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Need to Know: Five Redskins under pressure vs. the Vikings

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Need to Know: Five Redskins under pressure vs. the Vikings

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, November 10, two days before the Washington Redskins play the Minnesota Vikings at FedEx Field.


Today’s schedule: Practice 12:05 p.m.; Jay Gruden news conference, open locker room after practice, approx. 1:30 p.m.

Days until:

—Redskins @ Saints (11/9) 9
—Giants @ Redskins Thanksgiving (11/23) 13
—Redskins @ Cowboys Thursday night (11/30) 20

Key injury updates
Out of practice:
DE Ioannidis (hand), OT Williams (knee), LB Brown (ankle)
Limited: WR Crowder (hamstring), TE Reed (hamstring), G Scherff (knee), C Long (knees), T Nsekhe (core muscle)
Not much change from Wednesday here except for the somewhat alarming development of Zach Brown coming up with an ankle injury. It seems likely that he will play but watch for today’s final injury report, which I’ll put out on Twitter moments after Jay Gruden gives it to us at about 1:30.

Five Redskins under pressure vs Vikings

QB Kirk Cousins—On Sunday, he got what many have been looking for, a near-miracle late drive to win a game. Now, everyone wants him to do it again. And he may need to if the offensive line is only partially back to full strength.

OT T.J. Clemmings—It’s possible that Ty Nsekhe will be able to go at left tackle but the chances are slim. Trent Williams is an even longer shot. Whoever plays left tackle will have to deal with Everson Griffen, who has 10 sacks, at least one in each game. Griffen has not practiced this week due to a foot injury but he is expected to play. Clemmings likely faced Griffen in practice when they both were with the Vikings and maybe he has a trick or two that will slow him down.

TE Vernon Davis—For stretches of time, Davis has been the main producer in the passing game. The Vikings have a tough pair of corners in Xavier Rhodes and Trae Waynes so Cousins might need to look for Davis early and often. Davis had contusions on both hands after the Seattle game but he was a full go in practice on Thursday.

OLB Preston Smith—The third-year player had at least half a sack in each of the first five games but he has been shut out in that department the last three, although he has been getting some hits and pressures. A groin injury has slowed him but he is no longer appearing on the injury report and he should be full strength. Getting pressure on Vikings QB Case Keenum is the best way to keep him from getting the ball to targets like Stephon Diggs and tight end Kyle Rudolph.

CB Kendall Fuller—Adam Thielen is the Vikings’ best receiver but Diggs is their most explosive. He won’t line up in the slot consistently but he will on occasion and when he does it will be up to Fuller to keep him under wraps. A takeaway by Fuller would be great; he leads the team with three interceptions (nobody else has more than one).

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

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When Samaje Perine got going, so did the Redskins' offense

Bob Youngentob for NBC Sports Washington

When Samaje Perine got going, so did the Redskins' offense

At halftime of the Redskins’ Thanksgiving night game against the Giants, Samaje Perine had three yards rushing and his team had three points. Washington had racked up all of 113 yards.

Coincidence? Not entirely. Although the Redskins are primarily a passing team they need to run the ball to pass effectively.

“We had to get the running game going,” said Jay Gruden after the game.

In the second half, Perine and the offense did get it going. Perine ran for 97 yards and Redskins put up 210 yards and 17 points. It’s safe to say that it wasn’t a coincidence.

The Redskins didn’t make any halftime adjustments to get the ground game in gear.

“We just had to stay the course,” said Perine. “We knew they were going to come out fired up, they just came off a big win. We just had to stay the course and then things started going our way.”


Perine was more steady than spectacular. His longest run was 16 yards. He came out of the locker room and ran for six and 10 yards on his first two carries. Later in the third quarter the Redskins were backed up at their own 10. Perine ran four straight plays for 39 yards and the Redskins were near midfield.

Although they didn’t score on that drive they did change field position. That was part of the Redskins’ strategy playing with an injury-depleted offense.

“If you had to punt in a game like this and play field position, it’s not the end of the world because our defense was playing so good,” said Gruden.

Not only did the running game flip the field, it flipped the time of possession. In the first half, the Giants had the ball for 17:40 compared to 12:20 for the Redskins.

“We had to get on the field and control some of the clock,” said tackle Morgan Moses. “We had to give our defense a rest. Samaje put his foot in the ground and got extra yards when needed and we were able to move the chains.”

Moses wasn’t the only one enjoying seeing Perine pile up some yards.

“As a defensive player, you want to see that,” said safety D.J. Swearinger. “We say, keep running it. Keep running him. Let him keep getting those carries, put a dent in the defense. It was a good sight to see.”


Swearinger got to watch a lot of Perine. The Redskins piled up 22:17 in possession in the second half, while Swearinger and his defensive mates had to defend for just 7:43.

Last night was the second time in four days that Perine has rushed for 100 yards or more; he had 117 in New Orleans on Sunday. No Redskin has rushed for 100 yards in consecutive games since Alfred Morris did it in November of 2013.

He will have a chance to extend that streak to three on Thursday against the Cowboys, who are ranked 17th in rushing defense. That would put him in some elite company in Redskins history, including Larry Brown (twice) and Stephen Davis.  A steak of three straight 100-yard games was last done by Morris in 2012.

It may be a little early to look forward, but the Redskins record is five straight 100-yard games, held by Clinton Portis (twice) and Ladell Betts.  

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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This group Redskins postgame interview was so much better than any group celebration from this year


This group Redskins postgame interview was so much better than any group celebration from this year

Get out of here with being thankful for good health and family and all that other nonsense.

The thing you should've been most grateful for on Thanksgiving was the tremendous group postgame interview the Redskins did after beating the Giants 20-10 at FedEx Field.

This year, group celebrations are the thing to do in the NFL, and they've been fine. The Steelers' choregraphed hide-and-seek was cute, and the Eagles have actually looked like the best baseball team in Philadelphia at times this season.

But those collective efforts have NOTHING on Kirk Cousins hand feeding Brandon Scherff a giant turkey leg or Ryan Kerrigan and Jamison Crowder cheers-ing with their own massive legs:


Can we all take a moment and look at how happy Morgan Moses is to rip a bite off of his drumstick?:

And please check out DJ Swearinger piggy-backing on random-signing-turned-starting-center Tony Bergstrom:

Four days after walking off the field following a sickening loss in New Orleans, the Redskins got to shove meat down their gullets. Winning in the NFL is more fun than losing in the NFL.