Need to Know: Last look at Redskins vs. Chiefs

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, October 4, 11 days before the Washington Redskins play the 49ers at FedEx Field.


Today’s schedule: Bye week  

Days until:

—Monday night Redskins @ Eagles (10/23) 18
—Cowboys @ Redskins (10/29) 24
—Redskins @ Seahawks (11/5) 31

Final thoughts on Redskins vs Chiefs

—The third-down pass to Josh Doctson will continue to be discussed during the bye week. Should he have caught it? Was it a drop or just an inability to come up with a miraculous catch? Was there pass interference on the play or maybe an uncalled facemask penalty? Should the pass even have been thrown with options to go to Jordan Reed on the other side and Jamison Crowder underneath apparently available?

—The questions about the game as a whole are similar. Is it a game that they should have won or one that they could have won? I’d put it in the category of a missed opportunity rather than a game they blew. There is a matter of learning how to win. That is something that the Chiefs know well. Don’t look now but they are 14-2 in their last 16 regular-season games. The Redskins aren’t quite there yet.

—According to Football Outsiders, the Redskins have had the second toughest schedule in the league in terms of the combined DVOA of their opponents. If you prefer raw win totals, Washington’s four opponents have combined to win 12 games, the most of any opposing slate in the NFL. But the FO folks say it gets easier from here; the Redskins’ opponents have a combined DVOA that ranks 26th. Of course, nothing is easy in the NFL but if the Redskins are as good as fans hope they are (and FO says they are the fourth-best in overall DVOA) they may be able to make a run after their bye.

—Given that the team might be in contention in November and December, you have to wonder how much longer the Redskins will stick with Samaje Perine as the backup running back. Due to injuries to starter Rob Kelley he leads the team in rushing with 143 yards, one yard ahead of Chris Thompson. But he is averaging an anemic 3.1 yards per carry. Of the rookie’s 43 rushing attempts, 21, nearly half, have gone for two yards or fewer. The team likes his potential but they won’t have unlimited patience. Jay Gruden said that making a change to Mack Brown as the backup running back is “something we will consider.” If Kelley, who left the Monday night game with an ankle injury after being out of the previous game with a rib issue, can’t stay on the field the Redskins need to do something to have a more productive backup. 

—We won’t take a close look at the 49ers until next week but for right now we can say they are not very good. Kyle Shanahan’s group is 0-4 and with the dregs of the league in both scoring offense (26th) and scoring defense (24th). They have been close, losing their last three games by two points each. And perhaps this game will be the test to see if the Redskins are who we think they are. If they take care of business and post a comfortable win, they might be on their way. If they struggle and eke out a win or revert to their old ways and lose, we will have to rethink the rethinking we’ve done about this team lately.

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

Tandler on Twitter

In case you missed it