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Need to Know: Five Redskins who are under pressure against the Eagles

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Need to Know: Five Redskins who are under pressure against the Eagles

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, October 15, one day before the Washington Redskins host the Philadelphia Eagles.

Timeline

Today's schedule: No media availability

Days until: Redskins @ Lions 8; Redskins vs. Bengals in London 15; Vikings @ Redskins 29

Five under pressure in Redskins vs Eagles

QB Kirk Cousins—He is on this list until he breaks through and looks like a franchise quarterback. He had his moments against the Ravens, notably on a perfect throw to Pierre Garçon for a third-quarter touchdown. But the problem was, that was their only offensive touchdown. Much of the rest of his day was spent overthrowing some open receivers, especially on third and short. Cousins completed one of six passes on third and one. You can question the play calling if you want but the quarterback has to execute better.

LG Shawn Lauvao—Containing Eagles defensive tackle Fletcher Cox, an active, powerful threat against both the pass and the run, will primarily be the responsibility of Lauvao. Cox plays about 75 percent of the Eagles’ snaps so Lauvao had better pack a lunch, maybe a couple of them plus a snack.

Related: Doctson out, two starters questionable for Redskins vs. Eagles

TE Vernon Davis—As of this writing Jordan Reed’s official status for Sunday is questionable but both the timetable needed to be cleared through the concussion protocol and off-the-record comments from some players make it look nearly certain that he will not play. That means a stepped-up role for Davis, the veteran who has 10 receptions for 94 yards this season. Some of the pressure here works its way down to Niles Paul, who will move up into Davis’ role as the second tight end.

OLB Ryan Kerrigan—This is supposed to be Preston Smith’s permanent spot on this list but Kerrigan is the one who should shine this day. The Eagles’ first offensive play will be the first NFL play for fifth-round pick Halapouliavatti Vaitai, who will play in the place of suspended right tackle Lane Johnson. That should be a favorable matchup for left OLB Kerrigan, who will be close to full strength after dealing with an elbow injury last week.

Related: Crowder letting instincts take over on punt returns

DE Chris Baker—I’m convinced that Baker made a play that may have turned the Redskins’ season around. Baker has one sack this season. It came when the crushed Eli Manning early in the second quarter of the Giants game. Before that hit, Manning was on a roll; after it he was a very average quarterback. That turned the game in the Redskins’ favor and they ended their two-game losing streak to start the season. If Baker can shake up Eagles rookie QB Carson Wentz the Redskins will gain a decided edge.

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The 2018 NFL schedule is here, but we still don't really know anything

The 2018 NFL schedule is here, but we still don't really know anything

The NFL dropped the Redskins' 2018 regular-season schedule on Thursday and everybody will predict the team’s season-long record. 

It’s a fun exercise, and something the football world enjoys doing.

Myself included. 

But don’t read much, if anything, into the schedule right now. 

Every year, some teams look mighty in the offseason only to fall apart in the regular season. 

Need an example? Many predicted the Giants to be the beasts of the NFC East in 2017, and the Eagles to finish last in the NFC East. 

What actually happened? The Giants finished 3-13 and the Eagles won the Super Bowl. 

The NFL cannot be predicted year to year. It can hardly be predicted week to week. 

Last season, two December home games against the Broncos and Cardinals looked very daunting when the schedule came out. Instead, that was a two-game win streak. 

Enjoy the schedule release. It’s a fun time to guess what will happen in 2018.

But remember, once the games start, anything can happen. 

(For the record: My prediction is 9-7.)

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Another Thanksgiving game for Redskins

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Redskins release official 2018 regular-season schedule

Redskins release official 2018 regular-season schedule

The 2018 NFL regular-season schedule is finally here.

We’ve known who the Redskins will play in the 2018 season and where the games will be played since the regular season ended.

Now we know the when.

Here is the Redskins 2018 schedule; games are at 1:00 Eastern unless otherwise indicated.

The first thing that jumps out is the Thanksgiving game. This will be the third straight year that the Redskins have played on Thanksgiving. Two years ago they lost at Dallas and last year the got a win over the Giants at home. 

Three Thanksgiving games in a row for a team that is not the Lions or Cowboys, the two teams that traditionally host on Turkey Day, is not without precedent although it is unusual. Besides Dallas and Detroit, only two teams have played in three straight Thanksgiving games since the 1970 merger.

The Bears played every Thanksgiving from 1979-1981. The Cardinals also played three straight, but there is an asterisk there since they hosted the game instead of the Cowboys in 1975 and 1977. In between the played at Dallas on Thanksgiving.

Washington Redskins 2018 Regular-Season Schedule

Week 1: Sunday, 9/9. 4:05 PM at Arizona Cardinals
Week 2 Sunday, 9/16 vs Indianapolis Colts
Week 3 Sunday, 9/23 vs Green Bay Packers
Week 4 BYE
Week 5 Monday, 10/8. 8:15 at New Orleans Saints 
Week 6 Sunday, 10/14. vs Carolina Panthers
Week 7 Sunday, 10/21. 4:25 vs Cowboys
Week 8 Sunday, 10/28.  At New York Giants
Week 9 Sunday, 11/4. vs Atlanta Falcons 
Week 10 Sunday, 11/11. At Tampa Bay Buccaneers 
Week 11 Sunday, 11/18. vs Houston Texans 
Week 12 Thursday, 11/22 (Thanksgiving).  4:30 at Dallas Cowboys 
Week 13 Monday, 12/3. 8:15 at Philadelphia Eagles 
Week 14 Sunday, 12/9. vs New York Giants 
Week 15 Sunday, 12/16. At Jacksonville Jaguars
Week 16 Sunday, 12/23.  At Tennessee Titans (Time TBD)
Week 17 Sunday, 12/30. vs Philadelphia Eagles

2018 REDSKINS SCHEDULE NOTES:

  • If the Redskins are going to take advantage of home cooking, they will need to get off to a good start. They have five home games in the first half of the season. After Week 9 they have just three home games and they face a stretch of four road games in five weeks in late November and December. Three of the teams in that stretch, the Eagles, Jaguars, and Titans, made the playoffs and won at least one game. The Eagles, of course, won it all. The other road game in that stretch is against the Cowboys, who finished 9-7 last year. 
     
  • The Redskins will open on the road for the first time since 2014 when they opened in Houston. This year they will have to travel west to Arizona and try to win to remove the goose egg in Jay Gruden’s 0-4 opening-game record as coach of the Redskins.
     
  • They get an early bye, in Week 4. That will be their earliest bye week since 2007 when the bye also came in Week 4. 
     
  • On the plus side, their two games in Florida come at times when hot weather is unlikely to be a factor. Their game in Tampa comes in November and the contest at Jacksonville comes in mid-December. 
     

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