Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, October 11, four days before the Washington Redskins play the 49ers at FedEx Field.
Today’s schedule: Practice 1 pm; Jay Gruden and Kirk Cousins news conferences, open locker room after practice, approx. 3 pm
—Monday night Redskins @ Eagles (10/23) 12
—Cowboys @ Redskins (10/29) 18
—Redskins @ Seahawks (11/5) 25
First look at Redskins vs. 49ers
—Let’s start with this—the 49ers aren’t very good. Yes, their last four losses have come by a total of 11 points. But bad teams lose close games. They are in or near the bottom quarter of the league in scoring offense and defense and in yards gained and yards given up. If you want to go with more advanced metrics they are 28th in DVOA through Week 4. Yes, it’s Jay Gruden’s job to talk up the opponent but make no mistake, if the Redskins lose or struggle it will be against a bad team.
—It seems that Kyle Shanahan is going to stick with Brian Hoyer at quarterback. The Redskins should hope that he does, at least for this week. The veteran is completed 59.3 percent of his passes with four touchdowns and four interceptions. But the worst number is his 6.2 yards per pass attempt, 27th in the NFL. It’s hard to move the chains in the NFL if your quarterback is averaging less than seven yards per pass attempt. And if you factor in the 102 yards lost on 15 sacks, his average per pass play drops to 5.3 yards. That’s spinning your wheels.
—Pierre Garçon is playing well with 28 receptions (T-11th) for 378 yards (T-8th). But he has no touchdown receptions through five games, perhaps understandable given that Hoyer has thrown just four TD passes. The other dangerous target for Hoyer is Marquise Goodwin, who racked up 116 yards on five receptions against the Seahawks last Sunday.
—Defensively, the 49ers have some good pieces. NaVorro Bowman has come back nicely from his devastating knee injury and is playing well at middle linebacker. Leading the team in sacks at age 33 is Elvis Dumervil with 3.5. Solomon Thomas, the third pick in the draft this year, is still learning with one sack. Rookie linebacker Reuben Foster, thought to be a first-round target of the Redskins, is still dealing with an ankle injury and while he may get back to practice this week he is unlikely to play on Sunday.
Potpourri: Per Pro Football Focus, Hoyer gets the ball out quickly, an average release time of 2.39 seconds. Still, he has been sacked 15 times and that’s among the 10 worst in the league . . . Carlos Hyde is in his contract year and he is doing his best to earn some cash. He’s just off of a 1000-yard pace and averaging 4.5 per carry . . . Another former Redskins receiver on the roster, Aldrick Robinson, has seven receptions for 87 yards
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