Redskins

Quick Links

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

d-line-vs-patriots.png

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

In case you missed it

Quick Links

2018 NFL Draft order has Redskins pick nearing top ten as losses stockpile

nfl-draft-2017-usat.png
USA Today Sports Images

2018 NFL Draft order has Redskins pick nearing top ten as losses stockpile

LOS ANGELES — Some years, the December talk is of playoff tiebreakers.

Other years, it’s about draft position.

This is one of those “other” years.

The Redskins’ current skid of four losses in their last five games has knocked them out of playoff contention but into more favorable position in the 2018 NFL Draft, which is scheduled to take place in late April.

The Redskins' record is 5-8 through Week 14,  and if the season ended today, Washington would be picking either 11th or 12th in the first round.

Here’s the big picture: As of today, there are eight teams that have fewer wins than Washington. All of them would be picking ahead of the Redskins. 

The Bengals and Jets also have eight losses so the one and only draft order tiebreaker would be applied.

RELATED: NEW 2018 NFL MOCK DRAFT 3.0

This does not work out well for the Redskins.

The NFL Draft tiebreaker is strength of schedule with the teams with the weaker schedules getting the better picks. I am sure you have heard about how tough a schedule the Redskins have all year long. It was a point of pride for many fans. But now it comes back to bite them.

The Jets (opponents winning percentage .488) and the Bengals (.444) have faced weaker schedules than the Redskins (.574). That pushes Washington back to 11th.

RELATED: FEW UPS, MANY DOWNS VS. CHARGERS

But there is a Week 14 game pending. The Dolphins, who have seven losses, play the Patriots on Monday Night Football. If they lose and join the eight-loss group, they would jump ahead of the Redskins based on the SOS tiebreaker, pushing Washington back to 12th.

Of course, the season doesn’t end today and a lot can happen.

But if the bottom doesn’t completely fall out it seems likely that they will end up somewhere between 10th and 12th in the first round.

We will be looking at what that might mean for the Redskins in the coming days and weeks as the offseason comes early for the Redskins one more time.

Quick Links

NFL Playoff Picture: NFC bracket projection starting to come into focus

eagles_seahawks_usat.jpg
USA Today Sports

NFL Playoff Picture: NFC bracket projection starting to come into focus

The NFC Playoff picture is no clearer in Week 14 than it was in Week 8.

Throughout the 2017-18 NFL season, the NFC in particular has been a gauntlet. So much of a gauntlet that one of the league’s best in the past five years, the Seattle Seahawks, sit outside of the postseason with an 8-5 record.

As of the conclusion of Week 14’s action, only the Philadelphia Eagles (11-2) have locked up a postseason spot.

The Eagles claimed the NFC East for the first time since 2013 with a win over the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday. The will clinch a first round bye with a win and losses by the Saints and the Panthers this weekend.

The Minnesota Vikings (10-3) with their loss remains second in the conference, still within striking range over the overall No. 1 seed.

With losses to the two teams ahead of them, the Rams (9-4) have a tough hill to climb to claim a first-round bye, but first they need to get back in the win column.

For the WildCard berths there was a wrench thrown into many teams plans with the Atlanta Falcons (8-5) defeating the New Orleans Saints (9-4) on Thursday night. Atlanta owns a tiebreaker over pretty much every team chasing them for the final playoff spot.

For the five remaining unclaimed spots in the postseason, 10 teams are still alive.

After Week 15 though, that number could dwindle down significantly.

RELATED: NEW 2018 NFL MOCK DRAFT 3.0

NFC Playoff Picture Week 15

NFC PLAYOFF BRACKET PROJECTION:
— #1 Philadelphia Eagles* (11-2) vs. BYE
— #2 Minnesota Vikings (10-3) vs. BYE
— #3 Los Angeles Rams (9-4) vs. #6 Atlanta Falcons (8-5)
— #4 New Orleans Saints (9-4) vs. #5 Carolina Panthers (9-4)

NFC TEAMS IN THE PLAYOFF HUNT:
— Seattle Seahawks (8-5)
— Detroit Lions (7-6)
— Green Bay Packers (7-6)
— Dallas Cowboys (7-6)
— Arizona Cardinals (6-7)

NFC TEAMS ELIMINATED PLAYOFF PICTURE:
— Washington Redskins (5-8)
— Tampa Bay Buccaneerrs (4-9)
— Chicago Bears (4-9)
— San Francisco 49ers (3-10)
— New York Giants (2-11)

SEEDING NOTES:
— Eagles own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Rams, Panthers.
— Vikings own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Rams, Saints, and Falcons.
— Saints own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Panthers.
— Rams own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Saints.
— Panthers own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Vikings.

WILD CARD NOTES:
— Panthers own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Lions.
— Falcons own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Lions, Packers, Cowboys, and Seahawks.
— Lions own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Cardinals.
— Packers own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Seahawks, Cowboys.
— Cowboys own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Cardinals.

Week 15 NFC Games With Playoff Implications:

Sat., Dec 16: Bears at Lions (4:30 p.m.)
Sun., Dec 17: Bengals at Vikings (1:00 p.m.)
Sun., Dec 17: Jets at Saints (1:00 p.m.)
Sun., Dec 17: Eagles at Giants (1:00 p.m.)
Sun., Dec 17: Cardinals at Redskins (1:00 p.m.)
Sun., Dec 17: Panthers at Packers (1:00 p.m.)
Sun., Dec 17: Rams at Seahawks (4:05 p.m.)
Sun., Dec 17: Cowboys at Raiders (8:30 p.m.)
Mon., Dec 18: Falcons at Buccaneers (8:30 p.m.)