Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, November 4, seven days before the Washington Redskins play the Minnesota Vikings at FedEx Field.
Today’s schedule: Redskins Kickoff, 3:00, NBC Sports Washington; Redskins vs. Seahawks, 4 p.m., Fox
—Redskins @ Saints (11/9) 14
—Giants @ Redskins Thanksgiving (11/23) 18
—Redskins @ Cowboys Thursday night (11/30) 25
Key injury update
Out:DE Ioannidis (hand) G Lauvao (stinger), TE Paul (concussion), TE Reed (hamstring), WR Crowder (hamstring)
Doubtful: T Williams (knee), T Nsekhe (core muscoe), C Long (knees)
Questionable: G Scherff (knee), RB Kelley (ankle), CB Breeland (knee, groin), Friday injury report here. The addition of DeAngelo Hall to the roster is good news for the O-line, here’s how.
Final thoughts on Redskins vs. Seahawks
A tough test for the fill-ins: Assuming Trent Williams doesn’t play, the left side of the offensive line will be T.J. Clemmings at tackle and Tyler Catalina (or possibly Arie Kouandjio) at guard. They will match up against Frank Clark (4.5 sacks) and Sheldon Richardson, respectively. If they can hold up and keep Kirk Cousins upright, the Redskins might have a fighting chance. If not, it could be a long day.
Seahawks’ second-best player is out: Russell Wilson is the Seahawks’ MVP but safety Earl Thomas is the straw that stirs the drink on defense. The three-time All-Pro has two interceptions this year including a 78-yard pick six last week. He will be out with a hamstring injury, a tough loss for the Seattle defense. His absence could help Vernon Davis get some room over the middle. It would be a good situation for Jordan Reed to exploit but he also is out with a hamstring.
Better than the sum of its numbers: The Seahawks defense ranks in the bottom half of the league in many major statistical categories and outside the top ten in nearly all of them. But they are seventh in points allowed, indicating a bend-but-don’t-break unit that gets the job done. Here’s a statistical oddity for you. Seattle is third in red zone defense, allowing touchdowns from inside the 20 just 35 percent of the time. But when the opposition gets in goal to go situations, they are dead last, allowing touchdowns 100 percent of the time. The latter is a small sample size—opponents have had first and goal just four times against them—but the lesson is, don’t get tackled between the 10 and 20, get into that first and goal situation.
Wilson’s possible Achilles heel: Wilson has a way of frustrating opposing defenses. Every week defensive coordinators work late trying to figure out how to stop him and nearly every week they fail. But he does tend to put the ball on the ground; he has five fumbles so far this year. If the Redskins can turn one of those into a game-changing big play, they might have a chance to pull off the upset. Wilson also has thrown four interceptions in his last four games, so if they can get a pick or two, that obviously would help their cause as well.
Cousins’ comfort level: With Jordan Reed already declared out and Jamison Crowder getting downgraded to out on Saturday, two of Kirk Cousins’ favorite targets will be out of the game. Sure, he can go to Chris Thompson but it will be hard to move the ball without going to Terrelle Pryor and/or Josh Doctson on a regular basis.
Prediction: Go ahead and get your Captain Obvious comments ready. This is going to be a very difficult road for the Redskins. Just looking at the factors listed here, the Redskins will need at least two or more of the left side holding up against top-shelf linemen, being able to exploit a hole at safety without your best tight end, avoiding red zone woes, and getting Wilson to be a turnover machine will have to happen for the visitors to have a decent shot. That is drawing to the proverbial inside straight. I think the Redskins hang around for a while but Seattle will build and hold a working margin.
Seahawks 28, Redskins 24
Season predictions record: 3-4
Tandler on Twitter
But seeing this out of my hotel room window is pretty cool. pic.twitter.com/UXYoeJlLWs— Rich Tandler (@TandlerNBCS) November 4, 2017
In case you missed it
- Who Steps Up With Crowder Out?
- Hall activation is a good sign for the O-line
- Already injured Redskins now without offensive playmaker
- Can you win a game without running the football?
- Redskins-Seahawks Preview: History suggests trouble in Seattle