Redskins

Quick Links

Need to Know: Who will the Redskins play in Knighton's place?

Need to Know: Who will the Redskins play in Knighton's place?

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, November 8, the day the Washington Redskins visit the New England Patriots.

Five final thoughts on Redskins vs. Patriots

PROVIDENCE, RI—Reporting from here this morning before heading over to Foxborough for the game.

—It is not a complete surprise that Terrance Knighton is out of today’s game with cluster headaches, similar to migraines.   Earlier this week he said that he didn’t do much during the days off for the bye because he was suffering from them. One option to replace him in the line would be to move Chris Baker to nose tackle and use Stephen Paea at left end. Or they could put Paea in at nose and leave Baker where he has been so effective this year.

—Before every game I write a report on the inactive players for CSNmidatlantic.com. I can usually write most it in advance because I know who the inactive players are going to be, between those already declared out due to injuries and the players who are usually inactive. But with seven players listed as questionable and many of them who will have their statuses decided this morning it’s not that easy. Of the questionable players, I think that DeSean Jackson, Ryan Kerrigan, and Keenan Robinson will play, DeAngelo Hall and Kory Lichtensteiger will not and Chris Culliver and Bashaud Breeland are coin tosses.

—The move of Jackson Jeffcoat to injured reserve is as much a surprise to those of us who are at Redskins Park every day as it is to anyone. He was on the injury report with a thigh problem for Weeks 1 and 2 but he has been fine since. We will find out what the thinking was tomorrow. In any case, Houston Bates, who impressed during the preseason, gets a spot on the 53-man roster and he should be able to hang onto it the rest of the season.

—If Jackson does play today, how much impact can he have? His snaps are likely to be limited as he has not played in a full game in more than 10 months. But Jackson doesn’t have to play a whole lot to have an effect on the game. If he can grab one or two deep passes that will help. But whatever he can do to loosen up the rushing defense up front is unlikely to materialize for a week or two. It’s likely that they will be throwing the ball most of the time when Jackson is in the game.

—Like most, I can’t find a pathway for the Redskins to pull off the upset today. Rob Gronkowski will give them a world of problems and, of course, Brady is an unstoppable force. The Patriots won’t score at will but they will put up somewhere between 30 and 40 points. Maybe the Redskins can get into the 30’s but, as I said yesterday, they won’t be able to do it on the ground. They will have to move the ball with Cousins throwing to Jackson, Pierre Garçon, and Jordan Reed. I see them keeping it respectable that way but ultimately the Patriots are way too much to handle. I’ll take Patriots 38, Redskins 17.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Redskins vs. Patriots 1 p.m., FOX

Days until: Saints @ Redskins 7; Redskins @ Panthers 14; Giants @ Redskins 21

In case you missed it

Quick Links

Need to Know: Final thoughts on Redskins vs. Giants

eli_manning_vs_redskins_usat.png
USA Today Sports Images

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.

Tandler on Twitter

In case you missed it

Quick Links

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

cousins_aikman.jpg

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.