs to be dispelled. 

Gabbert disproved that by himself on Sunday.  

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Redskins' schedule "rest disparity" is very fair in 2018

Redskins' schedule "rest disparity" is very fair in 2018

The NFL started taking into account a new factor when putting together its schedule this year. The concept is called rest disparity. It stems from a complaint made by the Giants last year. And, of course, when the Giants have a cold, the NFL sneezes and immediately does whatever it takes to cure the cold. 

Here is how Peter King laid it out this morning on the MMQB:

Last year, I heard the Giants were not pleased with their schedule because they felt they were too often playing teams more rested than they were. In consecutive October weeks, they played teams coming off byes, for instance. The NFL calculated a figure for every team based on the number of combined days of rest for their foes or for the team, calculating, for instance, in those two weeks, the Giants were a minus-14 (minus-seven for each of the foes, Seattle and Denver, coming off byes). In all, by my math, the Giants were a league-worst minus-22 in “rest disparity.”

So the schedule makers worked to minimize the rest disparity this year. According to King, the worst rest disparity in the league this year is minus-11. The Giants are minus-eight. 

The question that Redskins fans will have immediately here is if the Giants’ rest disparity was reduced at the expense of the team in burgundy and gold. The answer that will surprise many is no. 

The Redskins rest disparity in 2018 will be either minus-one or zero. The variance is due to the possibility that their Week 16 game in Tennessee will be flexed to a Saturday game (see details here). If the game stays on Sunday, they will be at minus-one in rest disparity. If it gets moved, they will have had exactly as much rest over the course of the season as did their opponents, in aggregate. 

If you're interested in the nitty-gritty, here is how it breaks down. In eight or nine of their games, they will have had the same amount of rest as their opponents. They play one game coming off of their bye, a Monday night game in New Orleans. The Saints play the previous Sunday, giving Washington a plus-seven in days of rest. That is canceled out when they play the Falcons in Week 9 after Atlanta’s bye. 

Due to their Thanksgiving game, they get three extra days off going into their Week 13 Monday night game in Philadelphia. Two weeks later the Jaguars will have those three extra days of rest when they host the Redskins, having played on Thursday in Week 14.

They lose a day relative to their opponents coming off of those Monday night games against the Saints and Eagles. The Redskins get an extra day prior to visiting the Giants in Week 8 as New York has a Monday night game in Week 7. 

So far, that comes to minus-one in rest disparity. That will remain in place if they play the Titans on Sunday, December 23. If the game is flexed to Saturday, they will gain a day of rest on the Eagles in Week 17, zeroing out the rest disparity for the season. 

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

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Clarifying the confusion about the Redskins' Week 16 game at the Titans

Clarifying the confusion about the Redskins' Week 16 game at the Titans

There was some confusion about the Redskins’ Week 16 game in Tennessee when the NFL schedule dropped. The schedule pushed out by the Redskins said that the game date and time are to be determined. Other versions that went out, including the one on NFL.com, says the game will be on Sunday, December 23 at 1 p.m.

So what’s the story? Well, if you’re thinking of making reservations to go to Nashville to watch the game you just might want to hold off for a while. Like, until early November. 

In an under the radar move, the NFL has established flex scheduling for its late-season Saturday games. Here are the details from the schedule press release from Redskins PR:

“Flexibility for Saturday games in Weeks 15 and 16 is also part of the 2018 schedule. In Week 15, there will be two games played on Saturday on NFL Network, with the game times of 4:30 p.m. and 8:20 p.m. to be determined. In Week 16, two of four possible matchups will be scheduled for Saturday. Start times and Saturday games for Week 15 and 16 will be announced no later than following Week 8, with the non-Saturday games to be played on Sunday.”

The way it sets up, if the Redskins and Titans are playing well in midseason there is a good chance the game will be played on Saturday, December 22 at either 4:30 or 8:20. If one or both teams are struggling, the league and networks could choose to flex two of the other four matchups to Saturday. 

This is taking flex scheduling to a different level. It’s one thing shifting a Sunday kickoff seven and a half hours from 1 p.m. to 8:30. It’s another to shift a whole day. The visiting teams can’t make travel arrangements, not knowing if they need to come into town on Friday for a Saturday game or on Saturday for Sunday. Fans who want to travel to the game are in the same boat. 

Of course, if you can afford it, you can just add a day to your Nashville excursion. There are worse things in the world than spending an extra day or two in Music City. 

If you have to wait to make your plans, as the Redskins do, you will find out no later than October 29, which is when Week 8 ends. 

Do you believe in trends? Then you should hope that the game does get flexed to Saturday. The Redskins have won three straight Saturday games, beating the Eagles in both 2014 and 2015 (the latter game clinching the division title for Washington) and the Bears in 2016. 

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