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A simple answer to the Redskins’ home vs. road mystery

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A simple answer to the Redskins’ home vs. road mystery

It’s been a feast and famine season for the Redskins. Everyone knows it. They eat well at home. The Redskins are 5-1 at FedEx Field with five straight wins after a season-opening loss to the Dolphins (which gets to be more of a head-scratcher as the season goes on). On the road, they starve, with a record of 0-5.

Rarely does a press conference or locker room media scrum go by without the subject of the home vs. road records coming up. It’s been the subject of countless blog posts and talk radio segments. But the disparity between the Redskins’ home and road record is no great mystery. In fact, it’s pretty simple.

By almost any measure, they have played better teams on the road than they have at home—much better, in fact.

Let’s look at the simplest measure of a team’s quality, their win-loss record. The six teams the Redskins have played at FedEx Field are the Dolphins (4-7), Giants (5-6), Eagles (4-7), Bucs (5-6), Saints (4-7), and Rams (4-7). That comes to an aggregate record of 26-40, a .394 winning percentage.

On the road, they’ve gone up against the Patriots (10-1), Jets (6-5), Giants (5-6), Panthers (11-0), and Falcons (6-5). That rolls up to at 38-17 record, a .691 winning percentage.

In short, the average road opponent is 8-3. The average home opponent is 4-7. It doesn’t take an advanced degree in football analytics to figure out the Redskins’ road schedule has been brutally tough while the home schedule has been relatively soft.

But if you want to dive into some other measures of how well or poorly a team is playing, let’s do it. Here some other stats with the average of the Redskins’ home and road opponents in each of them.

*Through Week 11

The last set of numbers may explain Kirk Cousins’ great split in his performances at home and on the road. At FedEx Field, facing pass defenses that are worse than average (the average NFL passer rating is 88.4) Cousins has 74.7 percent of his passes with 12 touchdowns and two interceptions and a passer rating of 113.0. Playing on the road against pass defenses that are better than the norm in the league, Cousins has completed 61.9 percent of his passes, thrown five touchdowns and eight interceptions and posting a passer rating of 69.8.

The Redskins will go the rest of the regular season without playing a quality team at home. Their two remaining home opponents are the Cowboys (3-8) and Bills (5-6). That’s a winning percentage of .364. If they make the playoffs they likely would host a team that would test their home-field advantage but we will see about that down the road.

But if they finish the season winless on the road, they won’t be able to say they lost to all quality opponents. If they can’t get a win in Chicago (5-6), Philadelphia (4-7), or Dallas (3-8) you can genuinely say that something isn’t right when this team hits the road. In fact, it would be fair to question their roadworthiness if they don’t win two out of those three.

 

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Trent Williams needs knee surgery eventually, but the timeline has many factors

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Trent Williams needs knee surgery eventually, but the timeline has many factors

PHILADELPHIA — Arguably the Redskins best player, all of the NFL knows that Trent Williams can still play at a high level while dealing with injury. 

How long Williams can play though injury seems the more important question though as reports emerged the left tackle will need knee surgery at some point. That could come in the next few weeks, or as Redskins fans hope, perhaps at the end of the season.

Currently playing with a torn medial patella-femoral ligament in his right knee, the six-time Pro Bowler has not practiced since sustaining the injury three weeks ago in Kansas City. He was able to gut out a strong performance last week against the 49ers, and is expected to do the same Monday night against the Eagles.

One factor that might be pushing Williams to play with such a damaged right leg is that backup tackle Ty Nsekhe is also out after having surgery on his core muscles. 

MORE: REDSKINS WEEKLY MVPS FOR EVERY GAME THUS FAR

Nsekhe is expected back relatively soon, but the timeline remains murky. When he can come back, perhaps Williams will reconsider his options. 

Surgery for the torn MPFL will leave Williams with a five or six-month recovery. 

It's obvious the Redskins' offense is best with Williams on the field. Nsekhe, however, proved a capable backup last season when Williams served a four-game suspension. 

Without Nsekhe, the Redskins would go to veteran T.J. Clemmings should Williams be unable to play. Nsekhe has not played since a Week 3 win over Oakland. The Redskins added Clemmings to the roster in early September, after their fourth preseason game. He spent the last two seasons with the Vikings. 

For now, the Redskins will continue to hope Williams can play through the pain.

"Trent is a tough guy, so we will see how it works, see how feels tomorrow and go from there," Jay Gruden said of Williams on Saturday. 

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

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

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, October 22, one day before the Washington Redskins visit the Philadelphia Eagles for Monday night football.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Travel to Philadelphia, no media availability

Days until:

—Cowboys @ Redskins (10/29) 7
—Redskins @ Seahawks (11/5) 14
—Giants @ Redskins Thanksgiving (11/23) 32

Final report on injures of note:
Out
: CB Josh Norman (rib)
Questionable: OT Trent Williams (knee), CB Bashaud Breeland (knee), S Deshazor Everett (hamstring), RB Rob Kelley (ankle),

FULL INJURY REPORT AND ANALYSIS

Five Redskins who are under pressure vs. the Eagles

Every NFL player is under pressure and the stress increased in games that are in the prime-time spotlight like the Redskins have on Monday night. But the spotlight is brighter on some players than it is on others.

—With a banged up defense, the Redskins are going to have to put up some points to win this game. That means that QB Kirk Cousins is going to have to help the Redskins get some points on the board. In the opener against the Eagles he threw a key interception, posted a season-low 72.9 passer rating, and got sacked four times. He has been playing better since then and he may need his best game of the year for the Redskins to pull out the win.

—DT Fletcher Cox is an All-Pro caliber defender and the battle between him and G Brandon Scherff will be important. But the Eagles other defensive tackle, Timmy Jernigan, is also a handful and it will largely be up to G Shawn Lauvao to keep him under control. Jernigan isn’t a great pass rusher (1.5 sacks, 10 pressures) but he tough against the run. The Redskins needs to establish a running game to win and Lauvao vs. Jernigan will be a key battle to get the ground game going.

—There still is plenty of time for WR Terrelle Pryor to have a breakout game and turn around his disappointing season. Monday would be an ideal time to start. He has 16 receptions on the season and with the exception of a couple of plays, his impact has been minimal. When the line gives Cousins time to throw the ball he will need a big target and Pryor is the ideal candidate.

—With Jonathan Allen on injured reserve, it will be up to DE Matt Ioannidis to continue to get pass pressure up the middle. Playing with Allen, the second-year player has 3.5 sacks and 16 pressures. He will need to keep that up in Allen’s absence. On Monday, Ioannidis and the rest of the pass rushers need to get Carson Wentz on the ground when they have the opportunity.

—As much as the Redskins would like to see Wentz take a bunch of sacks, chances are he will get away from the pressure on occasion and scramble to make a play. At times like that, S D.J. Swearinger and the rest of the defensive backs need to stay in coverage and not lose their men. It’s hard to cover a receiver for five seconds or more while the quarterback scrambles around but Swearinger needs to maintain his position as the last line of defense.

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.

Tandler on Twitter

To update this tweet from the beginning of practice, Williams did practice on a limited basis and he is questionable for the game, although it is likely that he will play.

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