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Need to Know: How many of the Redskins' 2016 starters are on the roster now?

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Need to Know: How many of the Redskins' 2016 starters are on the roster now?

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, March 18, 41 days before the NFL Draft.

How many 2016 starters are already on the roster?

I posted about the 2016 defense yesterday and one of the comments I got was that the unit is still a work in progress. While that is undeniably true with the draft still six weeks away, most of the starters are already on the team. Let’s take a look and see how many of the likely 2016 starters are currently under contract.

Offense:

Line: Williams, Lauvao/Long, Center, Scherff, Moses
Receivers: Garçon, Jackson, Crowder, Reed
Backs: Cousins, Jones

Arie Kouandjio could be in the mix at left guard, too. But the likely starter is in the building. It’s a pretty good bet that Kory Lichtensteiger will start at center but there is enough doubt there to leave that position a question mark.

Perhaps Jones is not fully locked in at running back but unless they take a back during the first two days of the draft it seems likely that he will be given the first shot to be the “lead dog” in what is likely to be a running back by committee.

Defense:

Line: Baker, Nose tackle, Right end
Linebacker: Galette/Smith, Kerrigan, Foster, Compton
Backfield: Breeland, Culliver/Blackmon, Hall, Ihenacho/Bruton

Stephen Paea is the favorite to start at right end but the draft may well bring a starter at nose tackle and one at right end. Perhaps a high draft pick at safety could work his way into the Week 1 starting lineup but I’ll go with this group for now.

So there is one position on offense where the likely starter may not yet be under contract and two on defense. Certainly depth matters and that is where the draft will come into play. Also, this may not be the lineup when December rolls around; there could be changes for reasons other than the inevitable injuries. But, for right now, the Week 1 staring lineup is a cake that is very close to being baked.

Timeline

—The Redskins last played a game 68 days ago. It will be about 177 days until they play another one.

Days until: Redskins offseason workouts start 31; 2016 NFL draft 41; Redskins training camp starts 132

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Need to Know: Final thoughts on Redskins vs. Giants

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Need to Know: Final thoughts on Redskins vs. Giants

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, November 23, seven days before the Washington Redskins play the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Redskins Kickoff 7:30 NBC Sports Washington; Redskins vs. Giants, NBC, 8:30  

Days until:

—Redskins @ Cowboys Thursday night (11/30) 7
—Redskins @ Chargers (12/10) 17
—Cardinals @ Redskins (12/17) 24

Final thoughts on Redskins vs Giants

Look out for Eli—There are many reasons why the Giants are 2-8 but Eli Manning is not one of them. He isn’t nearly the turnover machine he has been for much of his career. His interception percentage this year is 1.6; he hasn’t been under 2.3 percent interceptions this decade. Manning only has 14 touchdown passes but considering that Odell Beckham, who went out in the fourth game of the season, still leads Giants wide receivers in touchdown receptions, that’s not bad.

Running game stuck—What makes Manning’s performance even more impressive is the fact that he doesn’t get much support from a running game. The Giants are 26th in the league with 920 yards. They have gained some traction lately after installing Orleans Darkwa as the starting running back; he is averaging 4.8 yards per carry for the season and 71 yards per game over the last three games. The Redskins certainly don’t want to let him get going tonight.

Reverting to reality—The Giants ranked 32nd in total defense in 2015. They dropped millions on free agents such as Janoris Jenkins, David Harrison, and Olivier Vernon and jumped to 10th. Now, this year they are 31st and equally bad against the pass (29th) and the run (30th). Health hasn’t been a huge issue, although Vernon has missed a few games and Jenkins was suspended. Redskins fans know full well that spending sprees don’t necessarily make for permanent improvements and Giants fans are learning it this year.

Keys to winning

  • Run the ballThe Redskins are 4-2 this year when rushing for 90 yards or more.
  • Continue to protect the ball—The Redskins have turned the ball over just twice in their last three games.
  • Don’t give them hope—The Chiefs let the Giants hang around last week and New York stole a win. The Redskins need to get on top early and mash down on the gas pedal.

Prediction—It’s hard to see a scenario where the Redskins lose this one. Even in their injury-depleted state they are battling every game and the same can’t be said for their opponents today. The weather forecast is for cold temperatures but not much wind, ideal conditions for Cousins to throw for 300 yards. For once, the Redskins get up early and keep going.

Redskins 31, Giants 13

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.

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Everybody thinks the intentional grounding call against Kirk Cousins was wrong, except Troy Aikman

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Everybody thinks the intentional grounding call against Kirk Cousins was wrong, except Troy Aikman

The referees made a fairly obvious mistake last week in the Redskins loss to the Saints when they flagged Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins for intentional grounding late in the game. 

Let's be honest: the call was terrible.

Cousins never felt a pass rush on the play, and was very obviously throwing the ball away. Jay Gruden talked about the play on Monday, and could not figure out how a flag came out in that situation. 

We had two receivers in the area. Quarterbacks throws it away all the time that are uncatchable balls whether they are in the pocket or not. As long as there is a receiver in the area, you can throw it whether they are looking or not. Guys run bad routes – one guy runs a hitch and he’s supposed to run a go and the quarterback throws the go ball, it’s not grounding. So I don’t know why the confusion.

The NFL even reached out and apologized to Redskins team president Bruce Allen for the blown call, a hollow gesture that did not generate much excitement from Cousins (via 106.7 the Fan). 

Whatever they do to say, ‘we’re sorry, wrong call,’ it’s tough because there’s nobody bringing that up in February or March when we're making decisions about which direction to go with the organization. We appreciate the clarification but you know it really doesn’t do much.

If you're keeping score, the NFL, the Redskins head coach and the Redskins quarterback all know the call was wrong. 

You know who doesn't think the call was wrong? Fox analyst, and former Cowboys Hall of Fame QB, Troy Aikman.

Grounding? Free rusher? Decide for yourself below.