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Bold Predictions Redskins vs. Eagles

Bold Predictions Redskins vs. Eagles

Let’s first dispense with this “on any given Sunday” stuff. It is true that any NFL team is capable of beating any other NFL team “on any given Sunday”.

A wounded Eagles team could win against the rolling Washington Redskins on Sunday. I could also have dinner with the Pope next Friday night. Democrats and Republicans in Washington could put partisan politics aside for the good of the country. Len Pasquarelli, in theory, could write an article that takes a fair and balanced view of the Redskins.

The chances of the Redskins dropping this one are somewhere in between me breaking bread in the Vatican (what would I wear?) and Nancy Pelosi and Bill Frist leading a group hug on the steps of the Capitol.

OK, all kidding aside, there is a way that the Redskins could lose this game. It could be the Oakland game again. The Redskins get a quick, easy score in the early going and expect the Eagles to quit after such a punch in the mouth. They let the Eagles hang around and all of a sudden they look up and David Akers is kicking a 42-yard field goal as time runs out to beat them.

Given all of that, if these teams played this game 10 times the Redskins would win nine of them. I’ll take the 90% chance.

Still, folks out there in Redskins Nation are finding reasons to be nervous. Some out there are petrified that the Skins won’t win—make that can’t win—because they have never, no, not ever, never swept the Eagles and Cowboys in the same season. While I’m not exactly sure what the battles among Sonny Jurgensen, Norm Snead and Don Meredith back in the ‘60’s have to do with anything, here’s one reassuring fact:

The Redskins have swept the Eagles 20 times since 1936.

Again, what Eddie LeBaron vs. Norv Van Brocklin duels in the snow at Franklin Field and Griffith Stadium has to do with anything, I’m not sure. But perhaps this will offer some comfort to those who believe that such things have relevance.

I’ve also heard that the Eagles are well coached and will give you a battle. If they’re so well coached, why is it that the Eagles have racked up more than 100 yards in penalties in each of their last three games and have been flagged for 90 or more penalty yards in five of their last seven games. (Last season, on their way to the Super Bowl, the Eagles had just one 100-yard penalty game and two 90-yard games.) And I didn’t see much fight in them the last time they were on Monday night football. I think the Seahawks just returned another interception for a touchdown.

Certainly, one stat and one game don’t tell the whole story. For the sake of the argument, I’ll concede that Philly is well coached and will put up a fight. It won’t matter because they have no weapons. The Eagles are taking a knife into a gunfight. With Mike McMahon at quarterback, Ryan Moats at running back and nobody at wide receiver they aren’t going to be able to move the ball against the Redskins defense. Despite the urging of Andy Reid and company, this bunch won’t be able to put up double-digit points if they can score at all.

(On a side note here, the Eagles are quite proud of being about $12 million under the 2005 salary cap. When you’re winning, that’s smart cap management. When you’re losing such practices expose a lack of depth. Twelve million can buy a lot of backup offensive linemen, perhaps another quality receiver or two. Instead of putting the money on the field, owner Robert Lurie has chosen to put it in his pocket)

In terms of yards allowed, the Eagles are 27th in the league and that is the healthy side of the ball for them. Last year all four members of their secondary went to the Pro Bowl; none will be making a return trip. They may be good enough to take away Santana Moss or Chris Cooley or Clinton Portis. But if they stop one, the other two will kill them. Who knows, Taylor Jacobs might even come up with a big catch. Washington will get a couple of takeaways as well and all of this will add up to four or five touchdowns scored.

Don’t worry, you'll be happy.

Redskins 31, Eagles 3

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Costly cornerbacks, offseason blueprint

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Costly cornerbacks, offseason blueprint

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, February 17, 25 days before NFL free agency starts.

The Redskin week that was

My weekly look at some of the most popular posts and hottest topics on RealRedskins.com and NBCSportsWashington.com.

