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The Redskins know that to beat the 49ers, they must lock down Pierre Garcon

The Redskins know that to beat the 49ers, they must lock down Pierre Garcon

After successfully handling ex-offensive coordinator Sean McVay and his developing Rams team in Week 2, the Redskins will now look to defeat another old friend in Week 6.

Pierre Garçon is a 49er now, and while nis new team isn't producing, he certainly is. The 31-year-old has 28 catches for 379 yards through San Francisco's first five games, numbers that equate to a yards-per-catch average of 13.5. For comparison's sake, he only had one year out of five with the Redskins (2012) where he posted a better YPC average.

Jay Gruden, who used Garçon as a focal point in his offense from 2014 to 2016, listed many of the things the receiver does well on Monday. To him, Garçon still qualifies as a threat even though the Niners' offense as a whole isn't exactly dynamic. 

MORE: WHY WEEK 5 BYE WASN'T ACTUALLY THAT EARLY

"He is still one of the top possession-type receivers there is in football," Gruden said as the Redskins returned from their bye. "He is really good after the catch. That’s the one thing we really have to make sure [that] we tackle well when he gets the ball in his hands out in space because he can really run after the catch. He runs very good, precise, crisp routes and has got strong hands." 

"He is definitely their best playmaker," the head coach concluded.

In his response, Gruden dropped one of the words that constantly find their way into descriptions of the 10-year vet. Along with strong, adjectives like aggressive and physical have practically become required vocabulary when assessing Garçon on the field.

Unfortunately for the Burgundy and Gold, they'll be without Josh Norman for Sunday's matchup. Norman is a corner who, like Garçon, is also aggressive and physical, and he would've been an excellent adversary for No. 15. 

RELATED: AN UPDATE ON THE NFC EAST'S OTHER THREE TEAMS

Bashaud Breeland will likely see a good deal of Garçon as Norman sits with a rib injury, and like Gruden, he fully understands what the ex-Redskin is all about.

"He's an exceptional guy, he makes good plays on the ball and he runs his routes hard," Breeland said. "It's gonna be a good task for us, and I'm up for it."

Garçon will likely come into D.C. with two goals: 1) Win and 1a) Catch as many passes and break as many tackles as one man can in 60 minutes of football. If the Redskins can prevent the second one from happening, their odds of also stopping the first one will increase dramatically.

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Clarifying the confusion about the Redskins' Week 16 game at the Titans

Clarifying the confusion about the Redskins' Week 16 game at the Titans

There was some confusion about the Redskins’ Week 16 game in Tennessee when the NFL schedule dropped. The schedule pushed out by the Redskins said that the game date and time are to be determined. Other versions that went out, including the one on NFL.com, says the game will be on Sunday, December 23 at 1 p.m.

So what’s the story? Well, if you’re thinking of making reservations to go to Nashville to watch the game you just might want to hold off for a while. Like, until early November. 

In an under the radar move, the NFL has established flex scheduling for its late-season Saturday games. Here are the details from the schedule press release from Redskins PR:

“Flexibility for Saturday games in Weeks 15 and 16 is also part of the 2018 schedule. In Week 15, there will be two games played on Saturday on NFL Network, with the game times of 4:30 p.m. and 8:20 p.m. to be determined. In Week 16, two of four possible matchups will be scheduled for Saturday. Start times and Saturday games for Week 15 and 16 will be announced no later than following Week 8, with the non-Saturday games to be played on Sunday.”

The way it sets up, if the Redskins and Titans are playing well in midseason there is a good chance the game will be played on Saturday, December 22 at either 4:30 or 8:20. If one or both teams are struggling, the league and networks could choose to flex two of the other four matchups to Saturday. 

This is taking flex scheduling to a different level. It’s one thing shifting a Sunday kickoff seven and a half hours from 1 p.m. to 8:30. It’s another to shift a whole day. The visiting teams can’t make travel arrangements, not knowing if they need to come into town on Friday for a Saturday game or on Saturday for Sunday. Fans who want to travel to the game are in the same boat. 

Of course, if you can afford it, you can just add a day to your Nashville excursion. There are worse things in the world than spending an extra day or two in Music City. 

If you have to wait to make your plans, as the Redskins do, you will find out no later than October 29, which is when Week 8 ends. 

Do you believe in trends? Then you should hope that the game does get flexed to Saturday. The Redskins have won three straight Saturday games, beating the Eagles in both 2014 and 2015 (the latter game clinching the division title for Washington) and the Bears in 2016. 

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Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCSand follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.

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Need to Know: Five pivotal games on the Redskins' schedule

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Need to Know: Five pivotal games on the Redskins' schedule

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, April 20, six days before the 2018 NFL draft.  

Five pivotal games on the Redskins’ schedule

All NFL games are important but some seem to be a little more important than others. At first glance at the Redskins’ schedule, these seem to be the five most pivotal games. 

Week 1 @Cardinals—Wait, Week 1 is pivotal? It is if you’re Jay Gruden and you are 0-4 in season openers. Starting off in an 0-1 hole again after losing a winnable game would not get things off to a positive start. 

Week 7 Cowboys—The only Redskins-Cowboys game that Kirk Cousins started in the last three years that Washington won was the 2015 season finale in Dallas, a game that was meaningless to both teams. Alex Smith needs to take advantage of his shot at the Cowboys. Beating Dallas is important for being competitive in the division and for job security in general. This is their shot at them at home.

Week 9 Falcons—Atlanta has been among the league’s big boys the last couple of years. The Redskins get them at home, on grass, when the weather could be turning a little bit chilly. It’s a good opportunity to upset a dome team. The game also ends the first part of the season and the Redskins face a second half of the schedule that has just three home games. 

Week 14 Giants—This is one of the aforementioned scarce home games in the latter part of the season. It’s preceded by road games in Dallas (9-7 last year) and Philadelphia (Super Bowl champs) and followed by roadies in Jacksonville (lost AFC title game) and Tennessee (won a playoff game). Nobody is quite sure to what extent the Giants will rebound from their dismal 2017 season but this game has the feel of a possible oasis surrounded by hostile deserts. 

Week 16 @Titans—If the Redskins are in playoff contention, this game will determine a lot even though its non-conference. As noted, the Titans are looking to improve on their playoff season last year and they will not be a pushover by any stretch. But if the Redskins want to be able to say that they are a better team than they have been the last couple of years, this is the kind of game they should win. 

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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Timeline  

Days until:

—OTAs start (5/22) 32
—Training camp starts (7/26) 97
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 142

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