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Need to Know: Five final thoughts on Redskins vs. Bills

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Need to Know: Five final thoughts on Redskins vs. Bills

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, December 20, the day the Washington Redskins host the Buffalo Bills.

Five final thoughts on Redskins vs. Bills

—Two Bills who were questionable on the final injury report, RB Karlos Williams (shoulder) and DE Mario Williams (illness), are both expected to play. Karlos, who has missed the last two games, provides some quality backup to LeSean McCoy with an average of 5.7 yards per carry. Mario was a first-team All-Pro last year with 14.5 sacks but he has just four in 12 games this year.

—The Bills give up an average of 104 yards per game rushing. I think if they were honest the Redskins would sign up for that right now. Sure, they would like 150 yards or more with either Matt Jones or Alfred Morris carrying the load and going over 100. But it’s too much to expect things to click in the running game all of a sudden. If Kirk Cousins is generally as efficient as he has been at home lately around 100 yards should be enough.

—One area where the Redskins have a solid advantage over the Bills is at tight end. Jordan Reed is coming off of one of his best games of the seasons with nine targets, nine receptions for 120 yards and a touchdown against the Bears. He will go up against a Bills defense that is 11th in the league in fantasy points given up to tight ends. The Bills will be without starting tight end Charles Clay (51 rec., 571 yards, 3 TD), who is sidelined with a back injury. Chris Gragg, who has 9 receptions for 115 yards, will play in his place.

—The Bills have lost three of their last four games. In those three losses they have turned the ball over a total of five times. They had no turnovers in five of their six wins this year. You don’t have to have an advanced degree in football analytics to see what the Redskins will have to do to win this one.

—I’ve been going back and forth all week on this one. The Redskins are playing well at home but they did lay an egg against Dallas the last time they were there. It’s reasonable to expect Cousins to have a good day against a Bills pass defense that can’t get pressure and is in the middle of the road. Tyrod Taylor also should be able to throw the ball and Sammy Watkins is a dangerous weapon. I think it will come down to the Redskins’ ability to stop the run. They have allowed less than 100 yards rushing in each of their last three games. If they can do that against McCoy, Karlos Williams, and the scrambling Taylor they should come out with a hard-fought win. If they go off for a buck fifty on the ground, the home team will be in trouble.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Redskins vs. Bills 1:00 p.m. FOX

Days until: Redskins @ Eagles 6; Redskins @Cowboys 14; start of NFL playoffs 20

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Who is Nick Rose? Three things you should know about the new Redskins kicker

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Who is Nick Rose? Three things you should know about the new Redskins kicker

Here are three things you need to know about Nick Rose, who was signed on Tuesday to replace Dustin Hopkins.

1) His next NFL kick will be his first one

Rose has spent offseason time with the Falcons and 49ers since entering the league in 2016 after his collegiate career at Texas. However, he has never attempted a regular season field goal or PAT, so the first time he does so with the Redskins will be the first time ever for him as a pro.

The 23-year-old certainly has potential: He was one of the nation's top touchback producers in 2014 and 2015 for the Longhorns, so distance on kickoffs and field goals shouldn't be an issue (this video of him nailing one from 80, yes, 80, backs that up). What remains to be seen is whether he can split the uprights for Washington.

For what it's worth, Hopkins was totally inexperienced in the NFL when he first signed with the Burgundy and Gold, too.

MORE: UPDATED NFL POWER RANKINGS - 'SKINS IN TOP 10

2) He can make kicks in unconventional ways

While this doesn't come across as something Jay Gruden would ever want Rose to try in, say, this Monday's game in Philly, Rose can sink chip shots while simultaneously completing a backflip.

Ever seen Adam Vinatieri do that? Nope, didn't think so.

3) He beat out at least three other candidates for the job

With Hopkins likely done for the year with a hip issue, the Redskins worked out a handful of replacement options on Tuesday.

It was Rose, though, who emerged with a contract. He earned it over at least three other guys, including veterans Mike Nugent and Andrew Franks. Now he must bring that strong leg, as well as some accuracy, when called upon to ensure the 'Skins don't miss out on any points on a weekly basis.

Making kicks in the middle of backflips is fun, sure. But making them in front of national TV audiences instead of a YouTube audience is probably more fun. Let's see if Rose has what it takes to stick around.

RELATED: IN CROWDED NFC, WHY NOT THE REDSKINS?

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Redskins kicker Dustin Hopkins headed to injured reserve, per sources

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Redskins kicker Dustin Hopkins headed to injured reserve, per sources

Redskins kicker Dustin Hopkins will likely not play again this year, a source with knowledge of the situation tells our JP Finlay.

The team placed Hopkins on the injured reserve list, which means he's out at least eight weeks. To replace him, the Redskins signed Nick Rose, per NFL Network.

In his third season with Washington, Hopkins had made nearly 82 percent of his field goals this year. He made 12 of 13 extra points, but missed a very important extra point in Sunday's win over the 49ers.

Hopkins had a very strong leg, capable of touchbacks on kickoffs nearly every time the situation called for it. 

Rose is yet to play in the NFL but spent time with the 49ers. He kicked collegiately at the University of Texas.

As a senior in Austin last year, Rose made 13 of 17 field goals and 38 of 39 extra points.