Here is what you need to know on this Monday, November 7, six days before the Washington Redskins play the Minnesota Vikings at FedEx Field.
—Today's schedule: Practice 12:15; Jay Gruden press conference and player availability after practice approx. 2:00
—Days until: Packers @ Redskins 13; Redskins @ Cowboys on Thanksgiving 17; Redskins @ Cardinals 27
Wrapping up the bye week with a six pack of quick thoughts
—The Redskins have given up only six plays of 30 yards or longer this year (stats via Pro Football Reference). No team has allowed fewer. Through eight games last year they have given up 16 explosive plays. The defense has improved from last year in some subtle ways and this is one of them.
—The ripple effects of the Trent Williams suspension could be worse than the drop off with Ty Nsekhe at left tackle. Right tackle Morgan Moses has missed a substantial number of snaps with injuries in two of the past four games. As of this morning his status with the ankle injury he suffered against the Bengals is unclear. You might have to worry more about Vinston Painter at right tackle than you do about Nsekhe at left.
—The Redskins’ third-down conversion rate on offense has actually improved a tick from last year from 43.5 percent in 2015 to 44.7 percent this year. But they are struggling in short yardage situations. On third and fourth down with one or two yards to go they have converted 54.8 percent of the time. Only five teams are worse on third and short. Those who think they should run more in short yardage may be on to something; they convert 37.5 percent when they pass, 73.3 percent when they run.
—This may be repetitious if you read my other posts but it’s worth saying again: Kirk Cousins has left the field with his team in great position to win the game the last six games in a row. They won four of those and then he left with his team up by four with 1:05 to go in Detroit and with his team in position to kick a short field goal to win in overtime in London.
—I don’t think fans should be all that concerned about Josh Norman’s $25,000 fine for blasting the officials last week. That’s a fraction of a percentage of his average annual income of $15 million. But you do have to wonder if the zebras will subconsciously—or perhaps fully consciously—drop flags against him in borderline situations. The money probably won’t deter Norman from speaking his mind but the possible on-field consequences should.
—The play that turned the season around for the Redskins was Su’a Cravens’ interception of Eli Manning that killed a potential winning drive and sealed the Redskins’ first win of the year. Who knows where they would be had the Giants driven down for a game-winning field goal. As it is, they are 4-3-1 and in position as the sixth seed in the NFC playoffs.
Tandler on Twitter
Skeeter is enjoying a bye week walk in the park. She loves to sniff the ground. pic.twitter.com/GCyR7wQEZ5— Rich Tandler (@TandlerNBCS) November 6, 2016
In case you missed it
- NTK: 5 Redskins who have exceeded expectations this year
- Redskins at the bye: Returns a bright spot on specials
- Bye week grades: Big money, yet inconsistent in secondary
- Why Norman's fine was unusually high