Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, December 28, three days before the Washington Redskins play the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium.
Today’s schedule: Practice, 11:30; Jay Gruden and Greg Manusky news conferences, open locker room after practice, approx. 1:30
—Redskins @ Giants (12/31) 3
—NFL free agency starts (3/14/18) 76
—NFL Draft (4/26/18) 119
1st—Have the Redskins underachieved this year? That’s very subjective but we can look in a couple of places to maybe get a standard. They will finish at 8-8 or 7-9, in the middle of the NFL pack. Football Outsiders has them about in the middle of the DVOA pack, ranked 13th overall. However, their cumulate grades in Pro Football Focus add up to minus-81.5, which is 26th in the league. So, from that way of looking at it, they overachieved.
2nd—With a game to go, the Redskins already have run the ball more often they did in 16 games last year. They have 385 rushing attempts this year and 379 all of last year. If they have 25 rushes on Sunday, a strong possibility in what could be cold and windy conditions at MetLife Stadium, they would have an 8.2 percent increase from last year. That’s not huge but it is significant. However, their rushing production will be down. They rushed for 1696 yards last year (4.5 yards per carry) and they have 1387 in 2017 (3.6 ypc). I think it’s reasonable to point to injuries along the O-line and at running back as the primary reasons for the decline.
3rd—Passing attempts will be way down. Kirk Cousins attempted 606 passes last year and he has 503 so far in 2017. If he throws 35 times against the Giants, pass attempts would drop 11.2 percent from 2016. That’s substantial. They were seventh in the league in pass attempts last year, they are 19th last year. Cousins averaged 8.0 yards per pass attempt in 2016 and 8.0 again so far this season.
4th—Cousins had what may end up being his last press conference at Redskins Park on Wednesday. He did not address questions about his future, saying that he will answer those during a Q&A with fans on Jan. 5. It’s hard to get a read on him regarding his next move. Of course, he’s not completely in control of that. His next move likely depends if the Redskins tag him again. Then it will depend on if it’s the transition tag, the franchise tag, or the exclusive franchise tag. My take on the situation is that he is open to leaving but he won’t jump into a situation that is worse than the one in Washington just because of money or just to make a change for the sake of change.
Tandler on Twitter
Ziggy Hood isn't going to play Sunday (elbow) but he is stretching with his teammates. pic.twitter.com/X3zdOkkkSx— Rich Tandler (@TandlerNBCS) December 27, 2017
In case you missed it
- Gruden says Cousins doesn't owe him anything, but he's wrong
- How low can the Redskins' top pick go?
- Redskins player one liners, offensive edition