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State of the Redskins, Week 6: Key stats, trends and storylines

State of the Redskins, Week 6: Key stats, trends and storylines

Here is where the Redskins stand in Week 6 of the NFL season.

Top three storylines:

Walking wounded—There was a lot of concern about the Redskins’ early bye but it couldn’t have come at a better time. Had they been scheduled to play last Sunday on a short week coming off of a Monday night game you have to wonder if a number of mainstays like Trent Williams and D.J. Swearinger would have been able to play. After a week, there appears to be a chance that everyone except Josh Norman, who is out with a broken rib, will be able to play on Sunday.

Taking the next step—The two teams the Redskins lost to, the Eagles and Chiefs, are a combined 9-1. Those were “good” losses, if there is such a thing, but the Redskins need to move beyond quality defeats and turn them into stunning victories. If they take care of business against the winless 49ers they will have a chance to prove their mettle with games in Philadelphia, against Dallas at home, and at the Seahawks. A couple of wins in that stretch would make a statement.

Cousins catching fire—After a tepid start, the quarterback is on a roll, with five touchdowns, no interceptions, 10.8 yards per pass attempt, and a 138 passer rating in his last two games. There still are some issues connecting with receivers Terrelle Pryor and Josh Doctson. If those come along, the passing game to jump to the next level.

MORE REDSKINS: THE REDSKINS WEEK THAT WAS

Record: 2-2, 2nd in NFC East
vs. NFC East: 0-1
vs. NFC: 1-1
vs. AFC: 1-1
Home: 1-1
Away: 1-1

Rankings  and changes from Week 4

Offense (yards/game): 363.0 (8th, no change from Week 4)
Defense (yards/game): 311.3 (9th, -4)
Points for: 91 (13th, no change)
Points against: 89 (18th, -9)

Passer rating offense:  107.6 (4th, +2)
Opp passer rating: 87.5 (11th, -3)
Yards/rush attempt: 4.5 (9th, -2)
Opp. yards/rush attempt:
 3.8 (15th, -8)
Third down conversions: 38% (19th)
Opp. Third-down conversions: 42.0% (18th)
Weighted DVOA (Football Outsiders): 24.1% (2nd, +4)
Playoff chances per FO: 49.2%, +1.8 percentage points from last week

Trending in the right direction: Don’t look now, but the Redskins are second in the league in DVOA behind only the Chiefs. That’s up from fourth last week. It looks impressive but it’s early; consider that the Jaguars are third and they have some awful losses.  

Trending in the wrong direction: The defense slipped in nearly every major category after facing Kansas City. They have a chance to right the ship this week against the offensively-challenged 49ers.   

RELATED: THE REDSKINS' 2018 CAP IS IN GOOD SHAPE

Next three games

Sunday vs. 49ers (0-5)—Kyle Shanahan will want to put up a good showing against his former employer but he won’t be bringing a very good team to Washington on Sunday. But the Redskins tend to struggle as heavy favorites so they need to be very careful.  

October 23 @ Eagles (4-1)—It’s kind of an odd scheduling format here that the Redskins finished with the Eagles before they play either of their other NFC East rivals. Philly got a solid win in Washington in Week 1 and the Redskins won’t want to fall to 0-2 in the division. This could be for first place in the division, pending the Eagles’ result against the Panthers on Thursday night and Washington’s ability to handle the 49ers.

October 26 vs. Cowboys (2-3)—The two losses to the Cowboys last year were on the long list of reasons why the Redskins failed to make the playoffs. Washington’s run defense has improved but mobile quarterbacks like Dak Prescott still give them problems.

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

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Redskins Week 15 injury report: Two out, seven questionable vs. Cardinals

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USA TODAY Sports

Redskins Week 15 injury report: Two out, seven questionable vs. Cardinals

Redskins linebacker Zach Brown may want to power through his myriad of injuries but he won’t be able to do it this week.

Brown is one of two Redskins who have been declared out for the game against the Cardinals on Sunday. Jay Gruden listed his injuries as toe/ankle/Achilles/hip. This will be the first game that Brown has missed with the Redskins and his first since he was with the Titans in 2014.

