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Need to Know: Redskins have contained Peterson

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Need to Know: Redskins have contained Peterson

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, November 6, one day before the Washington Redskins visit the Minnesota Vikings.

Nickel coverage

Five notes and quotes from the Redskins locker room:

1. David Amerson may have saved the Redskins season by knocking running back David Woodhead out of bounds just short of the goal line late in Sunday’s game against the Chargers. But being a hero did not cross his mind at the time. “I wasn't thinking about trying to save the game or whatever,” said the rookie cornerback. “I just, I can't let him get in this end zone. I'm going to do everything in my power to keep him out. That was my mentality.”

2. The Redskins gained some nice yardage with a few new offensive wrinkles including a couple of 18-yard runs out of the triple option. Robert Griffin III says that the benefit of such plays can go beyond the immediate yardages picked up. “I think it can be a little confusing for a defense,” he said. Nothing that such plays can “mess up guys’ keys”, Griffin said that you might just need one big play. “All you need is a few, a couple of big plays every game to kind of help you establish yourself and get into a rhythm as an offense,” he said.

3. The Redskins have done a pretty good job of containing Adrian Peterson over the years. He has played in four games against them, including one in 2007 before the current coaching staff was in place. He has 180 yards on 44 carries, an average of 45 yards per game and 4.1 per carry. Both averages are well under his career numbers of 98 yards a game and 5.0 per carry. They do need to watch for him catching some passes out of the backfield, however. He has 12 receptions for 119 yards against Washington.

4. On Tuesday the Redskins practiced in the bubble wearing no pads or helmets. With the short week the focus now in more on film work and other such preparation rather than going through physical reps. “A lot of it right now is mental preparation—watching a lot of film over the next 48-plus hours,” said Mike Shanahan. “It’s not really physical coming off of that game we just had, especially going into overtime. You take all those factors into consideration in a short week.”

5. NFL players have tremendous focus, often to the point where they don’t know things that most fans and media members just assume they know. After Sunday’s game, Griffin knew the Redskins were playing the Vikings next but he didn’t know who they played the week after that (it’s the Eagles). And when asked about the possibility of a letdown against a 1-7 Vikings team, Brandon Meriweather replied: “Honestly, I didn't know even know their record. I try to take it one game at a time. We was 3-6 last year and made the playoffs, you really can't overlook anybody in this league.”

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Stat of the day

—With a win tomorrow night the Redskins will improve to 4-5. Their playoff chances will get better but, historically, they will still be a long shot. Since 1990, 14 out of the 122 teams to start 4-5 made the playoffs (11.5%).

Timeline

—Days until: Redskins @ Vikings 1; Redskins @ Eagles 11; Monday night 49ers @ Redskins 19

—Today’s schedule: Practice 10:30; Player availability, Mike Shanahan, Kyle Shanahan, and Jim Haslett news conference after practice (approx. 12:00)

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“How could we overlook them when we’re not that good?”

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Need to Know: If Kirk Cousins leaves, with the Redskins rebuild or retool?

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Need to Know: If Kirk Cousins leaves, with the Redskins rebuild or retool?

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, January 16, 57 days before NFL free agency starts.

Timeline  

Days until:

—NFL franchise tag deadline (3/6) 49
—NFL Draft (4/26) 100
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 236

Nickel coverage—Five Redskins questions

Taking a look at some of the key questions surrounding the Redskins, sometimes coming up with more questions in the process. Yes, it's going to be that kind of offseason. 

What will the Redskins do at left guard? It would be better for the Redskins to find their left guard in the draft, but assuming that the successor is picked after the second round, they will want someone to start until the rookie is ready. That could be Arie Kouandjio or maybe a veteran free agent.

Can the Redskins make do with what they have at running back? The short answer is no. The running back situation needs attention. It’s hard to picture Samaje Perine and Rob Kelley forming a formidable tandem, or even a very good one. I’m wary of spending a high draft pick on an RB, but the success of the likes of Todd Gurley and Leonard Fournette have to be factored into the thinking.

