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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Questions about D-line linger

Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Questions about D-line linger

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, July 2, 26 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp in Richmond.

Timeline

—The Redskins last played a game 174 days ago. It will be 72 days until they host the Steelers in their 2016 season opener.

Days until: Franchise tag contract deadline 13; Preseason opener @ Falcons 40; Final roster cut 63

The Redskins week that was

Here are some of the most popular Redskins posts of the last week from here and CSNmidatlantic.com.

Did the Redskins do enough to address the D-line?—It will be interesting to see how the careers of defensive linemen the Redskins could have drafted, players like Kenny Clark, A’Shawn Robinson, and Jarran Reed, turn out if the Redskins continue to struggle against the run. Scot McCloughan does deserve the benefit of the doubt but sometimes a slight reach for need might be the right move. We will see how it plays out.

Luck deal could make Cousins very expensive for the Redskins—This was written before Luck signed his blockbuster extension so the Redskins no longer have an opportunity to beat the market. Cousins may not be as talented as Luck but it’s entirely possible that with better weapons and a better offensive line Cousins puts up better numbers than Luck this year. If that happens the sky will be the limit for Cousins.

NTK: Three Redskins up, three down—Life comes at you fast and these players have had major shifts in fortune in the past 12 months. None of them did really did anything right or wrong, they just hit run of circumstances. That’s why they always have to work and stay focused; they never know when their opportunities will come or go.

NTK: Ranking potential rookie impact—Like with the veterans with shifting fortunes, having an impact as a rookie is something that the player can’t always plan for or control. Last year a rash of injuries at cornerback led to Kyshoen Jarrett temporarily moving to nickel cornerback. That gave him a role and a foot in the door. When they needed him to play snaps at safety he was ready. He wasn’t expected to have much impact but he ended up playing a big role defensively.

After OTAs, which Redskins' corners are likely to make the cut?—Has cornerback really gone from being a major weak spot on the team to a strong point? Of course backing up Brinks truck to Josh Norman’s house helped speed up the development process quite a bit. Another year under Bashaud Breeland’s belt also helps and if Kendall Fuller is healthy he could be a big-time draft steal. Add in Quinton Dunbar for depth and you have a very solid group. On paper in July is not the same as on the field in the fall so we’ll see how it shakes out.

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Need to Know: Final thoughts on Redskins vs. Giants

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Need to Know: Final thoughts on Redskins vs. Giants

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, November 23, seven days before the Washington Redskins play the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Redskins Kickoff 7:30 NBC Sports Washington; Redskins vs. Giants, NBC, 8:30  

Days until:

—Redskins @ Cowboys Thursday night (11/30) 7
—Redskins @ Chargers (12/10) 17
—Cardinals @ Redskins (12/17) 24

Final thoughts on Redskins vs Giants

Look out for Eli—There are many reasons why the Giants are 2-8 but Eli Manning is not one of them. He isn’t nearly the turnover machine he has been for much of his career. His interception percentage this year is 1.6; he hasn’t been under 2.3 percent interceptions this decade. Manning only has 14 touchdown passes but considering that Odell Beckham, who went out in the fourth game of the season, still leads Giants wide receivers in touchdown receptions, that’s not bad.

Running game stuck—What makes Manning’s performance even more impressive is the fact that he doesn’t get much support from a running game. The Giants are 26th in the league with 920 yards. They have gained some traction lately after installing Orleans Darkwa as the starting running back; he is averaging 4.8 yards per carry for the season and 71 yards per game over the last three games. The Redskins certainly don’t want to let him get going tonight.

Reverting to reality—The Giants ranked 32nd in total defense in 2015. They dropped millions on free agents such as Janoris Jenkins, David Harrison, and Olivier Vernon and jumped to 10th. Now, this year they are 31st and equally bad against the pass (29th) and the run (30th). Health hasn’t been a huge issue, although Vernon has missed a few games and Jenkins was suspended. Redskins fans know full well that spending sprees don’t necessarily make for permanent improvements and Giants fans are learning it this year.

Keys to winning

  • Run the ballThe Redskins are 4-2 this year when rushing for 90 yards or more.
  • Continue to protect the ball—The Redskins have turned the ball over just twice in their last three games.
  • Don’t give them hope—The Chiefs let the Giants hang around last week and New York stole a win. The Redskins need to get on top early and mash down on the gas pedal.

Prediction—It’s hard to see a scenario where the Redskins lose this one. Even in their injury-depleted state they are battling every game and the same can’t be said for their opponents today. The weather forecast is for cold temperatures but not much wind, ideal conditions for Cousins to throw for 300 yards. For once, the Redskins get up early and keep going.

Redskins 31, Giants 13

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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Everybody thinks the intentional grounding call against Kirk Cousins was wrong, except Troy Aikman

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Everybody thinks the intentional grounding call against Kirk Cousins was wrong, except Troy Aikman

The referees made a fairly obvious mistake last week in the Redskins loss to the Saints when they flagged Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins for intentional grounding late in the game. 

Let's be honest: the call was terrible.

Cousins never felt a pass rush on the play, and was very obviously throwing the ball away. Jay Gruden talked about the play on Monday, and could not figure out how a flag came out in that situation. 

We had two receivers in the area. Quarterbacks throws it away all the time that are uncatchable balls whether they are in the pocket or not. As long as there is a receiver in the area, you can throw it whether they are looking or not. Guys run bad routes – one guy runs a hitch and he’s supposed to run a go and the quarterback throws the go ball, it’s not grounding. So I don’t know why the confusion.

The NFL even reached out and apologized to Redskins team president Bruce Allen for the blown call, a hollow gesture that did not generate much excitement from Cousins (via 106.7 the Fan). 

Whatever they do to say, ‘we’re sorry, wrong call,’ it’s tough because there’s nobody bringing that up in February or March when we're making decisions about which direction to go with the organization. We appreciate the clarification but you know it really doesn’t do much.

If you're keeping score, the NFL, the Redskins head coach and the Redskins quarterback all know the call was wrong. 

You know who doesn't think the call was wrong? Fox analyst, and former Cowboys Hall of Fame QB, Troy Aikman.

Grounding? Free rusher? Decide for yourself below.