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Need to Know: Team issues overshadow RG3 vs. Kaepernick

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Need to Know: Team issues overshadow RG3 vs. Kaepernick

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, November 24, one day before the Washington Redskins host the San Francisco 49ers.

What they’re saying

Here is a look at what some NFL media types are saying about tomorrow’s Eagles-Redskins game:

Elliot Harrison NFL.com goes chalk

49ers 27, Redskins 17—“ We tried looking at this game through the prism of the Redskins turning their season around, but we're just not seeing it. The quarterback matchup is close, as are the teams' running games. The issue for Washington is defense, where about the only thing going for the Redskins is the pass rush (which has been strictly mediocre). It doesn't help much that Kai Forbath has missed some very makeable kicks.”

Comment: That last part hasn’t really come back to haunt the Redskins yet but it could on Monday.

From the MMQB.com, Andy Benoit says to look for a right-handed run game

For Washington, running effectively usually involves running behind left tackle Trent Williams, who might be the most athletic blocker in the NFC. (It’s either him or the Cowboys’ Tyron Smith.) This season, 403 of Morris’s 918 rushing yards have come on “wide left” runs. However, don’t be surprised Monday night if Morris runs more to the right. Not only would he avoid San Fran’s menacing run-anchor, Justin Smith, he’d also get a chance to attack either banged-up end Ray McDonald, who is playing with a biceps injury and sat last week with a sprained ankle, or backup end Tony Jerod-Eddie, who is not great at the point of attack.

Comment: Justin Smith is good but I still have Morris go in Williams’ direction until they stop it.

They guys at Pro Football Talk both picked the Niners by 10:

Michael David Smith: “San Francisco’s offense is slumping, but a trip to Washington is just the thing to fix an offensive slump. 49ers 30, Redskins 20.” Mike Florio: “The 49ers have more talent and motivation to get back on the right track, or risk sliding into third place in their division. 49ers 23, Redskins 13.”

Comment: The Redskins defense has been a slump buster all year. If Colin Kaepernick can bust out of his yearlong slump, it will be a long night for the Redskins.

On ESPN.com, Hoge goes out on a limb.

Of the 13 NFL.com analysts and talking heads, only Merrill Hodge picks the Redskins to win on Monday night.

Mike Tanier of Sports on Earth laments the lack of focus on RG3 vs. Kaepernick

49ers 27, Redskins 16: “Robert Griffin called the Redskins' too-predictable gameplan against the Eagles "disheartening." He then handed his thesaurus off to Colin Kaepernick to describe a 49ers offense that produced one 20-yard pass play in two weeks and deploys practice squad tight ends as slot receivers. Dejecting, demoralizing, dispiriting, appalling, consternating . . . Two of the most electrifying, dynamic young athletes on the American sports scene face off on Monday night, but all we can talk about is predictable offenses and inappropriate language. Disheartening. Disheartening.”

Comment: I’ll bet that both Griffin and Kaepernick do something that is worth the price of admission.

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Timeline

Days until: Monday night 49ers @ Redskins 1; Giants @ Redskins 7; Chiefs @ Redskins 14

Today’s schedule: No availability, walk through at Redskins Park

In case you missed it

Sunday 11.17

Monday 11.18

Tuesday 11.19

Wednesday 11.20

Thursday 11.21

Friday 11.22

Saturday 11.23

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Redskins' schedule "rest disparity" is very fair in 2018

Redskins' schedule "rest disparity" is very fair in 2018

The NFL started taking into account a new factor when putting together its schedule this year. The concept is called rest disparity. It stems from a complaint made by the Giants last year. And, of course, when the Giants have a cold, the NFL sneezes and immediately does whatever it takes to cure the cold. 

Here is how Peter King laid it out this morning on the MMQB:

Last year, I heard the Giants were not pleased with their schedule because they felt they were too often playing teams more rested than they were. In consecutive October weeks, they played teams coming off byes, for instance. The NFL calculated a figure for every team based on the number of combined days of rest for their foes or for the team, calculating, for instance, in those two weeks, the Giants were a minus-14 (minus-seven for each of the foes, Seattle and Denver, coming off byes). In all, by my math, the Giants were a league-worst minus-22 in “rest disparity.”

