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Pierre Garcon was fantastic vs. the Rams, but don't lament his departure just yet

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USA TODAY Sports

Pierre Garcon was fantastic vs. the Rams, but don't lament his departure just yet

Thursday night's Rams-49ers game was surprisingly fun. It was also unofficially the Check Out All These Ex-Redskins Now Playing or Working in California Bowl.

Sean McVay and Kyle Shanahan, two former Washington offensive coordinators, are now in charge of the two teams. Old 'Skins like Aldrick Robinson, Derek Carrier and John Sullivan, meanwhile, were a part of the on-field action.

It was Pierre Garçon, though, who pushed Burgundy and Gold fans to take their phones out of their pocket and pen sad tweets. That's because the 31-year-old wideout caught seven Brian Hoyer passes (that's impressive on its own, by the way) for 142 yards vs. Los Angeles on Thursday Night Football.

And while his team lost 41-39, Garçon didn't deserve to with plays like this:

MORE: 5 REDSKINS WHO'LL BE UNDER PRESSURE SUNDAY NIGHT

Even with that standout performance, however, Redskins fans shouldn't be cursing the franchise for letting Garçon go. Not yet, anyway.

This past march, the veteran left D.C. after five seasons to sign with San Fran. His deal was a rich one: five years for $47.5 million ($17 million guaranteed at signing). The Niners can get out of it after two years, but it still is a sizable contract even with that potential exit.

That kind of money is the first thing those who miss Garçon should think about. Now, the Redskins didn't exactly handle their negotiations with him that smoothly, but in the end, unless he gave Washington a nice discount, he just would've cost a lot to keep.

Secondly, it's easy to slam the 'Skins for losing Garçon while Kirk Cousins and Co. have stalled through two games in 2017. But the reason that's happening thus far has more to do with Cousins' inaccuracy in Weeks 1 and 2 and an offensive line that's not at the level it should be than with that familiar No. 88 not lining up outside anymore.

RELATED: NEGATIVES LEAD TO POSITIVES FOR CHRIS THOMPSON

Would Garçon have made a difference for the Redskins against the Eagles and Rams if he were still here? Yeah, probably. But when Jay Gruden's unit starts operating at its normal speed and precision — and it will — the upset voices lamenting Garçon's departure will get quieter.

This is nothing against the guy who was the NFL's 2013 receptions leader and who's well on his way to another productive campaign. It's just that it feels premature to make the connection that allowing him to move on is what's ailing the Washington offense, or that it was a disastrous decision. 

Give Garçon's far cheaper replacements (Terrelle Pryor and Josh Doctson) more time. Wait for the quarterback and his linemen to sync up again. In a league with just 16 games, that's very hard to do, but let's see if those in the area long for Garçon in December as much as they are currently longing for him in September.

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Need to Know: Looking ahead at the Redskins' 2018 depth chart on offense

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Need to Know: Looking ahead at the Redskins' 2018 depth chart on offense

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, December 15, two days before the Washington Redskins play the Cardinals at FedEx Field.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Practice 12:05 p.m.; Jay Gruden news conference and open locker room after practice, approx. 2 p.m.

Days until:

—Broncos @ Redskins Christmas Eve (12/24) 9
—Redskins @ Giants (12/17) 16
—NFL Draft (4/26/18) 132

Redskins 2018 depth chart—offense

The one constant at Redskins Park is change. What will the Redskins’ depth chart look like in Week 1 in 2018? I’ll take a look into the crystal ball at the offense today; look for the defense sometime in the next few days.

Quarterback

Starter: Colt McCoy
Backup: Baker Mayfield (draft)

This could go in a lot of different directions. It’s certainly possible that Kirk Cousins will be back but I have a hard time seeing either a long-term deal or the Redskins biting the bullet on the $35 million franchise tag. Certainly, they could sign another veteran free agent as a placeholder and they could draft a different quarterback. But I think the veteran and early draft pick is the model.

Running back

Starter: Samaje Perine
Backups: Chris Thompson, Rob Kelley

I think that there should be an upgrade here and perhaps if the right player falls into their lap in the draft they will jump. But history tells us they don’t value the position enough to invest a high pick or significant free agent dollars. If they don’t acquire anyone, it’s the status quo. It could work out if Perine takes the next step and Kelley stays healthy.

Tight end

Starter: Jordan Reed
Backups: Vernon Davis, Niles Paul, Jeremy Sprinkle

Reed will be back to give it another go in 2018. The question mark here is Paul, who is a free agent. It’s more likely than not that he’ll be back.

Wide receiver

Starters: Josh Doctson, Jamison Crowder, Ryan Grant
Backups: Michael Gallup, Robert Davis, Brian Quick

Gallup is a productive receiver out of Colorado State who should be available in the second and maybe the third round. It may not be Gallup but I do think that the Redskins have to take a receiver sometime in their first 100 picks and start getting him in the system. That receiver eventually will push Grant back into being a backup. It’s also possible for Davis to develop enough to be the short-term starter.

Offensive line

Starters (left to right): Trent Williams, Spencer Long, Chase Roullier, Brandon Scherff, Morgan Moses
Backups: Ty Nsekhe, Tyler Catalina, Kyle Kalis, 1-2 free agents and draft picks

Roullier was playing well for Long at center before the rookie himself went on the injury list. If he resumes his solid play when he returns, the plan may be to keep him at center and re-sign Long, who is an unrestricted free agent, to play left guard. 

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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The Cardinals could be the cure to the Redskins' pass rushing issues

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The Cardinals could be the cure to the Redskins' pass rushing issues

The Redskins have not had a very good year when it comes to sacking the opposing quarterback. They have 31 sacks for the season, 17th in the NFL.

They had a then-NFL best 32-game streak with at least one sack came to an end in Week 10 against the Vikings.

Ryan Kerrigan is doing well with 9.0 sacks to his credit. Preston Smith has five but only a half since Week 6. Matt Ioannidis and Jonathan Allen were forming a solid interior pass rush tandem early in the year but Allen went on injured reserve with a Lisfranc injury and Ioannidis suffered a broken hand that limited his playing time and effectiveness.

MORE REDSKINS: IS GALETTE ON HIS WAY OUT?

But the cure to the Redskins’ pass-rushing ills just may be coming to town on Sunday in the form of the Arizona Cardinals and quarterback Blaine Gabbert.

The Cardinals have given up 44 sacks on the season; that’s 31st in the NFL.

Things have gotten worse in the last couple of weeks, with Gabbert going down a combined 15 times against the Rams and Titans.

If you think that the Cardinals may have hit rock bottom, consider that two starters, left tackle Jared Veldheer and right guard Earl Watford, won’t be playing due to injuries.

Will Holden, a rookie fifth-round pick, will start at left tackle and Evan Boehm, who lost his job to Watford earlier this season, will be the right guard.

Of course, the Redskins have to go out and make it happen. The entire Cowboys offense was slumping until they met the Redskins a couple of weeks ago. They can’t be a haven for a struggling unit once again.

In any case, it is an opportunity that is in front of the Redskins. It’s up to them to take advantage of it.

RELATED: REED LIKELY TO STAY IN 2018

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.