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Need to Know: If Griffin is not the answer at QB the Redskins must act now

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Need to Know: If Griffin is not the answer at QB the Redskins must act now

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, March 12, 49 days before the Washington Redskins go on the clock at the NFL draft.

Depth chart pre-free agency

Now that John Clayton’s report that the Redskins will draft Marcus Mariota if he is still on the board when the fifth pick in the draft has had a day to circulate around Redskins fans and media, let’s take a look at what we have here.

The conventional wisdom is that the whole thing is a smokescreen. The Redskins, many say, have no intention to take Mariota, that the whole thing is being set up to try to drive up the value of the fifth pick in the draft so that they can get a bigger haul in a trade.

That is a logical explanation for it and it’s a very reasonable and it’s likely to be true. But that doesn’t mean that it is true. You can’t rule out the possibility that the Redskins do intend to draft Mariota if he is on the board.

We can’t rule it out because we have no idea what Scot McCloughan’s evaluations of Robert Griffin III and Mariota are. It’s really quite simple. If McCloughan believes, based on his film evaluation, that Griffin will not cut it as an NFL quarterback and that there is a very good chance that Mariota will, it’s a move that he almost has to make.

Why? I’m not sure if this is Charley Casserly’s quote but I’ve heard him say it a lot: “If you don’t have a quarterback you don’t have anything.”

In other words, if the Redskins have a need at quarterback, that trumps any other needs they have. They would almost have to take Mariota if McCloughan believes he can be a franchise type QB.

The best thing for the franchise would be if Griffin works out. But if the GM and coach determine that it just won’t happen for him (or for Kirk Cousins) the sooner they move on the better. And if they think that Mariota is the answer they need to take him should the opportunity arise.

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Timeline

—It’s been 74 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be about 185 days until they play another one.

Days until: Redskins offseason workouts start 39; 2015 NFL Draft 49; Redskins training camp starts 140

If you have any questions about what's going on at Redskins Park, hit me up in the comments. And I'm always on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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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.