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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—No surprise as Cousins, RG3 dominate news

Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—No surprise as Cousins, RG3 dominate news

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, March 5, four days before the start of NFL free agency.

The Redskins week that was—No surprise as Cousins, RG3 dominate news

A look at some of the past week’s most popular posts from here and from CSNmidatlantic.com.

Five Redskins who need to step up in 2016—Running back Matt Jones heads this list of players who have big opportunities in front of them this year and need to get it done on the field to take advantage of it. My bet is that two of these players go into 2017 as solid starters, two aren’t on the roster a year from now and another will have to compete to make the team. I don't know which player is in which category but that's the way the NFL usually works.

Momentum builds surrounding RG3 joining Cowboys—Sorry, folks, I continue to not believe it. Eventually, even in a circus like the one that has Jerruh as its ringmaster, football sense has to be the top consideration. And if Tony Romo gets injured again Griffin just isn’t the right person to come in and move the offense; their timing routes are not what he does well. Add in the fact that Jones recently said that he expects Romo to be the QB there for another four or five years and you have a situation where Griffin is looking elsewhere for employment. There is no way he wants to wait that long for a shot at starting.

What happens after the Redskins tag Kirk Cousins?—We’ve already seen one part of the post-tag process; after getting franchised on Tuesday Cousins signed it on Wednesday. The most likely next step in the process is—nothing. There is no reason for either side to do much now. They will watch with interest as the market for quarterbacks such as Brock Osweiler and, if he is released, Colin Kaepernick develop. There might be a small push to get a deal done just before the draft but serious talks are unlikely to crank up until the days just before the July 15 deadline.

In what round will the Redskins draft a quarterback?—With Cousins on a one-year deal and currently the only quarterback on the roster the Redskins need to reset at the position. Whether Colt McCoy returns or not they still need a young quarterback to get into the system. It will be interesting to see how high a priority Scot McCloughan puts on getting one.

Is Junior Galette pricing himself too high?—This is pretty simple, really. Galette wants a one-year deal that will let him get back on the free agent market next year. The Redskins want to sign him for a few years in a deal that is loaded with incentives including per-game roster bonuses. Galette’s agent was encouraging his client to go with the Redskins’ offer. Galette fired his agent and is going to find one who will push for the one-year deal. It doesn’t look promising for his future with the Redskins right now but we will see.

Timeline

—On this date in 1993 Joe Gibbs stunned Redskins fans by announcing his retirement.

—The Redskins last played a game 55 days ago. It will be about 190 days until they play another one.

Days until: NFL free agency starts 4; Redskins offseason workouts start 44; 2016 NFL draft 54

In case you missed it

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2018 NFL Draft order has Redskins pick nearing top ten as losses stockpile

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USA Today Sports Images

2018 NFL Draft order has Redskins pick nearing top ten as losses stockpile

LOS ANGELES — Some years, the December talk is of playoff tiebreakers.

Other years, it’s about draft position.

This is one of those “other” years.

The Redskins’ current skid of four losses in their last five games has knocked them out of playoff contention but into more favorable position in the 2018 NFL Draft, which is scheduled to take place in late April.

The Redskins' record is 5-8 through Week 14,  and if the season ended today, Washington would be picking either 11th or 12th in the first round.

Here’s the big picture: As of Monday, there are eight teams that have fewer wins than Washington. All of them would be picking ahead of the Redskins. 

The Bengals and Jets also have eight losses so the one and only draft order tiebreaker would be applied.

RELATED: NEW 2018 NFL MOCK DRAFT 3.0

This does not work out well for the Redskins.

The NFL Draft tiebreaker is strength of schedule with the teams with the weaker schedules getting the better picks. I am sure you have heard about how tough a schedule the Redskins have all year long. It was a point of pride for many fans. But now it comes back to bite them.

The Jets (opponents winning percentage .488) and the Bengals (.444) have faced weaker schedules than the Redskins (.574). That pushes Washington back to 11th.

