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Need to Know: Opponents adjusting to Redskins' defense well before halftime

Need to Know: Opponents adjusting to Redskins' defense well before halftime

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, November 22, one day before the Washington Redskins travel to San Francisco to play the 49ers.

Redskins thoughts and observations

—I’m not sure what to make out of Jay Gruden’s RG3 comments to Albert Breer. Not too long before the coach talked to the reporter—who nobody has ever accused of being biased and/or uninformed—Gruden told us that his public criticism of Griffin a couple of days earlier was a “mistake”.

—The word that stuck out to me when I first read it was “coddled”. Perhaps Griffin has gotten the kid gloves treatment for his two and a half years. Since the “clock’s ticking”, in Gruden’s words, perhaps he thinks that he needs to go to the other extreme with him. Griffin probably doesn’t like it but if he can’t handle that, how is he going to handle an A-gap blitz during a big game at AT&T Stadium one December?

—I may be way off on this (that wouldn’t be a first around here) but I have a fairly high degree of confidence that Morgan Moses will hold his own against the 49ers assuming he is the starter at left tackle on Sunday. He seems very confident, more than the usual bravado you’ll see from a rookie thrust into the starting lineup. Moses will certainly be a dropoff from Trent Williams but I don’t think he’ll be embarrassed.

—There seems to be some hope that Williams will play with a sprained MCL and sprained ankle. Gruden said that he made some progress in rehab during the week and he is listed as questionable, meaning there is a 50-50 chance that he will play. I still think the odds are against him after he couldn’t even warm up all week and ambled slowly around the locker room and in the hallways at Redskins Park. But he’s played on Sundays before when he had trouble walking during the week so we’ll see.

—This may or may not be highly significant but I found it to be interesting. Redskins opponents complete just 56 percent of their passes for 4.5 yards per attempt in the first quarter. In the second quarter, opposing QB’s are much more successful, completing 84.4 percent of their passes for 11.4 yards per attempt. It’s no wonder that they have given up just shy of nine points per game in the second quarter. Apparently offensive coordinators aren’t waiting until halftime to make adjustments against Jim Haslett.

—I don’t know if it’s encouraging or discouraging that the Redskins are in the top 10 in both total offense (7th) and total defense (10th) and that they have outgained the opposition by half a year per play (6.0-5.5). It may mean that the Redskins are doing a lot of the basic stuff well but need to clean up things like both sides of the turnover equation (they’re minus-11, tied for 29th in the NFL) and third down conversions (30th in the NFL on offense). Or maybe there are deeper problems. You’d always rather be winning with bad stats but given the choice of losing while putting up some decent numbers I think that’s where you’d rather be.


Today’s schedule: No availability

Days until: Redskins @ 49ers 1; Redskins @ Colts 8; Rams @ Redskins 15

If you have any questions about what's going on at Redskins Park, hit me up in the comments. I'll answer all questions as soon as I can get to them. And I'm always on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Why the Redskins should be hoping Tremaine Edmunds falls in their lap

Why the Redskins should be hoping Tremaine Edmunds falls in their lap

NBC Sports Washington’s four-part digital series ‘E-Boyz’ -- chronicling the illustrious past, decorated present and bright future of the Edmunds family -- is NOW LIVE. Check out a new episode daily, leading up to the 2018 NFL Draft. Watch the first episode above and more here.

When the NFL Draft comes around, you'll hear fans and analysts often say, "If Player X makes it to pick No. __, then Team Y should sprint to the podium to pick him."

Well, this Thursday, if Player X is Tremaine Edmunds, the pick is No. 13 and Team Y is the Washington Redskins, the Burgundy and Gold should sprint to the podium only if there's no other option to get there quicker. 

While the 'Skins already have two talented linebackers in Zach Brown and Mason Foster on the roster already, taking the Virginia Tech teenager shouldn't be ruled out. Now, the only problem is that Edmunds has to slide that far in the 2018 draft; the majority of mocks have him going before that spot.

Edmunds is the type of do-it-all LB that is especially valuable in today's NFL. He has the athleticism and ability to fit on the inside or outside, and is just as comfortable rushing the passer as he is in coverage. You know that issue the Redskins have when it comes to covering tight ends, the one that's lasted for like a decade now? Edmunds would help erase it, along with a host of other problems.

"They don't come like him," one NFC scout told about Edmunds. "I don't think there has ever been a linebacker that has had his size and speed."

Redskins fans, go outside and start searching for your four-leaf clovers now. Last year, the franchise got lucky and landed Jonathan Allen. This time around, they're going to need even more of it to secure Edmunds. 


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The betting houses are bearish on the 2018 Redskins

Bob Youngentob for NBC Sports Washington

The betting houses are bearish on the 2018 Redskins

With the NFL schedule dropped last week, many fans and media types went through and predicted wins and losses for the teams they follow, just for fun. But others predict the records of teams and it’s not for laughs, it’s for very high stakes.

The betting houses in Las Vegas and offshore have established their lines for over/under in wins. They then take this a step further and go through the playoffs to establish the odds of winning the Super Bowl. 

Over the weekend, BetOnline published one of each and let’s just say that they do not like what the Redskins have done this offseason. Or, more accurately, they think that the public perception is that the Redskins will not be a very good team this year. 

Their over/under for wins is 5.5. They won seven games last year so the under would represent a decline of at least two wins. This line seems to be low. The Redskins won seven games last year with the worst injury situation in the league, per the numbers crunchers at Football Outsiders. They also faced one of the toughest schedules in the league in terms of opponent winning percentages. 

Yes, they did lose Kirk Cousins to free agency but they replaced him with Alex Smith, who, like Cousins, is not elite or even in the top 10 but in the category of solid, reliable quarterbacks. The QB exchange was close to a wash. But despite the fact that the chances are they will suffer fewer injuries and face a schedule that isn’t as much of a meat grinder, this over/under has the Redskins producing double-digit losses. They have managed to stay out of 10-plus loss territory for three straight years. 

There are more reasons to think that they will win at least as many games as they did last year than there are to think that they will win fewer. If I’m betting, which I’m not, I’d be tempted to hit the over on that pretty hard. 

I would keep my money in my pocket when it comes to betting on the Redskins’ chances of winning the Super Bowl. I don’t think they’re close, but I think they’re much closer than the Browns but BetOnline has Cleveland and Washington with the same odds of hoisting the Lombardi Trophy. The Redskins, Browns, and Bucs are at +6600 to win it all. The Redskins odds are worse than all but six other teams. 

Again, I don’t think that the Redskins are going to win the Super Bowl. Winning a playoff game would be quite an accomplishment for them. But same could be said of the Colts, Giants, Chargers, and 49ers, but they all have considerably better odds than the Redskins. 

In fact, there may be some irrational exuberance with the 49ers and Jimmy Garoppolo. They have the seventh-best odds at +1600. Sure, Jimmy G was very good in five meaningless games at the end of last season. Let’s see how he does with some pressure on and after defensive coaches have had a chance to study how to take away his strengths. It just goes to show you how little real analysis goes into this. 

I get a little annoyed when teams play the disrespect card, especially when they have to look too hard to find it. But if the Redskins look at this, they certainly can embrace the underdog role if they want to. What they do with it, we will find out starting September 9. 

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