So the schedule makers worked to minimize the rest disparity this year. According to King, the worst rest disparity in the league this year is minus-11. The Giants are minus-eight. 

The question that Redskins fans will have immediately here is if the Giants’ rest disparity was reduced at the expense of the team in burgundy and gold. The answer that will surprise many is no. 

The Redskins rest disparity in 2018 will be either minus-one or zero. The variance is due to the possibility that their Week 16 game in Tennessee will be flexed to a Saturday game (see details here). If the game stays on Sunday, they will be at minus-one in rest disparity. If it gets moved, they will have had exactly as much rest over the course of the season as did their opponents, in aggregate. 

If you're interested in the nitty-gritty, here is how it breaks down. In eight or nine of their games, they will have had the same amount of rest as their opponents. They play one game coming off of their bye, a Monday night game in New Orleans. The Saints play the previous Sunday, giving Washington a plus-seven in days of rest. That is canceled out when they play the Falcons in Week 9 after Atlanta’s bye. 

Due to their Thanksgiving game, they get three extra days off going into their Week 13 Monday night game in Philadelphia. Two weeks later the Jaguars will have those three extra days of rest when they host the Redskins, having played on Thursday in Week 14.

They lose a day relative to their opponents coming off of those Monday night games against the Saints and Eagles. The Redskins get an extra day prior to visiting the Giants in Week 8 as New York has a Monday night game in Week 7. 

So far, that comes to minus-one in rest disparity. That will remain in place if they play the Titans on Sunday, December 23. If the game is flexed to Saturday, they will gain a day of rest on the Eagles in Week 17, zeroing out the rest disparity for the season. 

More Redskins

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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Clarifying the confusion about the Redskins' Week 16 game at the Titans

Clarifying the confusion about the Redskins' Week 16 game at the Titans

There was some confusion about the Redskins’ Week 16 game in Tennessee when the NFL schedule dropped. The schedule pushed out by the Redskins said that the game date and time are to be determined. Other versions that went out, including the one on NFL.com, says the game will be on Sunday, December 23 at 1 p.m.

So what’s the story? Well, if you’re thinking of making reservations to go to Nashville to watch the game you just might want to hold off for a while. Like, until early November. 

In an under the radar move, the NFL has established flex scheduling for its late-season Saturday games. Here are the details from the schedule press release from Redskins PR:

“Flexibility for Saturday games in Weeks 15 and 16 is also part of the 2018 schedule. In Week 15, there will be two games played on Saturday on NFL Network, with the game times of 4:30 p.m. and 8:20 p.m. to be determined. In Week 16, two of four possible matchups will be scheduled for Saturday. Start times and Saturday games for Week 15 and 16 will be announced no later than following Week 8, with the non-Saturday games to be played on Sunday.”

The way it sets up, if the Redskins and Titans are playing well in midseason there is a good chance the game will be played on Saturday, December 22 at either 4:30 or 8:20. If one or both teams are struggling, the league and networks could choose to flex two of the other four matchups to Saturday. 

This is taking flex scheduling to a different level. It’s one thing shifting a Sunday kickoff seven and a half hours from 1 p.m. to 8:30. It’s another to shift a whole day. The visiting teams can’t make travel arrangements, not knowing if they need to come into town on Friday for a Saturday game or on Saturday for Sunday. Fans who want to travel to the game are in the same boat. 

Of course, if you can afford it, you can just add a day to your Nashville excursion. There are worse things in the world than spending an extra day or two in Music City. 

If you have to wait to make your plans, as the Redskins do, you will find out no later than October 29, which is when Week 8 ends. 

Do you believe in trends? Then you should hope that the game does get flexed to Saturday. The Redskins have won three straight Saturday games, beating the Eagles in both 2014 and 2015 (the latter game clinching the division title for Washington) and the Bears in 2016. 

More Redskins

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