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Need to Know: Will Kerrigan play against the Patriots?

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Need to Know: Will Kerrigan play against the Patriots?

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, November 2, six days before the Redskins visit the New England Patriots.

Ten quick thoughts on the Redskins at the bye

—I don’t think that Dustin Hopkins is a great kicker by any stretch. He's good, maybe very good. But the Redskins just settled for having a mediocre, “accurate” kicker for so long that it just seems great by comparison.

—I still think that Matt Jones will be a very good running back; he could visit a Pro Bowl or two. But he needs to learn to be more patient and I’d like to see them work the quick toss to him more often.

—I wouldn’t be surprised if Ryan Kerrigan can’t go against the Patriots with his broken hand. I’m not a doctor and I didn’t stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night but it seems to me that his wrist will need to be immobilized during the initial couple of weeks of healing. That makes you essentially a one-armed player.

—The Redskins have 74 pass plays that have gained 10 yards or more this year. That’s tied for 10th in the NFL going into yesterday’s games. I guess most of the other quarterbacks in the league dink and dunk down the field, too. This just in—most NFL teams throw a lot of short passes.

Keenan Robinson has missed 12 tackles, most on the team. He’s a little bit beaten up but not enough to hamper him. It’s possible that he’s pressing in his contract year; someone needs to get him to relax.

—Is Alfred Morris pressing in his contract year, too? It’s possible. I can see having problems adjusting to the new blocking schemes but it’s not like the zone has completely disappeared. And they didn’t run much read option last year and he still had a solid year. A great mystery.

—Why hasn’t Robert Griffin III offered to sign a new contract that rescinds his 2016 option in order to facilitate a trade or open up the possibility that the Redskins might play him? At this point, I don’t think he wants to play this year, here or elsewhere. At this point could do nothing to improve his stock by playing this year, better for him to lay low.*

—I don’ think we’ve seen the best of Jamison Crowder. He has yet to make a move and blow past a would-be tackler for a big play. His longest gain this year is 26 yards. A much longer one is coming, either on a pass or on a punt return.

—Will Jeron Johnson get a shot at playing safety? Trenton Robinson is a good special teams player and a passable backup but he’s not a starter. Perhaps the light is going on for Johnson and he’ll get a shot at some point.

—The most mysterious injury on the team right now is that of Chris Culliver. His knee has no structural damage per an MRI but there still is apparently some pain, too much for him to be able to play. He’s been out three games and counting. Right now I’d say he’s questionable at best for the Patriots game. Of course, that could change.

*h/t to someone in my Twitter timeline for the gist of this, can’t find the tweet, let me know if it’s you.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Practice 10:45; Jay Gruden news conference and player availability after practice, approx. 12:30

Days until: Redskins @ Patriots 6; Saints @ Redskins 13; Redskins @ Panthers 20

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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.