Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, December 21, seven days before the Washington Redskins host the Dallas Cowboys.
Three and out—Redskins 27, Eagles 24
1. All week long Jay Gruden and the Redskins players downplayed the angle that a win could put a serious dent in the Eagles’ playoff hopes. The company line was that they just needed a win to get themselves a win. But after the game there was a lot of talk about playing the Grinch and stealing Christmas away from their division foes. The phrasing was too similar for it to be a coincidence. Playing the spoiler may not have been a theme all week but Gruden worked it in somewhere prior to kickoff.
2. The Redskins will finish the season with at least one more win than they did last year and they won’t finish the year on an eight-game losing streak. That’s progress, I suppose. It’s like you went out in the car and wrecked it for the second straight time but you did a little less damage this time. The object is to drive the car without getting into a wreck. The object in the NFL is to be in the playoff hunt most years. With progress at this rate it will be 2020 before the Redskins get into playoff contention.
3. Alfred Morris rushed for 83 yards, his sixth best rushing game of the season. Robert Griffin III was the starting quarterback. You can no longer say that it’s a coincidence that Morris is more productive on the ground when Griffin starts at quarterback. Griffin was the starting quarterback in all six of Morris’ best rushing games this season. Morris has averaged 95 yards per game in Griffin starts. If you project that out to all 15 games this season, Morris would have 1,425 yards on the ground this season.
Out: It’s also not a coincidence that the Redskins won and Griffin only threw 23 passes. In only one other game in which he took most of the snaps did he throw fewer passes and they had a chance to win that game against the 49ers. Griffin also stayed in the pocket for the most part, a key to his development—perhaps redevelopment is the more apt term—as a quarterback. The organization still has a lot of decisions to make but at this point in time it looks like Griffin is a work in progress, better than the disaster he seemed to be after the Bucs and 49ers games. But he still has a long way to go.
—Today’s schedule: Jay Gruden conference call 3:00 p.m.
—Days until: Cowboys @ Redskins 7; 2015 NFL Draft 130; 2015 NFL season opening Sunday 266
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.
In case you missed it
- Spoiler Alert
- Redskins 27, Eagles 24 thoughts and observations
- DeSean Jackson criticizes 'naïve' Eagles defense
- Bashaud Breeland comes up big with fourth quarter pick
- Jay Gruden 'impressed' with RG3's performance
- Rookie LB Trent Murphy injures hand in Eagles game
- Trent Williams fights through injury-riddled game
- RG3 after victory: 'This win’s about this team'
- Chip Kelly, Eagles fall prey to RG3, DeSean Jackson
- Another year, another milestone for Alfred Morris