Also out is safety Montae Nicholson, who will miss his fourth straight game with a concussion.

MORE REDSKINS: IS GALETTE ON HIS WAY OUT?

Listed as questionable are OT Morgan Moses (ankle), OT Trent Williams (knee), OLB Ryan Anderson (ankle), WR Ryan Grant (ankle), WR Maurice Harris (concussion), DE Terrell McClain (toe), and C Chase Roullier (hand).

Williams’ status for Sunday is very much in doubt. His usual pattern since sustaining a knee injury in Week 4 has been to sit out the first two days of practice and then participate in the third. However, he was not on the field on Friday during the portion of practice that was open to the media. Jay Gruden said that he did join the team at some point but he didn’t indicate that he took part in any football activity.

He has missed three games and it would not be surprising if he missed a fourth on Sunday. If Williams can’t go, Ty Nsekhe will start at left tackle.

RELATED: REED LIKELY TO STAY IN 2018

Roullier has been out the last three games with a broken right (snapping) hand. He has had the cast off of it for a couple of weeks now and he could be ready to go on Sunday.

Harris was out of the game against the Chargers last Sunday with a concussion. He has been practicing on a limited basis all week. The chances that he can pass the concussion protocol seem good, although with concussions it is always difficult to know for sure.

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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Why ailing Zach Brown has plenty of incentive to keep playing

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USA Today Sports Images

Why ailing Zach Brown has plenty of incentive to keep playing

Redskins linebacker Zach Brown missed practice for a second straight day on Thursday, putting doubt into his availability for the game against the Cardinals.

Brown is leading the league in combined tackles and, probably, in injuries.

The team’s injury report says that he is dealing with four of them—toe, Achilles, and ankle with an illness piled on top of those.

“They’re hindering him quite a bit,” Jay Gruden said of Brown’s laundry list of ailments.

“Sickness is starting to clear up a little bit but he’s still a little sore. We’ll see if he makes any progress tomorrow. It’d have to be pretty significant, but we’ll have to wait and see.”

MORE REDSKINS: IS GALETTE ON HIS WAY OUT?

The illness might clear up but the other injuries are unlikely to go away until a few weeks into the offseason. He is getting treatments that include massage, laser, and acupuncture but rest is the only thing that will get rid of the problems.

Some have wondered why Brown persists with multiple injuries and the team now mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. For one thing, playing is what he does.

“I like to play the game,” said Brown last week.

RELATED: WEEK 15 POWER RANKINGS

“I like to play the game with passion and I hate to lose. I try my best to help people do better, just trying to help some of the young guys. At the end of the day, you rest when the season’s over.”

There are financial considerations as well, on a couple of different fronts. Brown will be a free agent in 2018 and he is risking further injury that could lower his value on the market. He says that does not factor into is thinking.

“Last two years I was on the free agent market, it’s the way I play,” he said. “If that was the case I would have just shut it down already.”

There are other, more immediate financial considerations as well. Brown has per-game roster bonuses of $15,625 that are paid if he is on the list of 46 active players. And he has incentive bonuses of up to $2.3 million according to Over the Cap. It’s safe to say that at least some of those bonuses will be attainable only if Brown is able to play effectively in all or nearly all of the scheduled 16 games.

RELATED: REED LIKELY TO STAY IN 2018

Brown hasn’t spoken about the incentive bonus money being important and, given his answer to the free agency question, he probably wouldn’t. But this is not a player who has made a ton of money in his career. According to Spotrac, if he hits on his roster bonuses and on his likely to be earned incentives this year he will have about $7.7 million in career earnings. That’s a good chunk of money but once you take away taxes, a cut to his agent and other various and sundry expenses it’s not “set for life” money. It’s likely that his bank account would notice whatever he can collect in incentives.

Gruden has said that Brown is a player who could go on Sunday even with only one practice under his belt. We will know a lot more about his status this afternoon when his practice status for Friday and his game status for Sunday will be announced on the injury report.