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Need to Know: Final thoughts on Redskins vs. Browns—An end to red zone woes?

Need to Know: Final thoughts on Redskins vs. Browns—An end to red zone woes?

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, October 2, seven days before the Washington Redskins go up the road to play the Ravens in Baltimore.


Today's schedule: Browns @ Redskins, 1 p.m., CBS

Days until: Redskins @ Ravens 7; Eagles @ Redskins 14; Redskins vs. Bengals in London 28

Final thoughts on Redskins vs. Browns

—Is this the game that the red zone woes start to fade away? The Browns are 24th in the red zone defensively. And at some point the Redskins are bound to revert to the norm. Washington has scored touchdowns on 21.4 percent of its trips to the red zone this year. Over each of the past three seasons the teams with the worst red zone conversion percentages for the NFL season had rates between 36 and 43 percent. You have to figure the Redskins will get at least to that level, which means that a streak of red zone success is inevitable at some point.

—There is a lot of talk about the need to stop Terrelle Pryor but the Redskins had better not sleep on tight end Gary Barnidge. Last year he made the Pro Bowl with 79 receptions for 1043 yards and nine touchdowns. He’s off to a slow start this year with just nine receptions for 103 yards but they still need to keep a close eye on him.

—I’ve said a few time this week that if Arie Kouandjio, after coming in as a fourth-round pick and spending two offseason programs, two training camps, and many hours in practices and meetings under Bill Callahan's tutelage, can’t handle a game or two at guard the drafting and coaching involved need to be questioned. They have to start Kouandjio. And if it turns out he can’t handle it the Redskins could always shift back to the alignment they had in the second half last week with Trent Williams at left guard and Ty Nsekhe at left tackle. But that is only a “break glass in case of emergency” option. I think that Kouandjio will be fine and Williams will stay in place and Nsekhe will be on the bench.

—The Browns have given up 109 rushing yards per game this year, around the NFL average of 104 per game. They have been tested a bit with the Eagles rushing 34 times against them and the Ravens and Dolphins 26 and 25 times, respectively. The point here is that some are automatically assuming that the Redskins should get their running game going because they are playing an 0-3 team. Cleveland’s rushing defense may be too good for the Redskins to go out and take what they want on the ground, especially with their modified offensive line. The Redskins' ideal game plan would be to build a lead through the air and spend the last 20 minutes of the game chewing up clock and yards on the ground. But that's their formula nearly every game and it rarely seems to work out that way.

—In 2008 a Rams team that was 1-4 and would go 2-14 came to FedEx Field to play a 4-1 Redskins team. The Redskins were in control and driving for a second quarter score when a Jason Campbell pass was batted into the air. The ball fell into the arms of Washington guard Pete Kendall, who instinctively caught it. As he tried to get a few yards the ball was knocked out of his arms and Rams safety O.J. Atogwe scooped it up and went 75 yards for a touchdown. The Redskins never were able to recover and they lost the game. Something like that would have to happen for the Redskins to lose to the Browns today. Barring a fluke the Redskins should make it to the red zone like they have been but they should cash in when they get there.

Redskins 28, Browns 10

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Good news Redskins fans: Jason Pierre-Paul shipped out of NFC East


Good news Redskins fans: Jason Pierre-Paul shipped out of NFC East

The Giants shipped out Jason Pierre-Paul for life as a Buccaneer, and in turn, Tampa will send a third and fourth round draft pick to New York.

Moving Pierre-Paul comes at a curious time for the Giants. The team will eat $15 million of dead money in the move, and New York also sent a fourth-round pick to Tampa as part of the transaction. 

What it definitely signals is that Big Blue looks to be moving from a 4-3 base defense to a 3-4 look. Additionally, with the second overall pick in the NFL Draft in April, maybe the Giants will seriously look at NC State defensive lineman Bradley Chubb. 


For the Redskins, seeing Pierre-Paul leave the NFC East is welcome news. He has 12.5 career sacks against Washington QBs, the same amount he has against the Eagles and Cowboys combined. 

Want more Redskins? Click here to follow JP on Facebook and check out @JPFinlayNBCS for live updates via Twitter! Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcastshere for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

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Looking at the details of Zach Brown's contract with the Redskins

Looking at the details of Zach Brown's contract with the Redskins

The Redskins and linebacker Zach Brown agreed to a three-year contract that will require Brown to continue to play at a high level if he is going to collect all of the $21 million the deal contains.

Brown’s camp reportedly was shopping for a contract that had some $20 million in guaranteed money. The actual deal fell well short of that.

Brown, who was leading the league in tackles before an assortment of injuries forced him to sit out the last three games, got a total of $5.5 million in fully guaranteed money. He got a $4.5 million signing bonus and his $1 million salary for 2018 is fully guaranteed.


After that, the remaining two seasons essentially are team options. In 2019 he has a $6.75 million salary and $4.5 million of that is guaranteed for injury. His 2020 salary is $7.5 million with no guarantees of any kind.

The contract also has per-game roster bonuses available at a rate of $15,625 for each game he is on the 46-man game day roster in 2018 (total of $250,000 for the year) and $31,250 per game in 2019 and 2020 ($500,000 total).

The salary cap hits per year are as follows:

2018: $2.75 million
2019: $8.75 million
2020: $9.5 million

The average annual value of $7 million ranks ninth among inside linebackers.

Brown will need to continue to play well to collect on the contract. The team will be able to save $5.75 million on the 2019 cap if they terminate the deal after one season and $8 million if they do it in 2020.


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.