RELATED: FEW UPS, MANY DOWNS VS. CHARGERS

But there is a Week 14 game pending. The Dolphins, who have seven losses, play the Patriots on Monday Night Football. If they lose and join the eight-loss group, they would jump ahead of the Redskins based on the SOS tiebreaker, pushing Washington back to 12th.

Of course, the season doesn’t end today and a lot can happen.

But if the bottom doesn’t completely fall out it seems likely that they will end up somewhere between 10th and 12th in the first round.

We will be looking at what that might mean for the Redskins in the coming days and weeks as the offseason comes early for the Redskins one more time.

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NFL Playoff Picture: NFC bracket projection starting to come into focus

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USA Today Sports

NFL Playoff Picture: NFC bracket projection starting to come into focus

The NFC Playoff picture is no clearer in Week 14 than it was in Week 8.

Throughout the 2017-18 NFL season, the NFC in particular has been a gauntlet. So much of a gauntlet that one of the league’s best in the past five years, the Seattle Seahawks, sit outside of the postseason with an 8-5 record.

As of the conclusion of Week 14’s action, only the Philadelphia Eagles (11-2) have locked up a postseason spot.

The Eagles claimed the NFC East for the first time since 2013 with a win over the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday. The will clinch a first round bye with a win and losses by the Saints and the Panthers this weekend.

The Minnesota Vikings (10-3) with their loss remains second in the conference, still within striking range over the overall No. 1 seed.

With losses to the two teams ahead of them, the Rams (9-4) have a tough hill to climb to claim a first-round bye, but first they need to get back in the win column.

For the WildCard berths there was a wrench thrown into many teams plans with the Atlanta Falcons (8-5) defeating the New Orleans Saints (9-4) on Thursday night. Atlanta owns a tiebreaker over pretty much every team chasing them for the final playoff spot.

For the five remaining unclaimed spots in the postseason, 10 teams are still alive.

After Week 15 though, that number could dwindle down significantly.

RELATED: NEW 2018 NFL MOCK DRAFT 3.0

NFC Playoff Picture Week 15

NFC PLAYOFF BRACKET PROJECTION:
— #1 Philadelphia Eagles* (11-2) vs. BYE
— #2 Minnesota Vikings (10-3) vs. BYE
— #3 Los Angeles Rams (9-4) vs. #6 Atlanta Falcons (8-5)
— #4 New Orleans Saints (9-4) vs. #5 Carolina Panthers (9-4)

NFC TEAMS IN THE PLAYOFF HUNT:
— Seattle Seahawks (8-5)
— Detroit Lions (7-6)
— Green Bay Packers (7-6)
— Dallas Cowboys (7-6)
— Arizona Cardinals (6-7)

NFC TEAMS ELIMINATED FROM PLAYOFF PICTURE:
— Washington Redskins (5-8)
— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-9)
— Chicago Bears (4-9)
— San Francisco 49ers (3-10)
— New York Giants (2-11)

SEEDING NOTES:
— Eagles own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Rams, Panthers.
— Vikings own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Rams, Saints, and Falcons.
— Saints own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Panthers.
— Rams own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Saints.
— Panthers own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Vikings.

WILD CARD NOTES:
— Panthers own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Lions.
— Falcons own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Lions, Packers, Cowboys, and Seahawks.
— Lions own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Cardinals.
— Packers own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Seahawks, Cowboys.
— Cowboys own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Cardinals.

Week 15 NFC Games With Playoff Implications:

Sat., Dec 16: Bears at Lions (4:30 p.m.)
Sun., Dec 17: Bengals at Vikings (1:00 p.m.)
Sun., Dec 17: Jets at Saints (1:00 p.m.)
Sun., Dec 17: Eagles at Giants (1:00 p.m.)
Sun., Dec 17: Cardinals at Redskins (1:00 p.m.)
Sun., Dec 17: Panthers at Packers (1:00 p.m.)
Sun., Dec 17: Rams at Seahawks (4:05 p.m.)
Sun., Dec 17: Cowboys at Raiders (8:30 p.m.)
Mon., Dec 18: Falcons at Buccaneers (8:30 p.m.)