An offseason blueprint for the Redskins—Should the Redskins focus their free agency money on keeping their own? In addition to unrestricted free agents Zach Brown and Trent Murphy, they need to consider extensions for Brandon Scherff, Preston Smith, and Jamison Crowder. That could chew up a bunch of the approximately $31 million of cap space that they have. They may get some help on the market but most of their improvement should come from the draft and from within.

Redskins offseason will hit warp speed soon—With the exception of the Alex Smith trade, which actually hasn’t happened yet, there hasn’t been much going on with the Redskins. That is going to change soon, check out the post for the calendar and how the events matter for the Redskins.

No mixed messages from Alex Smith—In a radio interview, Alex Smith said that he was “jacked” to be a part of the Redskins. Now, the phrase often repeated here is that you shouldn’t listen to what they say, you should watch what they do. And the moment that he signs the reported four-year extension that he has negotiated with the team, a deal that likely would put him in Washington for the rest of his career, we will see his actions backing up his words. Then we will know.

What we know, and what we think, of the Su'a Cravens situation—This will be a true test of the acumen of the front office. It’s a very tricky situation. The Redskins have to decide if they want to keep Cravens. Should they decide to keep him, there will be a lot of smoothing over of ruffled feelings that would need to be done over and trust in Cravens would have to be restored. If they don’t want him around, they have to make it look like they are willing to go into the season with him in order to be able to trade him. Otherwise, teams may just wait for them to cut him and sign him as a free agent. Again, don’t listen to what they say, watch what they do.

Tweet of the week

Quarterback is not the only NFL position with rising salaries. The players teams hire to try to stop opposing QBs, cornerbacks, are getting expensive, too. Bashaud Breeland is a good cornerback, not a great one. His coverage skills are solid, he’s a good team player (if a bit of a hothead at times) and his work ethic is not questioned. For a fourth-round pick who everybody thought left Clemson a year too early, he has done well for himself But he hasn’t made a Pro Bowl and he hasn’t even come close enough to be considered a snub. Breeland has eight interceptions in four years in the league with a high of three in 2016.

The price tag for good at cornerback is likely to be in the vicinity of $10 million per season. And good for him if he gets it. But with the Redskins employing Josh Norman, who has cap hits in the range of $14.5 million-$16.9 million over the next three years, it would be difficult to fit him in. Truth be told, Breeland has probably been destined to leave as a free agent ever since Norman signed his contract in April of 2016.

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.

Timeline  

Days until:

—NFL Combine (3/1) 12
—NFL Draft (4/26) 68
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 204

In case you missed it

  

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Cousins would reportedly look to file grievance if Redskins use franchise tag on him

Cousins would reportedly look to file grievance if Redskins use franchise tag on him

The Redskins might try to franchise tag quarterback Kirk Cousins to try to get some compensation for him as he leaves. But Cousins’ camp might not let that happen without a fight.

According to Albert Breer of the MMQB, Cousins might file a grievance if he is tagged, saying that the Redskins would be violating the spirit of the rules regarding the use of the franchise tag. He would be seeking to have the tag voided because the team clearly isn ’t interested in reaching a long-term deal with him given the acquisition of Alex Smith. The tag is supposed to be used to buy time to get an agreement done, not to squat on a player’s rights in order to trade him.

There is precedent for the tag being used in order to facilitate a trade. In 2009, the Patriots tagged quarterback Matt Cassel. They clearly had no intention of keeping him as they had Tom Brady on the roster. But New England pulled it off, shipping Cassel and linebacker Mike Vrabel to the Chiefs for a second-round pick.

But it is up to the player to object to being tagged and for whatever reason Cassel and his agent went along with the tag and trade rather than fighting for free agency.

It looks like Cousins ’camp won’t go as quietly.

It’s up to the Redskins to make the first move. The window to be able to tag a player opens on Tuesday with the deadline coming on March 6. We will see how things play out after that.

MORE REDSKINS: THE EXPECTATIONS GAME

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