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Need to Know: Final thoughts on Redskins vs. Cardinals

Need to Know: Final thoughts on Redskins vs. Cardinals

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, December 17, seven days before the Washington Redskins play the Denver Broncos at FedEx Field.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Redskins Kickoff, noon, NBC Sports Washington; Redskins vs. Cardinals, 1 pm, FOX

Days until:

—Broncos @ Redskins Christmas Eve (12/24) 7
—Redskins @ Giants (12/17) 14
—NFL Draft (4/26/18) 130

Final thoughts on Redskins vs Cardinals

Key news and information:

Home field: The Cardinals are 2-4 on the road this year with the two wins coming against the 3-11 Colts and the 3-10 49ers. But the Redskins haven’t exactly torn it up at FedEx Field, going 3-3 with none of the wins coming over teams that have winning records. There are tickets selling for as little as six bucks on StubHub; you can get into the lower bowl for $14. Although there is not likely to be a Cardinals fan takeover, the Redskins could have some trouble generating much noise to support them.

Run game: The matchup the Redskins should be most concerned about is their running game against the Cardinals rushing defense. In the standard stats, Arizona is seventh in rushing yards allowed and fourth in yards per attempt. If you want to go advanced stats, Football Outsiders says that their rushing defense is third in the league as measured by DVOA. The Redskins are 4-24 under Jay Gruden when they rush for less than 90 yards. The Cardinals have allowed over 90 yards rushing five times this season, although it should be noted that they have given up at least 108 yards in each of their last three games.

Cousins bounce back: Kirk Cousins had arguably his worst game as a starter against the Chargers last week. He passed for 151 yards, his lowest total in any career game that he started and finished. Cousins didn’t appear to see some open receivers and he frequently was off target when he did find guys with some separation. The Redskins need him to come up big. He doesn’t necessarily have to be great for his team to win, just competent.

Other keys to a win:

  • Don’t let Blaine Gabbert beat you. He has been sacked 15 times in his last two games. The Cardinals are 2-2 in his four starts and he has thrown two interceptions in each of the losses. The Redskins, who have a defense that mostly is healthy, need to get the sacks and the picks to keep the Arizona offense at bay.
  • Cardinals linebacker Chandler Jones has 14 sacks, nearly half of Arizona’s total of 31. He has been steady, with at least one sack in 11 of the Cardinals’ 13 games. Jones usually lines up on the right side so it will be up to Trent Williams or, if he can’t go, Ty Nsekhe to slow him down.

Prediction: Earlier this week on the Redskins Talk podcast (you can listen to it below) I predicted a fairly easy win for the Redskins. The more I think about it, the more I’m not so sure. A Redskins rout is possible if the defense can do its part with sacks and takeaways. But nothing comes easy for the 2017 Redskins. I think they’ll win the game but if I was concerned about the point spread for entertainment or other purposes I might take the visitors and the four points.

Redskins 17, Cardinals 14

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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Josh Norman wears a kilt during Scotland trip and it's hilarious (VIDEO)

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@NFLUK

Josh Norman wears a kilt during Scotland trip and it's hilarious (VIDEO)

Josh Norman traveled to Scotland as part of an NFL promotional trip, and in turn, Josh Norman wore a kilt. 

It's awesome. 

Norman, along with Broncos wideout Emmanuel Sanders, decided to give the traditional Scottish formal attire a try, and the results were spectacular.

Norman even broke out in a tradional Scottish jig, sending the folks in the Glasgow audience into a frenzy.

Norman likes to have fun, and though the 2017 season didn't provide him many opportunities to do so, he's taking advantage while overseas. After Glasgow, Norman and the NFL crew went to Manchester, England, where he caught up with old friend and Manchester United star Paul Pogba for a jersey exchange.

Remember, Pogba hung out with the Redskins when the team played in London in 2016, and joined the Redskins Extra crew after the game. 

Plenty more cool pictures and videos from Norman's trip available via @NFLUK.

Want more Redskins? Click here to follow JP on Facebook and check out @JPFinlayNBCS for live updates via Twitter! Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcastshere for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

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Need to Know: Five potential Redskins first-round draft picks

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Need to Know: Five potential Redskins first-round draft picks

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, January 17, 56 days before NFL free agency starts.

Timeline  

Days until:

—NFL franchise tag deadline (3/6) 48
—NFL Draft (4/26) 99
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 235

Five possible Redskins first-round draft picks

As you can see from the “Days until” counter above, the NFL draft is 99 days away. A lot will happen between now and then but let’s look at some prospects who will fit the Redskins and who should be available at pick No. 13.

ILB Roquan Smith, Georgia—If you watched Georgia at all during the national semifinals or finals, you had to be impressed with his instincts, speed, hard hitting, and solid tackling. Even if free agent Zach Brown stays, the Redskins could pair him up with Smith and have a dynamic pair of inside linebackers for the first time since they started running the 3-4 in 2010. The problem for the Redskins is that his high-profile performances in those big game may have pushed Smith into the top 10.

QB Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma—A quarterback should be the choice early in the draft unless Kirk Cousins is signed to a long-term deal. Mayfield is an unconventional type of QB at about 6-1. There’s a lot to like about him, though—mobility, playmaking ability, and deep ball accuracy. He seems to have learned from his off-field mistakes, including an arrest about a year ago (apparently for yelling). In any case, if he is on the Redskins’ radar they will thoroughly vet him between now and draft day. Other QB possibilities are Josh Allen of Wyoming and Lamar Jackson of Louisville.

WR Calvin Ridley, Alabama—Hey, why not another wide receiver, which would be the second one in the first round in three years, and another member of the Crimson Tide after taking Alabama players 1-2 in 2017. I know that people would cringe at another round 1 WR, but after Terrelle Pryor flamed out last year it certainly is a need. Ridley would represent a solid value at No. 13.

DL Vita Vea, Washington—This pick would solve a couple of problems. At 6-4, 332 Vea has the size and strength needed to play nose tackle, solving another problem that has been around since 2010. What might make him worth a first-round pick is that he doesn’t have to go to the bench in nickel. Vea is versatile enough to rush the passer and play three downs. Start a line with Vea, Jonathan Allen, and Matt Ioannidis, mix in a few quality rotational players, and get Jim Tomsula to coach them up and you will have a top-notch D-line. As of right now, Vea is considered to be more of a late first-round player but a lot can change in the next 99 days.

RB Derrius Guice, LSU—Dreams of getting Saquon Barkley at No. 13 are just that and trading up far enough to get him would cost way too much draft capital. But Guice is a good mix of speed, power, agility, and receiving ability. With the exception of Alfred Morris’ first couple of seasons, the Redskins have been ordinary at best since the prime of Clinton Portis a decade ago. Many were impressed with Sony Michel of Georgia, who could be available in the second round.

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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