Are the Redskins OK with Zach Brown and Mason Foster at inside linebacker? For the time being they are, assuming that they are able to sign both of the unrestricted free agents, however the Redskins need to continue to build that position. That means continuing to develop Josh Harvey-Clemons to use in nickel situations and spending draft resources there. Even if Brown and Foster are back, the Redskins might be smart to grab Roquan Smith out of Georgia if he’s there in the first round.

If they are without Kirk Cousins, will the Redskins rebuild or retool? This is a key question for the organization. If Cousins leaves, do they just try to plug in the best available/affordable quarterback they can find and roll on with the same basic personnel with which they have hovered around .500 the last three years? Or will the make other changes, perhaps moving on from Josh Norman and Jordan Reed to save cap money for future seasons and give their younger players a chance to establish themselves? The latter might be the better way to go but this organization rarely considers short-term pain for long-term gain.

If Junior Galette leaves, who replaces him? While Galette did not light it up in the sack department, he put plenty of pressure on opposing quarterbacks. He is likely to leave since he would remain behind Preston Smith and Ryan Kerrigan on the depth chart if he re-signed in Washington. Can they rely on 2017 second-round pick Ryan Anderson to take a giant leap in his sophomore season? Will they try to lock up free agent Trent Murphy and hope that he can bounce back from an ACL injury he suffered last August and regain his nine-sack form of 2016? I don’t see how they can rely on Anderson to suddenly provide pressure after recording zero sacks this past year. Whether it’s Murphy or another free agent, someone with a better track record has to be in the picture. If Anderson improves enough to move ahead of that player on the depth chart, so much the better.

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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Where does Stefon Diggs' remarkable catch rank among some of the best NFL playoff walk-offs?

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Where does Stefon Diggs' remarkable catch rank among some of the best NFL playoff walk-offs?

There is nothing quite like January playoff football and Sunday night's Vikings vs. Saints game further proved this point.

In case you have been off the grid the past 12 hours, the Minnesota Vikings literally got a last second win against the New Orleans Saints.

With 10 seconds left in the fourth and facing a 3rd and 10, quarterback Case Keenum heaved the football near the sideline to wide receiver Stefon Diggs, who dodged two defenders while managing to stay inbounds for a 61-yard touchdown as the clock expired. 

It was one of the most remarkable playoff walk-off wins, if not the most remarkable one, in football.

So, where does it stand among the others?

RELATED: FORMER TERP PLAYS HERO IN VIKINGS' MIRACLE PLAYOFF WIN

Broncos vs. Steelers 2011 AFC Wild Card game: Remember Tim Tebow's 80-yard overtime touchdown to Demaryius Thomas during the 2011 Broncos vs. Steelers AFC Wild Card game? It was the first and last snap of overtime and it was wild.

Mile High Miracle: On third and three with 43 seconds left in the game, Ravens' Joe Flacco launched one towards wide receiver Jacoby Jones, who got in front of the Broncos receiver and ran the ball in for a 70-yard game-tying touchdown. The Ravens would eventually go on to win the game in double overtime. Some could argue it was the defining moment in the Ravens' Super Bowl run. 

Cardinals vs. Steelers Super Bowl XLIII: Under the brightest lights of all, Ben Roethlisberger found Santonio Holmes with 43 seconds in the fourth in the back of the end zone for a toe-dragging, Super Bowl-winning catch. 

RELATED: WHAT REDSKINS CAN LEARN FROM THIS WEEKEND'S PLAYOFF GAMES

Saints vs. 49ers 2012 NFC Divisional game: Sunday's loss wasn't the first time the Saints have experienced a fourth quarter letdown. Back in 2012, Alex Smith threw one to the endzone on 3rd-and-three with 14 seconds left that sealed a win.

While these are only a few, we can't wait to add more to the list in years to come.