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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Receiver decisions, injury woes

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Receiver decisions, injury woes

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, October 28, one day before the Washington Redskins play the Dallas Cowboys at FedEx Field.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: No media availability

Days until:

—Redskins @ Seahawks (11/5) 8
—Vikings @ Redskins (11/12) 15
—Giants @ Redskins Thanksgiving (11/23) 26

Key injury update

Out: ILB Mason Foster (shoulder, IR), C Spencer Long (knees)
Questionable: OT Trent Williams (knee), OT Morgan Moses (ankles), G Brandon Scherff (knee), C Josh Norman (rib), OLB Preston Smith (groin)
You can find the injury report article here. To engage in some speculation here, I think that all three of the starting O-linemen will go, although I’m not as confident about Scherff as the other two. And any of the three could come out before the end of the game. Norman is nearly 100 percent. Smith should start but he could be on a limited snap count.

The Redskins week that was

Some of the most popular posts and hottest topics from the last week on www.NBCSportsWashington.com and www.RealRedskins.com

Five takeaways from Philly including a silver lining—In two of the Redskins’ losses they had an early lead and failed to hold it. And they got scares against the Rams and 49ers because they failed to keep the hammer down, turning potential routs into close games. The Redskins have outscored their opponents 30-7 in the first quarter and 85-57 in the first half. But they need to adjust as they are getting outscored 90-55 in the second half.  

Wide receiver decisions: A swing and a miss—Some interesting thoughts from J.P. Finlay on how the Redskins handled the Jackson-Garçon free agency decisions this offseason. The most eye-opening fact presented is that the Redskins don’t have a wide receiver in the top 90 in receiving yards. I agree with Finlay that paying Garçon and/or Jackson made no sense for this team at this time. As to the replacements, we have 10 more games to see how the bodies of work of Josh Doctson and Terrelle Pryor turn out.

Mounting injury concerns—Several of our top posts dealt with injury news. It’s been a while since they have been this banged up going into a game with Mason Foster going to injured reserve, two other players out, and 10 players questionable. Usually, players who are questionable end up playing but if gutting it out through an injury significantly diminishes the effectiveness of the likes of Trent Williams, Brandon Scherff, and Josh Norman, the Redskins could have a very tough mountain to climb tomorrow.

Is Cousins the long-term answer for the Redskins at QB? I got a ton of feedback about this post, in which I wondered if a Redskins team with a highly-paid Kirk Cousins at quarterback could compete with an Eagles team with a cheap Carson Wentz and a Cowboys team paying Dak Prescott a fourth-round salary. I didn’t draw a grand conclusion but just pointed out that it’s a tough decision for the front office to make. Take a look at the post and let me know what you think.

Don't let a skewed Redskins stat fool you—A couple of late scores have distorted how the Redskins’ defense performs in two-minute situations in each half. They haven’t been as good as you’d like them to be with the clock winding down but they aren’t the worst, as a graphic on ESPN implied.

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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From the locker room

Zach Brown on dealing with the injury to Mason Foster, who is headed to IR with a shoulder issue

Posted by Rich Tandler on Friday, October 27, 2017

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Need to Know: Final thoughts on Redskins vs. Giants

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Need to Know: Final thoughts on Redskins vs. Giants

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, November 23, seven days before the Washington Redskins play the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Redskins Kickoff 7:30 NBC Sports Washington; Redskins vs. Giants, NBC, 8:30  

Days until:

—Redskins @ Cowboys Thursday night (11/30) 7
—Redskins @ Chargers (12/10) 17
—Cardinals @ Redskins (12/17) 24

Final thoughts on Redskins vs Giants

Look out for Eli—There are many reasons why the Giants are 2-8 but Eli Manning is not one of them. He isn’t nearly the turnover machine he has been for much of his career. His interception percentage this year is 1.6; he hasn’t been under 2.3 percent interceptions this decade. Manning only has 14 touchdown passes but considering that Odell Beckham, who went out in the fourth game of the season, still leads Giants wide receivers in touchdown receptions, that’s not bad.

Running game stuck—What makes Manning’s performance even more impressive is the fact that he doesn’t get much support from a running game. The Giants are 26th in the league with 920 yards. They have gained some traction lately after installing Orleans Darkwa as the starting running back; he is averaging 4.8 yards per carry for the season and 71 yards per game over the last three games. The Redskins certainly don’t want to let him get going tonight.

Reverting to reality—The Giants ranked 32nd in total defense in 2015. They dropped millions on free agents such as Janoris Jenkins, David Harrison, and Olivier Vernon and jumped to 10th. Now, this year they are 31st and equally bad against the pass (29th) and the run (30th). Health hasn’t been a huge issue, although Vernon has missed a few games and Jenkins was suspended. Redskins fans know full well that spending sprees don’t necessarily make for permanent improvements and Giants fans are learning it this year.

Keys to winning

  • Run the ballThe Redskins are 4-2 this year when rushing for 90 yards or more.
  • Continue to protect the ball—The Redskins have turned the ball over just twice in their last three games.
  • Don’t give them hope—The Chiefs let the Giants hang around last week and New York stole a win. The Redskins need to get on top early and mash down on the gas pedal.

Prediction—It’s hard to see a scenario where the Redskins lose this one. Even in their injury-depleted state they are battling every game and the same can’t be said for their opponents today. The weather forecast is for cold temperatures but not much wind, ideal conditions for Cousins to throw for 300 yards. For once, the Redskins get up early and keep going.

Redskins 31, Giants 13

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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Everybody thinks the intentional grounding call against Kirk Cousins was wrong, except Troy Aikman

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Everybody thinks the intentional grounding call against Kirk Cousins was wrong, except Troy Aikman

The referees made a fairly obvious mistake last week in the Redskins loss to the Saints when they flagged Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins for intentional grounding late in the game. 

Let's be honest: the call was terrible.

Cousins never felt a pass rush on the play, and was very obviously throwing the ball away. Jay Gruden talked about the play on Monday, and could not figure out how a flag came out in that situation. 

We had two receivers in the area. Quarterbacks throws it away all the time that are uncatchable balls whether they are in the pocket or not. As long as there is a receiver in the area, you can throw it whether they are looking or not. Guys run bad routes – one guy runs a hitch and he’s supposed to run a go and the quarterback throws the go ball, it’s not grounding. So I don’t know why the confusion.

The NFL even reached out and apologized to Redskins team president Bruce Allen for the blown call, a hollow gesture that did not generate much excitement from Cousins (via 106.7 the Fan). 

Whatever they do to say, ‘we’re sorry, wrong call,’ it’s tough because there’s nobody bringing that up in February or March when we're making decisions about which direction to go with the organization. We appreciate the clarification but you know it really doesn’t do much.

If you're keeping score, the NFL, the Redskins head coach and the Redskins quarterback all know the call was wrong. 

You know who doesn't think the call was wrong? Fox analyst, and former Cowboys Hall of Fame QB, Troy Aikman.

Grounding? Free rusher? Decide for yourself below.