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Prediction—Eagles working, Skins having fun

Prediction—Eagles working, Skins having fun

Last Sunday, the Washington Redskins faced the task of going into the house of one of the NFL's elite teams and they came out with a victory.

This Sunday, the Redskins are again are going on the road to face the Philadelphia Eagles.

The Eagles are not one of the league's elite teams.

I'm going to go there and use the O-word on them.

As in overrated.

They've been mired in the NFL's mass of mediocrity for the past few years. They went 6-10 in 2005. The next year they won their last five games to get into the playoffs at 10-6. They followed that up in 2007 with an 8-8 performance.

So that's one bad year followed by a pretty good year followed by a mediocre year. That kind of reminds me of what the Bengals have done in the same time span, only in a slightly different order. It kind of reminds me of the Panthers. It's not unlike the Redskins' performance over the last three years, only not quite as good. Does anyone talk about the Bungles in a conversation about the league's elite teams? The media finally gave up on the Panthers. And if the Redskins were 2-2 would they be in the top half of anyone's power rankings?

But the Eagles are still talked about as a force to be reckoned with.

They're not.

Don't get me wrong, they're not bad. Andy Reid is a very accomplished coach, although his message may be wearing thin in his 10th year in the same place. They field very good players in many positions, especially on the offensive and defensive lines. Their top three corners could start for most teams in the league, including the Redskins.

But something always seems to go awry. In Dallas their offense showed up but their D couldn't stop Romo and company. Their defense was utterly dominant against Pittsburgh but they couldn't put the Steelers away until the fourth quarter. Last week in Chicago both sides of the ball had issues. Kyle Orton—Kyle Orton!—threw three touchdown passes in the first half. The defense tightened up in the second half but Philly couldn't punch it in after driving to a first and goal at the four. They had three shots from the one and they didn't get it done.

All of that being said, this will not be an easy game for the Redskins. They are going on the road to face a division opponent. Jason Campbell's newfound confidence will be tested by a defense that blitzes, confuses, and features the aforementioned stud corners. Bryan Westbrook's ankle appears to be healing well enough to give him a shot at playing and he's a certified Redskins killer. Donovan McNabb also frequently finds a way to give the Redskins fits.

But, right now, the Redskins are the better team. Right now it seems like every active player with the exception of Todd Collins every week does something to help out. Rookie Chris Horton makes a veteran play to intercept Romo, Kareem Moore is downfield on kick coverage, Todd Yoder slips into the end zone to make a touchdown grab, H. B. Blades performs well in a starting role when Marcus Washington is hurt, Demitric Evans excels when Jason Taylor goes out. I could go on but you know what I mean.

Back in the late '60's and early '70's when the NFL had 40-man roster limits, the Minnesota Vikings liked to use the slogan "40 for 60", meaning 40 players fighting together for 60 minutes. Something like "45 (plus Colt) for 60 (plus as many overtime minutes as may be necessary)" wouldn't flow quite as smoothly, but it would fit the '08 Redskins.

And don't forget Jim Zorn, who right now is giving the Redskins an edge over 60 minutes, keeping the opposition off balance with his play calling. And he's keeping his team on an even keel.

Sometimes you don't have to go down through the player matchups to figure out who has an edge in a particular game. Instead of looking at Team A's right guard vs. Team B's right tackle, you can look at the mindset matchup.

The Redskins are having fun. The Eagles are going to work.

The Skins will be having a lot more fun on Sunday at about 4:15 when Zorn is leading another three cheers for the Redskins.

Redskins 24, Eagles 10

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Free agency frenzy

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Free agency frenzy

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, March 17, 40 days before the NFL draft.  

The Redskins week that was

A look at some of the most popular posts and hottest topics of the week on Real Redskins and NBC Sports Washington.

Redskins and NFL free agency tracker—I started this a week ago today and it grew to 3,500 words. The problem was there wasn’t much to add by the time that free agency actually started at 4 p.m. on Wednesday. The legal tampering period or, as I dubbed it to avoid an oxymoron being used, the “permitted tampering-like activities period” was when all of the news happened. By the time actual free agency opened on Wednesday afternoon it pretty much was all over. Thanks to those of you who followed along.

Zach Brown agrees to terms with Redskins, per source—Since Kirk Cousins’ departure was a foregone conclusion, Brown was the Redskins’ most important free agent. His retention provides continuity in the defense and that will benefit both the team and Brown. His contract (preliminary numbers three years, $24 million) showed that the Redskins are willing to invest some money in the inside linebacker spot for the first time since Joe Gibbs brought in London Fletcher to play middle linebacker in 2007.

Report: Kirk Cousins to sign epic new deal with Vikings—We heard you, folks. The collective voice of the fans who visit NBC Sports Washington on a regular basis let us know that you were not interested in a lot of posts about the Cousins saga that was unfolding in Minnesota. So this was one of very few articles on Cousins that we posted even though Cousins posts have been popular, but with the vast majority of traffic coming from out of town. So, you’re welcome. It should be noted that we will write about Cousins in the future but infrequently.

Redskins officially announce 5-year deal with WR Richardson—He was the opening act for the Alex Smith press conference, and he handled himself very well. If Richardson is even moderately successful I think he will be a major fan favorite.  

Tweet of the week

Here is what fans need to know—a team can afford to do virtually anything it wants in free agency in a given year. If they wanted to the Redskins could restructure deals and sign all of their free agents to contracts that have very small first-year cap hits, creating room to sign the Honey Badger or Suh. The problems come in later years when the cap space you pushed back starts to pile up. The Redskins generally do squeeze free agent contracts into relatively small cap spaces. For example, Richardson’s deal average $8 million per year but the 2018 cap hit is just $4 million. But they don’t like to restructure deals to push money back into later years. That created problems during the Vinny Cerrato years.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.


Days until:

—Offseason workouts begin (4/16) 30
—Training camp starts (approx. 7/26) 132
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 176

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Bashaud Breeland the latest former Redskin to fail a physical; won't be signing with Panthers

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Bashaud Breeland the latest former Redskin to fail a physical; won't be signing with Panthers

The Redskins had to say good bye to several key players as the 2018 NFL free agency period began.

Cornerback Bashaud Breeland was one of those players.

On Tuesday, Breeland reported agreed to a 3-year, $24 million deal with the Carolina Panthers.

But on Friday afternoon it was reported that Breeland failed a physical, which means he won't be signing with the Panthers, per Panthers reporter Bill Voth.


If this sounds familiar, it's because it is familiar.

Redskins wide receiver Ryan Grant intended on signing a four-year, $29 million deal with the Ravens. But a failed physical just a day before his introductory press conference meant a voided contract and back to the drawing board.

According to multiple reports, Breeland's failed physical was due to a recent non-football injury. Breeland and the Panthers could still come to an agreement, but the former Clemson star is now back to being a free agent and will have to pass a physical before officially signing with a new team.

According to ESPN's David Newton, Breeland injured his foot on vacation in the Dominican Republic and will need his skin grafted in order to repair the injury.

The Redskins were one of the NFL's most injured teams in 2017, and that trend appears to have extended to the offseason.